Following the footsteps of its big brothers, Shibuya Cast, the revamp of Shibuya 109 Men (now, called Magnet) and a list of dozens of other hot projects under development in our favorite shopping district, Shibuya Stream — Tokyo’s latest aesthetic facility — finally opened its doors to the public this September. The modern-looking skyscraper, located right next door to Shibuya station, is home to a variety of open-air cafes and high-end restaurants situated along the Shibuya river stream. It is also equipped with a massive event hall, a hotel, office spaces (Google Japan will be relocating there soon!), conference rooms and even a cycling cafe.
Built as a place for people to relax, enjoy a stroll along the river and spend a day in the neighborhood away from the typical noise associated with the area, the new landmark is indeed filled with plenty of sitting areas perfect for a day outing with family, friends or loved ones.
Curious to find out more about it, we visited as soon as it opened and here’s what we found out!
There are plenty of delicious spots
There are a total of 30 stores in Shibuya Stream, all situated on the complex’ first three floors and all are food-based, selling fresh and unique delis from around the world.
The first floor is the smallest, with five stores only, from the Osaka-born Mexican bar (Japamex) to burgers (The Great Burger Stand), a Californian diner (Gh Ethnica) and the casual bistro Sakaba & Cafe, which as its name implies, sells both coffee and booze — and French-inspired oden.
It’s also here where you can find Lemonade by Lemonica, one of the complex’ currently most famous destinations, a shop specializing in lemonades (yes, who would’ve guessed…).
© Photo by Shelley Smith
The store offers lemonade in a variety of kinds and sizes, as well as some seasonal types, too, and you can get your sour drink hot or cold, fizzy or still, flavored or plain. But whatever your choice is, opt for the adorable photo area next door to the store where you can sit and take as many pictures as you want with your totally Instagramable lemonade!
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The second floor has fifteen cafes and diners, united under the theme “Shibuya Custom Street.” Here you’ll find the usual suspects (Starbucks, Dean & Deluca and the like) and some new faces, including Baking Shu, a tiny bakery specializing in fresh baguette sandwiches, Katsuo to Bonta, an onigiri, miso soup and sake stand (what an awesome combination!), and the intriguing Meat Taverna Nikomiya Shibee, a spacious Japanese restaurant focusing on slow-cooked stews.
On the same floor you can also find Precce Shibuya Delimarket, a fresh food market equipped with an interesting variety of premade foods, nuts and dried fruits for snacking.
The third floor is slightly more upscale, hosting a total of nine restaurants, the majority of which are serving Japanese cuisine. A rare gem on this floor is Xiringuito Escriba, Japan’s first store of the popular Spanish casual diner specializing in paella and seafood. Offering four kinds of paella and quite a few creative Sangria cocktails, this is a carefree restaurant to go with friends and share the love (and food, if you wish!).
Scheduled for opening later in the year, the fourth floor will be occupied by Torque, a cycling cafe catering to the health-conscious. The place will offer healthy food, as well as host all sorts of events for cyclists.
It’ll get loud
The complex’ 4th to 6th floors are occupied by Shibuya Stream Hall, a massive entertainment space that has a standing capacity of approximately 700 people. The new live hall is said to lead Shibuya’s entertainment district by holding concerts and live stage events on a weekly base. It’s direct access to the station makes it very convenient for late night party lovers trying to catch the last train.
Stream will also be hosting other regular events, including a street market on the weekend of every third week of the month.
But you can also relax in modern luxury
After eating all that food and partying all night at the event hall, the clever folks behind the planning of Stream figured that you’d also want a place to rest and heal. So, starting from the 9th floor (until the 13th), is the new modern style Excel Hotel Tokyu, a hotel established to “stimulate sensitivity and creativity.”
Its lobby is on oddly located on the 4th floor, however, where you will also find a lounge, a bar and a massive screen where you’ll be able to see what’s going on at the event hall. With an awesome view of Shibuya and the rest of the city, the hotel has 177 rooms and is conveniently located for tourists who wish to journey Tokyo’s popular commercial and business areas.
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Unlike most other massive food and entertainment malls in Shibuya, Stream somewhat manages to provide a much calmer and indeed relaxing overall vibe. We must confess that we were slightly puzzled by the lack of fashion and other shops at first, but after visiting, it actually makes sense — you can’t have a peaceful place with all that shopping. Instead, Stream is a casual place to get a bite, meet friends and maybe even spend a nijikai along the river. It’s nothing to take you over the moon, but the stream is pleasant and the breeze is refreshing. We figure it’s that kind of place that Shibuya was missing.
Address: 3-21-3, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access: Shibuya Station. Direct access from subway’s 16b exit.
Open: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Restaurants: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
*Article compiled by Shelley Smith.
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