Tokyo's Shibuya regeneration to boost tourism and creative industry
Tokyo's Olympics transformation will have benefits long beyond 2020, with one of its major CBDs being positioned as Japan's new hub of business and entertainment.
History is repeating in Shibuya, Tokyo's trendiest district. Once cutting-edge buildings and infrastructure dating back to the Tokyo 1964 Olympics are being updated with ultra-modern equivalents in time to greet international visitors to the high-profile 2020 events. The Japanese Government and Tokyo Metropolitan Government are banking on these investments continuing to pay off long after the hype has died down, as part of a wider plan to consolidate the city's numerous CBDs and make them more foreigner-friendly.
'Abenomic' initiatives such as Special Economic Zones offering tax benefits, language support and simplified visas have already made Tokyo's central wards more appealing to overseas companies, and these new developments will break down even more barriers. Property investors and entrepreneurs will find it easier than ever to do business in a city currently ranked third in the world by the Global Power City Index, boasting a higher GDP and more billion-dollar companies than London or New York with a price index half that of Hong Kong's.
A major focus for redevelopment is Shibuya Station and its surrounding area. A major center of fashion, culture and nightlife in Tokyo, as well as a leading hub of technology and creative industry, an ambitious 15-year regeneration funded by public and private investment is transforming Shibuya beyond recognition to position it as the "No.1 must-see destination in Japan."
The beating heart of Tokyo
Dating back to the Meiji Era, Shibuya Station is today one of the busiest rail stations in the world, handling over 2.4 million passengers every weekday. Passenger movements between the JR line and Tokyo Metro are being streamlined by relocating platforms and connecting lines underground, while new pedestrian decks and passages will improve access around the site.
With the station area being a popular meeting place for locals and tourists, especially around the famous Hachiko dog statue, new plazas by each exit will create more opportunities for socializing and events. The regeneration of the nearby Shibuya River will add more pedestrian space, while a new bus terminal in front of the station will offer direct airport limousine transfers to Haneda and Narita Airports, improving convenience for locals, tourists and visiting professionals alike.
This redevelopment has also been a chance to bring the station and its surrounds up to modern safety standards. A new rainwater reservoir under the station will help protect Shibuya against torrential rain, while an earthquake-resistant building is being constructed nearby as a temporary evacuation site with emergency provisions for commuters who find themselves trapped and unable to return home.
Part of the Shibuya Station makeover is a new innovation complex at the station front. As well as showcasing Japan's latest breakthroughs to the world, this facility will also provide a meeting place where local and visiting entrepreneurs and other creative minds can share ideas and collaborate. It's just one of many similar facilities planned to harness Shibuya's creative and tech credentials and enhance its reputation as Tokyo's top innovation hub.
The Shibuya regeneration also involves the construction of state-of-the-art, earthquake-resistant skyscrapers close to the station exits that will house a mix of commercial offices, apartments and entertainment. Several of these buildings will feature facilities to support creative content industries and overseas companies, while residential condominiums will feature multilingual services for the convenience of foreign buyers.
Shibuya Hikarie was the first major building of the project to open its doors in 2012, which will be followed by other landmark skyscrapers and infrastructure improvements through to the end of the final phase, scheduled for 2027. For more information about Tokyo residential properties, click here or contact JLL International Properties at +852 3759 0909 or [email protected].