The new Shin Marunouchi Building just opposite the Marunouchi exit of Tokyo Station is one of the most impressive of Tokyo's skyscrapers.
The cool, black tower is 198m tall, has 38 storeys and opened on April 27, 2007. Britain's Hopkins Architects were part of the design team with Japanese partners Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei.
Only the first basement floor to the seventh floor is open to the general public with the rest of the building taken up by office space.
The panelled wood interior has 40 bars and restaurants catering to just about every taste. The Raimu Raito bar is women only; the Nippon Saisei Sakaba on the fifth floor is a tachinomi (stand up and drink) bar appealing to male office workers.
The new building replaces the original 1952 Shin-Marubiru and hopes to pull in enough visitors to help revitalize the Marunouchi business area, whose workers traditionally ate and drank in other places, such as Ginza, after work. Most of the bars and restaurants will close at 11pm, though some are planning a 4am finish.
The place was packed when I visited during Golden Week, with lots of people making the trip from Tokyo's suburbs to take in the city's latest craze. Mitsubishi Estate, the property's developers, hope to attract 20 million visitors in the first year.
Don't miss the wooden deck-style terrace for good views of the surrounding area and Tokyo Station.
Access: Underground access from Tokyo Station's Marunouchi Exit.
Japanese Art - byobu screens
Japanese Architecture Books
Japan Tokyo Marunouchi skyscraper Tokyo Station
Sunday, May 06, 2007