The newest trendy spot in Tokyo (I think... there is no end of new ones!) is Omotesando Hills - possibly borrowing the "Hills" part from the very popular "Roppongi Hills", but on the other hand, Japanese "-gaoka" (Whatever-Hills) is quite commonly used in names, and Omotesando Hills is built on a hill, so... hmm.... "a" hill I think, so should it be "Omotesando Hill" then? Who knows! Who cares! It sounds good, and that's all that matters. (The Omotesando area has long been a fashionable area in Tokyo, by the way.)
Inside, there are three ways to get around - 1) escalator, 2) a balcony/walkway/ramp that circles all the way to the top, & 3) elevators. It's an interesting space, as you can see from these pictures, but the building is so new that the place smells like... er... a new building. By this summer, the new chemical smell will probably be gone and it'll be a more relaxing place to be in, but even now, it's worth a stroll. As one brand-conscious acquaintance mentioned, the shops are on the pricey side, but most of them are not famous brand shops - which means something, but I'm not sure what.
What looks like a skylight in the middle picture above is simulated I think - note the condominiums sitting on top of the building in the picture on the far right at the top of this page. Either that doesn't cover the entire roof area of the shop complex or that natural-colored light is artificial. (Next I need to see what the place is like in the evening.)
Again, it's a nice space, but the air was a little strange, and yesterday was cold (mid-March) leaving one fully dressed for the cold feeling quite hot in the warm space, so it felt refreshing to go outside again. In the middle picture above, the part of the building with the narrow balconies is modeled on the old apartments that they tore down. They had an interesting history - being built with money donated from other countries after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, which devastated Tokyo. Change after that sort of disaster is natural, but the relentless reconstruction change of this city is something else. It's almost shocking how much Tokyo has changed in just the past couple of decades... I'm still trying to get to know the city I thought I already knew....
Copyright 2006 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon, Images Through Glass, Tokyo