What’s PARCO?

Miho Wang

Born in Taiwan, loves Japan and started living in Tokyo after visiting Japan many times. She is now writing while working for a Japanese company. Her blog where she introduces interesting and mysterious facts about Japan from the viewpoint of a Taiwanese girl is very popular, with over 500 thousand followers.

PARCO is Legend

“Japanese fashion, music and art are always filled with new and exciting things. PARCO has all of them.” Miho Wang is curiously seeing the line-up of live performances and the design of posters from the 70s to the 90s, turning the pages of a magazine that introduces the history of PARCO which opened in 1969. “For me who doesn’t know this era, this is very fresh and appealing. I feel I might be able to run into something interesting…”

The poster of PARCO
The illustration that used airbrush created a new trend. The artist is a leading illustrator of Japan, Harumi Yamaguchi. (1977)
Chuck Berry
Advertisement featuring Chuck Berry, who is called the founder of rock’n’roll, as a model. The font of PARCO is his handwriting. (1981).Art Director:Tshuguya Inoue
The logo of PARCO
The colorful block logo was created when Shibuya PARCO part 3 opened. (1981)
Buffalo'66
The first film screened at “CINE QUINTO”, a movie theater in PARCO, was “Buffalo’66” by Vincent Gallo who was unknown at that time. It created a great sensation (1999). PARCO also has played an active role in music. “Club Quattro” (1988 -) , a live music house owned by PARCO, first introduced live performances of Björk, Oasis, Radiohead and Norah Jones to Japan
DVD “Buffalo ’66”,Selling Agency, GAGA Corporation,c1998 Lions Gate Films, Inc. All Rights Reserved

PARCO is Trendy

Ikebukuro PARCO

So I went to Ikebukuro PARCO on a day in early summer. This place is very convenient because it is directly connected to the station. You don’t need to worry about rain. There are a lot of shops of famous brands that I see on fashion magazines inside and I don’t know which one to choose. I love Japanese fashion, so I first checked the trends of this summer!

snidel

The theme of “Snidel” (Ikebukuro PARCO. Duty-free shop) is ladies’ playful mind

Another Edition

“Another Edition” (Ikebukuro PARCO, Duty-free shop) , striving to be a “shop where you meet something exciting”

Shop assistants are all friendly. When I returned to the shop after checking out other shops, they welcomed me with a smile saying “Welcome back”. I was surprised but happy.

JOURNAL STANDARD

“JOURNAL STANDARD” (Ikebukuro PARCO, Duty-free shop), popular with their casual American style atmosphere

When you shop in Japan, a shop assistant comes out of the check-out counter and hands the item you bought to you! I felt the hospitality of Japanese people and I was moved by that.

Japanese bags are very popular overseas because of their excellent quality and beautiful design. There are more selection and the price is more reasonable compared to buying them overseas, so many people buy them here.

Samantha Thavasa

“Samantha Thavasa” (Ikebukuro PARCO, Duty-free shop), popular among young girls

Ikebukuro PARCO where specialty stores gather is fun for window shopping because they all have their own unique display. The products have different characteristics for each store and you can experience a wide variety of trendy Japanese fashion culture.

If you are interested in fashion, you cannot miss Shibuya PARCO!

BLONDY ReLISH

“BLONDY ReLISH” (Shibuya PARCO. Duty-free shop), with the concept of girly that are not too sweet or cute

Ground Y

“Ground Y” (Shibuya PARCO. Duty-free shop), the shop of a well-known designer, Yohji Yamamoto. Check out their goods made in collaboration with a popular anime “Evangelion”!

Furifu

“Furifu” (Shibuya PARCO, Duty-free shop) applies modern taste to traditional Japanese design. Their sash belts and sandals are popular.

KURA CHIKA

“KURA CHIKA” (Shibuya PARCO, Duty-free shop) where the skills of Japanese professional bag makers have been passed on. There are many customers from abroad who buy their bags in bulk because they trust bags “Made in Japan”.

PARCO is Diverse

I had a meal on the restaurant floor, the 8th floor in Ikebukuro PARCO. There are many shops that have services for foreign customers, so I feel secure. But, this is also my experience when I first came to Japan, even if you don’t understand the language, meeting people is fun! I realized this again after I walked around PARCO. I am very satisfied, seeing a lot of attractive fashion and eating delicious food. I had a great time.

atari CAFE & DINING

“atari CAFE & DINING” (Ikebukuro PARCO) where you can enjoy their original fusion cuisine. Shown in the photo is “berry berry ginger” (It’s very spicy) and “thick-sliced beef steak with Japanese gravy sauce”.

