The Nihonbashi area of Tokyo has undergone huge transformations in the past decade or so, quickly evolving into a buzzing upscale commercial quarter. Aside from the 17th century bridge, among the area’s other signature landmarks is the majestic COREDO Muromachi department store complex, which has played a large part in attracting this rapid change. Soaring into the Tokyo canopy, the buildings house a state-of-the-art cinema complex as well as a vast range of stores celebrating traditional Japanese crafts and foods, from ceramics to lacquerware and tea.
But it’s the latest addition to the COREDO family that’s stealing all the attention at the moment: COREDO Muromachi Terrace. Opened on September 27, it marks another ambitious step as part of even larger plans to revitalize the Nihonbashi area. The drive behind this new building is to innovate the shopping experience beyond window shopping by providing a space for independent creatives, encouraging stores to host workshops and embracing cultural diversity.
Unlike other department stores, Muromachi Terrace transforms shops on the second floor into an almost gallery-like experience, with long corridors of carefully arranged displays of crafts from designers and artists across Japan. From beautifully crafted jewelry to quirky ceramics, you’re bound to find something charmingly different that you wouldn’t usually find in the more typical department stores around Tokyo.
Step into meta mate and watch as staff create customized metal gifts and designs, creating sculptures of individual customers with an innovative 3D scanner and molding metal at the in-house workbenches. If this peaks your interest, sign up to take part in the various metal workshops that are on offer. A little further along you’ll find a glassblowing studio where visitors are invited to observe the entire glass-making process from crucible to counter, purchase the designs on sale and take part in the hands-on classes.
Written as “Japan” and “bridge” in Japanese, Nihonbashi is a symbol of connection. In honor of this tradition of traversing divides, COREDO aims to serve as a center for cultural interconnection. As a result, the lower floors are occupied by one of Asia’s largest bookstore chains, the Taiwan-based Eslite Spectrum. Mentioned as one of the “14 Coolest Department Stores in the World” in 2016 by CNN, booklovers can not only immerse themselves amongst thousands of books but also peruse eclectic stores showcasing artisanal Taiwanese crafts and products in the chain’s first Japan store.
For restaurants and cafes, shoppers are spoiled for choice with options ranging across cultures and budgets. Many of the restaurants on the upper floors have balcony dining areas, such as the authentic Taiwanese restaurant Fijin Tree, or head down into the basement for a vast choice of stylish options, from hearty Japanese okonomiyaki (savory pancake) to luxury bakeries.
Even though you might have already explored the other COREDO buildings, this newcomer is definitely still worth checking out. For first-time visitors, Muromachi Terrace is just around the corner from the other COREDO buildings, so make time to discover each and every one.
COREDO Muromachi Terrace
10am – 11pm
2-2-1 Nihonbashi-muromachi, Chuo-ku