When you think about Japan, what kind of image pops into your mind? I bet it’s an image of men and women in suits getting stuffed into crowded trains. Well, first of all, please don’t worry too much about crowded trains in Japan! (The rush hour is pretty rough, tough) But have you ever wondered where all these people go? One answer is Shimbashi! Shimbashi is the most famous office areas in Japan. Today, I’ll visit a special building and dive into the microcosmos of Japanese office workers.
Exiting the JR Shimbashi station Hibiya Exit, you can see a building with a unique design on the left side of the “SL Square” where they have a famous train display. “New Shimbashi Building” is a place where the hard-working Japanese office workers go to relax. Here, they have everything they need: cafes, massage shops, a game center, healthy juice, and shops for office bags and men’s suits.
My friend Yena and I came to visit New Shimbashi Building to collect “World Cards” for the “Minato Ward World Festival”. (Read more about the event in this article)
Freshly brewed drip coffee
In addition to popular coffee chains you can find all over the world, Japan also has its own special type of cafe – called “junkissa”.
Inside a “junkissa” cafe, you can still feel the remains of the postwar Japan’s Showa period. Chandeliers, wooden furniture, counter seats, classic porcelain coffee cups … Although the interior resembles the traditional “Kaffeehaus” cafes in Vienna, you will find very Japanese details here and there when you look closely. And the coffee? Freshly roasted and carefully dripped by hand!
Even if you don’t get the rules…
On the second floor of the building, you find a Japanese “game center”. You can’t get any “world cards” here, but you can’t pass a Japanese game center without your fingers tingling.
The machines and crane games are usually 100 Yen per play. Neither myself nor my friend Yena did understand how the game worked and we couldn’t win any prizes at all. But there was a machine with sweets spinning around that got us really excited. We had a great time!
Healthy juice for tired office workers!
On the first floor of the building, there is a famous juice shop. Many celebrities have dropped by to taste the amazing juice they sell there. It took us several minutes to read the whole menu and decide which juice to get. In addition to persimmon and strawberry juice, you can get cold-pressed vegetable juice (kale, carrot, avocado etc).
Also, “turmeric juice” (“ukon”) and turmeric powder is on sale for all those office workers who have to go drink with their colleagues. (It is said that if you drink turmeric before drinking, you do not get drunk … ) It is thanks to this special juice that Shimbashi’s office workers are always energetic! And the juice? I got the persimmon juice which was sweet, delicious, and very refreshing.
And we got a world card here as well. By the way, the shop owner is a fun guy and we had a nice talk.
How did you like the center of the Japanese office worker culture? Although New Shimbashi Building may not be a typical tourist attraction, I believe you would still enjoy a visit. If you would like to experience the real Japanese office worker culture, head to New Shinbashi Building!
Minato City World Festival 2019
Here is the introduction article of the shops visited in 2018:
Here is the introduction article of the shops visited in 2017:
New Shimbashi Building
2-16-1 Shimbashi Minato-ku, Tokyo
Access: Immediately from Shimbashi Station Hibiya Exit