K5, Nihonbashi Kabutocho

Opened in 2020, K5 is an independent hotel in Kabutocho. Run by young creative minds, the 20-room establishment is housed in a 1923 bank building, an unsurprising setup in Europe but a rare treat in Japan where old properties are readily demolished. The interior was masterminded by Stockholm architecture firm Claesson Koivisto Rune, which made the most out of the original bank’s airy high ceiling and extra-large windows. On the ground floor is Caveman, a restaurant by the crew behind the popular Scandi-Japanese bistro Kabi in Meguro, Switch Coffee and cosy bar Ao. The hotel has caused other small food and drink businesses to move to the area and attracts people from and beyond Tokyo.

3-5 Nihonbashi Kabuto-cho, Chuo-ku


‘Myth of Tomorrow’, Shibuya

Tokyo is a city of murals. But few can match the scale of “Myth of Tomorrow”by Taro Okamoto, a vast 30 by 5-metre painting from 1969 depicting the moment of an atomic bomb’s explosion. Originally created for a hotel project in Mexico City, the mural was long thought lost until it turned up in storage on the outskirts of the Mexican capital in 2003. It was returned to Japan where it was restored and exhibited, attracting visitors in the millions. Since 2008, it has hung in Shibuya Station where thousands of commuters pass it daily. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see this epic work – for free – by one of the towering figures of modern Japanese art. 

Shibuya Mark City 1-12-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku

Kitamura Camera, Shinjuku 

Kitamura Camera has been a fixture on the Japanese photography scene for decades and today has hundreds of shops selling new and used cameras all over the country. Shutterbugs will want to make their way to its concept shop in Shinjuku. Designed by Tokyo outfit Tonerico, this unique shop is spread over six floors, with more than 5,000 cameras and lenses. There is a floor devoted to the world’s finest vintage models and another department just for the Leicas. Not to mention the services on offer: restoration of old photographs, data conversion from outdated formats and camera customisation. Smile!

3-26-14 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
+81 3 5361 8300

Globe Specs, Shibuya

Eyewear shop Globe Specs in Shibuya is a two-time winner of the Bestore Award (for the best eyewear shop) at Mido – the world’s largest optical fair in Milan. The founder Tetsuya Okada opened his store in 1998 and has been pioneering Japan’s eyewear scene ever since. The shop caters to everyone from fashion-conscious musicians and designers to corporate executives. The current selection includes handmade Japanese labels such as Masahiromaruyama and Okada’s own Globe Specs pieces, plus Jean Philippe Joly from Israel and US brand Ahelm. And the service is also impeccable, of course. 

1F and 3F 1-7-5 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku 
+81 (0)3 5459 8377

Images: Alamy. Cover image: Yoshitsugu Fuminari

Go back: Tokyo


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Monocle 24

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  • The Urbanist