With the 109 Men's commercial complex's full facelift under way, the famed fashion building in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward has opened some of its newly renovated facilities.
One of the highlights, unveiled on April 28 to mark the "Day of Shibuya," is a rooftop observatory overlooking the iconic scramble crossing.
Taking advantage of its location in the heart of Tokyo’s hip district, 109 Men’s is making a fresh start as a tourism base.
The fashion building will reopen in spring next year under the new name of Magnet by Shibuya 109. The renovated dining floor and the rooftop were unveiled to the media on April 26.
The Crossing View observatory sits on the rooftop of the building. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the scramble crossing which has become a popular sightseeing spot for foreign tourists for an admission fee of 500 yen ($4.50).
"We want to draw people from all over the world with a 'magnetic force’ called Shibuya," said Tomoo Kimura, president of Shibuya109 Entertainment Co., which operates the complex, showing a willingness to make the new complex another tourism hotspot.
Visitors can also take a bird’s-eye view photo of the entire scramble crossing for a fee of 1,000 yen, which would look like it was shot using a drone.
A souvenir shop offering Hello Kitty goods and other keepsakes is located on the first floor.
Meanwhile, Fatburger Corp., a Los Angeles-based hamburger chain, opened its first outlet in Japan on the seventh floor. The dining floor also brings together a bar boasting "onigiri" rice balls, a cafe that serves homemade pancakes and other shops, making customers feel as if they are enjoying their meals in a club where they are entertained by music and pop culture.
The 109 Men’s opened in 1987 as a fashion building targeting young men. It won popularity among "gyaruo," or men characterized by their deeply tanned skin and flamboyantly dyed hair. However, sales had been slumping in recent years.
"While the real excitements of Shibuya are fading into obscurity in the age of social networking services, we aim at reintroducing Shibuya culture," Kimura said.