Just at the tail end of June, the iconic guitar company Fender opened a flagship store in Harajuku. The next day, the apparel brand Ugg opened its inaugural flagship store in Asia, also in Harajuku. In Uehara, a new stylish commercial complex named Cabo opens, while in Yoyogi, there’s a new facility dedicated to shogi, Japanese chess. This and more in our monthly showcase of what’s new in Tokyo.
Ugg Flagship Store in Harajuku
Ugg (stylized as UGG) is a lifestyle brand based in Southern California with a legion of fans all over the world. Renowned for its comfy beige sheepskin boots, the brand also sells other footwear and casual clothes that emulate the laidback culture seen in both California and Australia (where the company founders are from). On July 1, Ugg opened a flagship store in Harajuku, its first in Asia. The interior design aims to showcase the Californian lifestyle and culture, just like the brand’s products. The wall art inside is painted by Hitotsuki, a creative duo consisting of artists Kami and Sasu.
Godiva Dessert Flagship Store in Harajuku
On July 15, high-end chocolate brand Godiva opened a new concept flagship store, Godiva Dessert. Although there are two existing Godiva Dessert stores, Godiva Dessert in Harajuku will be the official flagship store. It will offer desserts made with Godiva’s premium chocolate, including some limited-edition items. Some examples are Godiva crepes and the popular chocolate drink Chocolixir.
To celebrate the opening, customers who spend ¥2,160 (tax included) or more will be given a novelty gift that will give them a chance to spin the gacha-gacha capsule machine. Please note that the gifts are in limited quantities and it’s on a first come first serve basis.
Koma Terrace Nishisando
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the nearby Meiji Jingu Shrine, the Nishisando Project has been carried out in order to redevelop the areas that lead to the shrine. One of the newly opened facilities under this project is the Koma Terrace Nishisando, which opened on June 10, 2023. Koma Terrace Nishisando comprises four distinctive units that are focused on the theme of shogi, Japanese chess. They are all newly built under the elevated train tracks near Sangubashi Station.
There’s a hall for shogi lectures, a gallery for exhibitions related to the game, a studio where the videos of the Japan Shogi Association’s official YouTube channel will be recorded, and a café where you can watch broadcast shogi matches.
Small Commercial Complex Cabo Uehara
Recently opened, in June, Cabo Uehara is the latest addition to the number of small complexes in Tokyo that cater to the digital workers of today. These complexes are rethinking the city into a more communal, accessible space. Cabo Uehara combines work and play, with shops and eateries on the first floor and small offices on the upper floors. It even has apartments for those who want to live here.
Currently, the establishments open are the stylish café bar No, Tortilla Club Tortilleria and restaurant and wine bar Ukiyo. There are also plans for a bookstore.
Various Selected Openings and New Offers
Tokyo Matrix is an escape room game facility by Sony that opened in April on the fourth floor of the new Kabukicho Tower in Shinjuku. It is already seeing a big number of visitors. Recently it has started a new limited-edition escape room based on the popular Sword Art Online anime.
Think Coffee, a sustainable coffee brand from New York, opened a store in Chiyoda-ku on June 30. It only sources coffee from fair trade farms and makes sure they are well paid. The coffee shop uses reusable cups and composts the coffee grounds, among other sustainability initiatives.
Ramen Deniro opened on June 20, mainly offering spicy tantanmen ramen. As for why it uses the name and face likeness of the American actor Robert De Niro, its Twitter account states that the inspiration comes from the Taxi Drivers the movie which reminds them a little bit of Shinjuku, where the ramen shop is located.