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What’s new in Tokyo

Despite widespread pandemic-related delays, many new attractions have opened in Tokyo over the past couple of years. Below is a selection of some new openings that may be of interest to future visitors once Japan's borders will finally fully reopen:

Miyashita Park

Opened in 2020 just a few steps from Shibuya Station, Miyashita Park is a new shopping complex built on the former site of a city park of the same name. To avoid the loss of valuable green space, a new park was placed onto the rooftop of the new complex. Miyashita Park is 350 meters long and four stories high plus a small skyscraper with hotel at its northern end. The complex with its interesting, open architecture contains a range of attractive shops and restaurants. The rooftop park offers green space, a Starbucks, a skateboard park, a bouldering wall and a sand-covered field for activities such as beach volleyball.

Kadokawa Culture Museum

Opened in 2020 in Tokorozawa, a 30 minute train ride north of Tokyo, the Kadokawa Culture Museum is a unique building designed by Japan's most popular architect, Kuma Kengo. Kadokawa, one of Japan's leading publishing companies, aims to fuse together a library, an art museum and a natural history museum into a single complex.

Red° Tokyo Tower

Opened in spring 2022, Red° Tokyo Tower is the latest attempt at offering a popular attraction at the base of Tokyo Tower. Covering three floors in the building just below the tower, it is Japan's largest e-sports park, offering various computer games and virtual-reality simulators, as well as space for e-sports competitions. Visitors can purchase day passes, after-5 passes or 1-hour passes that allow for unlimited access to the games during the period of validity.

Shibuya Sky

Opened in November 2019, just around the time when the coronavirus started to spread, Shibuya Sky opened as Tokyo's new best observation deck. It is located on top of Shibuya Scramble Square, with 228 meters, Shibuya's new tallest skyscraper. The observation deck distinguishes itself with its simple, clean design, intriguing outdoor escalators and large windows that are placed right on the edge of the building, offering exciting views over the city.

The Seiko Museum Ginza

A short walk from the iconic Ginza 4-chome intersection, The Seiko Museum Ginza attractively introduces the history of Seiko, Japan's leading watch manufacturer, as well as clocks in general. The exhibits are spread across six floors, each with its own theme and ample of English information. Advance reservations are required to visit the museum. Admission is free.

Tokyo Midtown Yaesu

Tokyo Midtown Yaesu is a new, massive commercial complex right in front of Tokyo Station. The complex' lower floors will preopen on September 17, 2022, while the rest of the building is scheduled to fully open in March 2023. Besides many office floors, the tower will feature Japan's first Bulgari Hotel on its top floors, and some shops and restaurants on its lower floors. The basement will house a new bus terminal. It will be the third "Tokyo Midtown" complex after the original Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi and "Tokyo Midtown Hibiya".

National Stadium & Olympic Museum

Newly constructed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the National Stadium not only offers a modern venue for sport events, it also added some attractive park area for pedestrians on its perimeter. On selected days it is possible to enter the stadium on self-guided tours (advance reservations recommended on busy days), which include access to a locker room and some fun photo opportunities with a victory podium, Olympic torch and the like.

Next to the stadium, housed in the same building as the Japanese Olympic Committee, opened the well done Japan Olympic Museum where visitors can learn about the Olympics in general and the games held in Japan in particular. There are also some entertaining interactive games.

Tokiwaso Manga Museum

The Tokiwaso is a reconstruction of a former apartment building that once accommodated several of Japan's leading manga artists, including Tezuka Osamu, Fujio Fujiko and Abiko, and Ishinomori Shotaro. The building's second floor recreates the former living spaces, while the first floor offers space for temporary exhibitions. The reconstructed residence was opened to the public as the Tokiwaso Manga Museum in 2020.

With Harajuku

Opened in 2020, With Harajuku is a new shopping and residence complex just opposite of Harajuku Station. It offers a small number of high-profile stores, including a Uniqlo branch and an IKEA store, which is considerably smaller than your usual IKEA store but still quite spacious. Similar, smaller-sized IKEA stores have since opened also in Shibuya and Shinjuku.

Ariake Garden

Opened in 2020, Ariake Garden is an attractive shopping, entertainment and recreation complex in the waterfront area of Tokyo, not far from Tokyo Big Sight and Odaiba. Besides a sizeable shopping mall with basement supermarket, there is an onsen facility, an event hall, theater venue, Villa Fontaine hotel and various terraces to sit down and take a break.

Small Worlds Tokyo

Not far from Ariake Garden, Small Worlds is a "miniature theme park" which offers 1:80 miniature worlds in six areas, including a space center, global village, a Kansai Airport and Sailor Moon and Evangelion-themed areas. At an additional cost, visitors can use a 3D scanner to create miniature models of themselves to be placed into the miniature world. It feels like the park found a lot of inspiration in the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, but with less emphasis on trains and not quite the same level of detail.

Snoopy Museum Tokyo

Opened in December 2019 in Machida City, a 30 minute train ride outside of central Tokyo, the Snoopy Museum Tokyo is devoted to Snoopy and his friends who have been enjoying great popularity in Japan. It is the only such museum in the world besides the Charles M. Schulz Museum in California. The museum displays a large number of comic strips, while introducing the history and characters of Peanuts.

Romance Car Museum

Opened in 2022 at Ebina Station, a 45 minute train ride from central Tokyo, the Romance Car Museum celebrates the Romance Car, the limited express trains of Odakyu Railway, which most famously connect Tokyo with the resort town of Hakone. The museum's central attraction are several old train sets that formerly served as Romance Cars. There is also a train diorama, which is quite large but not overly detailed.