How will Shibuya, which attracts young people and foreign tourists visiting Japan, transform through redevelopment?

Jul 11, 2023

Shibuya-ku Tokyo Real Estate

Tokyo is an attractive city for both living and real estate investment. Among them, Shibuya is known as the center of Japan's youth culture, a vibrant and enjoyable city filled with fashion, music, gourmet cuisine, art, and entertainment.

The iconic Shibuya Scramble Crossing is said to have a daily pedestrian traffic of approximately 500,000 people, making it a crossing with an unparalleled volume of traffic in the world. Additionally, the Shibuya Center Street, located just beyond the Scramble Crossing, is lined with diverse shops where young people visit to find trendy fashion and goods. Moreover, Shibuya is home to large-scale commercial facilities, allowing visitors to enjoy shopping all day long.

If you've ever walked through the streets of Shibuya, you might have noticed that it's a city with many slopes. In fact, Shibuya is a typical sloping city, with the Scramble Crossing and Shibuya Station located right at the bottom of a valley, from which slopes like Miyamasu-zaka and Dogenzaka radiate outward.
While there are various terrains throughout Tokyo, it is quite rare to find a bustling commercial district like Shibuya, which is centered around the area with the lowest elevation.

Shibuya also boasts excellent transportation convenience, as it serves as a hub for nine railway lines: JR Yamanote Line, JR Saikyo Line, JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Tokyu Toyoko Line, Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line, and Keio Inokashira Line. It is one of the major transportation hubs within Tokyo.

By using the JR Yamanote Line, you can have direct access to major stations such as Shinjuku, Shinagawa, and Tokyo. Additionally, you can travel to Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture without transferring by using the Tokyu Toyoko Line and JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line, and reach Omiya in Saitama Prefecture directly through the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line.

Transformation of Shibuya through Once-in-a-Century Redevelopment

Shibuya, which is always overflowing with people, underwent a dramatic transformation through a redevelopment project that occurs once in a century. It started with the completion of Shibuya Hikarie in April 2012, a complex facility located at the east exit of Shibuya Station, consisting of 34 above-ground floors and 4 underground floors, with a height of approximately 182.5 meters. Following that, the following facilities were opened one after another:

  • August 2018: Shibuya Stream, a complex facility with 35 above-ground floors and 4 underground floors, reaching a height of approximately 180 meters.
  • March 2019: Shibuya Solasta, a building with 21 above-ground floors and 1 underground floor, standing at a height of approximately 107 meters.
  • November 2019: Shibuya Fukuras, a building with 18 above-ground floors and 4 underground floors, with a height of approximately 103 meters.
  • November 2019: Shibuya Scramble Square Phase 1, a tower with 47 above-ground floors and 7 underground floors, towering at a height of approximately 230 meters.

Google Japan has established its office in Shibuya Stream, and the observatory facility called "Shibuya Sky" in Shibuya Scramble Square, which has become a new landmark tower in Shibuya, offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Tokyo from a height of approximately 230 meters.
In addition, MIYASHITA PARK, which opened in June 2020, consists of a four-story commercial building and an 18-story hotel building. The rooftop features an open park where people can enjoy skateboarding, bouldering, and beach volleyball. The commercial floors from the first to the third levels house 90 diverse tenants, providing a variety of shopping and dining experiences.

Shibuya Miyashita Park1
Shibuya Miyashita Park2

However, the redevelopment of Shibuya is not over yet. Currently, multiple projects are progressing simultaneously, and along with the dynamic improvement of transportation around the station, the construction of mega-complex facilities such as stores, offices, residences, and hotels is planned one after another.
I cannot list all of them, but there are several significant projects as follows, and it is expected that the view of Shibuya will undergo a drastic transformation by the completion of these developments around 2030.

Upcoming development projects around Shibuya Station:

  • March 2023: Dogenzaka-dori (28 floors above ground, 1 basement floor, approximately 118.8m tall)
  • November 2023: Shibuya Sakura Stage (A1 Building, 39 floors above ground, 4 basement floors, approximately 179m tall)
  • May 2024: SHIBUYA AXSH (23 floors above ground, 4 basement floors, approximately 120m tall)
  • 2026: Dogenzaka 2-chome Minami District Type 1 Urban Redevelopment Project (High-rise building, 30 floors above ground, 3 basement floors, approximately 155m tall)
  • 2027: Shibuya Scramble Square Phase II (Central Building, West Building)
  • 2028: Miyamasuzaka Project (A Block, 33 floors above ground, 3 basement floors, approximately 180m tall)
  • 2029: Shibuya 2-chome Project (B Block, 41 floors above ground, 4 basement floors, approximately 208m tall)

These redevelopment projects are expected to bring even more vibrancy to the streets of Shibuya and contribute to the rise in real estate prices in Shibuya and its surrounding areas. Purchasing properties such as apartments in popular areas like Shibuya or neighboring areas easily accessible by train is a common method of real estate investment in Tokyo. Additionally, with the increase in foreign tourists visiting Japan, investment in accommodation facilities is also gaining popularity.

There are concerns that Shibuya's charm may diminish as unique small individual shops and backstreets are replaced by high-rise buildings through the redevelopment. However, efforts are being made in city planning to preserve the atmosphere and liveliness that have attracted many young people and foreign tourists to Shibuya.