Shibuya PARCO is a treasure house of collaborative products and pop culture

In Shibuya PARCO, there are many shops that open in collaboration with artists and characters for a limited period of time, so you’ll find something interesting and new every time you visit it.

THE GUEST cafe & diner

“THE GUEST cafe & diner” (Shibuya PARCO) collaborates with a different popular character every 2-3 months. Shown in the photo is the collaboration with “Kiki & Lala and My Melody” which are celebrating their 40th anniversary (June 4 – July 28, 2015)

MEETSCALStore by once A month

“MEETSCALStore by once A month “(Shibuya PARCO, Duty-free shop) have items produced by local artists and other interesting items. Shown in the top photo is a T-shirt with a sushi pattern. They also have luggage covers for trips.

Collaborative shops and household goods shops have many small cute items perfect for souvenirs.

OHO! HO!

Many small items that you want to have in your life are displayed in a row. “OHO! HO!” (Shibuya PARCO, Duty-free shop) also have a good collection of Mt. Fuji goods.

The 6th floor of Shibuya PARCO is “SHIBUPOP” where you can experience Japanese pop culture. It is filled with so many appealing pop items that shop assistants say, “there are too many items to count.” If you are an anime fan, you can stay the entire day and never be bored.

ONE PIECE MUGIWARA STORE

“ONE PIECE MUGIWARA STORE” (Shibuya PARCO) is in the biggest official goods store for ONE PIECE in history.You can also take a photo with characters.
(C)Oda Eiichiro,SHUEISHA, (C)Oda Eiichiro,SHUEISA;Fuji Television Network;TOEI ANIMATION

VILLAGE VANGUARD freaks

“VILLAGE VANGUARD freaks” (Shibuya PARCO, Duty-free shop) is filled with goods related to pop culture from figurines to clothes and unique small items.

PARCO is Influential

Ikebukuro is the sub-center of Tokyo as big as Shinjuku. Ikebukuro PARCO is directly connected to the east exit of Ikebukuro Station where 8 lines including JR and subway run through. It is walking distance to “Sunshine City” which has an indoor theme park and an aquarium as well as “Otome Road” with many shops for anime and comics, targeting girls are located. You’ll feel that you get more than you expect because you can enjoy a wide variety of Japanese culture at a time.

Ikebukuro

Shown in the bottom photo is the town around Shibuya PARCO in 1976 on the left and in 2015 on the right. 1976 is before I was born, but I want to walk around Tokyo at this time! It is the same place, but people and their fashion are different. PARCO has also changed the atmosphere of the town.

Shibuya PARCO

Shibuya PARCO is about 7 minutes walk, even if you walk slowly, from the world-famous crowded crossing. It is on the top end of a hill. Spain-zaka where you can find many shops with Kawaii items is right next to it. I think the fact that you can enjoy both strolling around and shopping is another appealing point. I heard that “Koen-dori” or park street, the hill in front of Shibuya PARCO, is named after PARCO (park in Italian).

Shibuya Crossing

PARCO is like your FRIEND

What’s inconvenient about shopping and sightseeing in Japan is that it is hard to find multilingual signs. But PARCO has a floor guide ready at the information counter in English, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional) and Korean, so you don’t need to worry. At Ikebukuro PARCO, I found the iPad-type multilingual floor guide! It was very easy to use and convenient.

Tablet-type floor guide

All the stores of PARCO are fully equipped with “PARCO FREE Wi-Fi”, a free Wi-Fi service, which is available with a simple registration. I uploaded the photo of sweets that I have just taken onto my blog right away.

Using Wi-Fi

There are 19 branches of PARCO across Japan from Hokkaido to Kyushu. You can find it in popular tourist spots such as Sapporo, Nagoya,Hiroshima and Fukuoka, so I will definitely stop by if I have a chance to visit. The fact that you can enjoy sightseeing and the latest fashion at one time is another appealing point of PARCO. Why don’t you go to PARCO and tell everyone what you think about it on your SNS?

PARCO branches
From left, Sapporo PARCO, Ikebukuro PARCO, Shibuya PARCO