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Thursday, 26th April 2012
In Events In Japan,

High-rise entertainment centre opens in Tokyo

The Shibuya ward in Toyko used to be known as a place for older people, but it is increasingly an area of the capital fashionable with the younger generation.

Projects designed to rejuvenate the ward are now beginning to come to fruition, and today (April 26th) one of the biggest had its grand unveiling.

The Hikarie shopping and entertainment centre has officially opened, helping consolidate the area of Tokyo many now consider to be a fashion Mecca for Japanese teenagers.

Locals and tourists now have access to the stunning 34-storey high-rise building that is home to a huge array of shops, restaurants and entertainment businesses, the Japan Times reported.

Almost 200 shops are housed within Hikarie, alongside 25 places to eat and a range of art and design galleries as well as offices. It even has its own 2,000-seat music auditorium.

Its grand opening comes just weeks after Tokyo residents were allowed inside the Sky Tree - the world's second-tallest building - for the first time.

Sitting next door to Shibuya Station, the development of Hikarie was overseen by railway company Tokyu Corp.

Speaking at a media event this week, the company's president said "a series of development projects that will change Shibuya drastically are set to launch," the news provider quoted.

"I hope many people representing a wide range of ages will be able to enjoy the district."

Built at a cost of 100 billion yen (£765 million), the imposing new building occupies the former spot of the Tokyu Bunkakaikan theatre and planetarium, which stood for around 50 years.

Over the next ten years a range of other projects around the station are set to take place that will further improve the area, including the renovation of the ancient Tokyu department store.

More than 200,000 people live in Shibuya, and the train station is one of the busiest in Japan. The area is also renowned for its nightlife.

Written by Susan Ballion

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