Japan’s Tallest Building, “Azabudai Hills,” Stands Empty on the Shopping Floor! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Japan’s Tallest Building, “Azabudai Hills,” Stands Empty on the Shopping Floor!

Report from the site Six months after its opening, has it become a new landmark in Tokyo?

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
The free chairs in the central plaza were full. It seems that many people were unable to find a place to eat in the Hills.

The 330-meter-high skyscraper soaring in a prime location in Tokyo was bustling with activity, with a hint of uneasiness.

Azabudai Hills, the tallest skyscraper in Japan, has been open for six months since November 2011. The site, which took developer Mori Building 35 years to develop, is home to the 64-story Mori JP Tower and commercial facilities featuring high brands. Is “Azabudai Hills,” which Mori Building President Shingo Tsuji has launched with the full intention of “making Tokyo the best city in the world,” a new landmark in the making? To find out, a FRIDAY reporter went to the site.

In early May, in the middle of GW (Golden Week), Azabudai Hills was not exactly thriving. The shopping floor, lined with luxury brands such as Bvlgari and Celine, was sparsely populated. A female customer in her twenties who visited Azabudai Hills for the first time said, “I came here without doing my homework.

I came here without doing my homework, but there was nothing in particular that I could only buy here. They sell apparel, sundries, cosmetics, and various other high-end goods, but I didn’t find anything that really caught my attention. I think I’ll just end up looking around and maybe not go back a second time for a while (laughs).

On the other hand, the first basement floor, where Starbucks and Azabudai Hills Gallery Cafe are located, was crowded with people waiting in line. The store was packed, and those who missed their seats were looking for a place to rest with a drink in hand. A male customer in his 30s who came out of the Starbucks told us, “I don’t have a particular place I want to go.

There was no particular place I wanted to go, so I ended up coming to Starbucks because I was tired from walking. I felt like it was a waste to come all the way to Azabudai Hills and end up in a Starbucks. ……

The FRIDAY reporter next visited the third floor of the Tower Plaza, which is packed with restaurants, including a French restaurant and a yakiniku restaurant offering courses for nearly 20,000 yen, and even a low-priced restaurant offering pasta for nearly 2,000 yen per dish. A couple in their thirties who were on the floor told us, “We went all the way to Azabudai Hills.

We decided to eat a good meal even if it was a little expensive since we came all the way to Azabudai Hills. It was the first time we paid 10,000 yen per person for a yakitori restaurant, but it was worth it.

Although there were many customers who were left hanging, housing journalist Junji Sakaki analyzes Azabudai Hills in this way: “The premise of the building is that it is a global retailer.

The premise is that it is becoming more difficult to attract people to goods stores around the world. With the proliferation of online shopping, people will not go out of their way unless there is a store or facility that is attractive enough to attract them. Azabudai Hills probably did not have such a thing. The traffic there is too inconvenient, and the inside is complicated and easy to get lost in. Therefore, foreign tourists flock to Ginza and Roppongi, which are more accessible.

Sakaki, who pointed out the lack of attractive tenants and the poor location, continued, “Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown are the most attractive.

Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown Hibiya have spots around them where people can stop by, but there is almost nothing around Azabudai Hills. Right now, people are still gathering in the aftermath of the opening, but six months from now, the area could be even more empty.

The tallest building in Japan is likely to be put to the test even more in the coming months.

The busiest area was where Starbucks and other cafes are located. You don’t have to be in Azabudai Hills to get in.
Mori JP Tower is as tall as the nearby Tokyo Tower. Many visitors stopped to look up at the tower.

From the May 24, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Masaki Nakabayashi

Photo Gallery3 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles