Take Gyre for example. Located only 4 minutes from Omotesando Station, it is the first MoMa Design Store that branched out of New York City. Although the crammed nature of Tokyo’s real estate makes it difficult to truly create spacious buildings, Gyre’s circulation routes and terraces create movement and dynamism that is absent in other stores in Omotesando area.
Also, the Omotesando Hills. It was the center of media attention when it first opened in 2006 due to its massive $330 million cost. In fact, many landowners thought the building was too fashionable. As described by Monoru Mori, developer of the building, Omotesando Hills is the eye of the dragon that became the missing limb in attracting people from all over the world . This massive structure holds almost 130 shops, 38 apartments, and 5 galleries. It is the center of brand shops and you can find almost every famous brands here. From the likes of French chocolate shop Jean-Paul Hévin to Italian Bottega Veneta to Shu Uemura Beauty Boutique. Even if these big brands don’t attract you, the building’s worth a visit. The halls are laid out in a zigzag pattern and the walls are grazed by shadows of the trees. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceburg. Omotesando is also home to the designs by world-renowned architects suchs as Fumihiko Maki, Ryue Nishizawa, and Kazuyo Sejima.
Although there is no rationing when it comes to luxury brand stores at Omotesando, it is also possible to find fast retail stores such Gap, Forever 21, and H&M.
Restaurants are also plenty here. One of the popular restaurants is Guzman y Gomez. This Australian born restaurant is a very recent addition to the Mexican lovers in Tokyo. Although this is the only store that they currently have, it is one of the best places to go to for Mexican food. Among other popular places, Bills, Dominique Ansel, Max Brenner, Brazilian inspired Barbacoa Grills, and Urth Cafe are very popular among the younger generation. There is no shortage in cafes as well. For example, the Nicolai Bergmann. It is a simple garden cafe that offers basic menu. Founded by Nicolai Bergmann, a florist from Denmark, it is one of the most elegant cafes you can visit in Tokyo and with a very reasonable price range. Another worth mentioning name would be Oriental bazaar. It is one of the best places to go to for miscellaneous oriental goods at a reasonable price. From kimonos to furniture to antiques – everything related to Japan can be found here.All in all, Omotesando is a must if you are in Tokyo. It is filled with great little alleys with lots of unique stores and it feels absolutely great to window shop here.
by Khalid Saifullah http://web.archive.org/web/20061119171554/http://www.metropolis.co.jp/t okyo/619/feature.asp