New Shibuya facilities give district’s south side a new vibe

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

The latest facilities completed in the redevelopment project for Tokyo’s Shibuya district were shown in a media preview on Wednesday ahead of their opening next week.

Tokyu Corp., the Shibuya-based railway operator overseeing the redevelopment, unveiled the multipurpose complexes — Shibuya Stream and Shibuya Bridge — which are expected to bring more people to quieter areas of the district that’s one of the most popular destinations for foreign tourists.

The 180-meter-high Shibuya Stream comprises a hotel, dozens of eateries, office and commercial space and is built on top of the Tokyu Toyoko Line’s former section of Shibuya Station.

The building is next to Shibuya River and its newly installed promenade. Tokyu said it is aiming to draw more people to the south side of Shibuya.

Compared to the other side of the station, which boasts the famous diagonal crossing and is usually considered the center of Shibuya, not many people visit the south side of the district.

“This place had an elevated bridge for the (Toyoko) train, which was kind of preventing development of the area,” said Shinji Nishizawa, a Tokyu official.

But the Tokyu Toyoko Line tracks that connect Shibuya and Daikanyama district have been relocated underground, making it possible to create a “broad street” by the river, Nishizawa said.

The street stretches 600 meters to the south, and Tokyu hopes that more people will be encouraged to walk to the Daikanyama area, which is a famous shopping spot.

Connected to an open space in front of the Shibuya Stream building, the promenade has a relaxed vibe and features a cafe and some shops.

“The other side of Shibuya is a busy area, but this side is different with a more relaxed atmosphere. I hope people will enjoy that,” said an official from Shibuya Ward.

Shibuya Stream’s 14th to 35th floors are comprised of office space, all of which will be used by Google Japan.

Another new facility called Shibuya Bridge, located further south, has a nursery school, as well as a hotel and offices.

Shibuya Stream and Shibuya Bridge will open on Sept. 13.