Closing time

These shops, cinemas and cafés are saying farewell. Sales abound...

Closing time

The closure of the Seibu Yurakucho department store at Christmas time last year was alarming enough, but in 2011 many more of Tokyo’s landmark buildings and businesses are set to close their doors, in some cases permanently. If any of the places in Time Out Tokyo’s list below have some special significance for you, don’t miss your chance to catch their last moments in the city.

Cine Saison Shibuya
Closing Sunday, February 27. Cine Saison opened on the sixth floor of ‘The Prime’ building in 1985. Closing after 26 years of screening (from art-house to popular entertainment), the Saison is going to be integrated into the Human Trust Cinema Shibuya, which opened in 2009. The cinema’s ‘late show’ evening screenings always proved popular, and the cinema is planning a special season of late night films, from February 5 to 27, as part of its closing program.
Cine Saison Shibuya map and opening hours

Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka
Closing Thursday, 31 March. Ever since it opened in 1955, the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka has been affectionately known as ‘Aka Pri.’ But this year, its 56 years of service will come to an end. Because of the timeworn state of the newer building, the Kenzo Tange-designed, 40-storey hotel facility is going to be demolished to make way for new property development. The historically significant older building, which was once a residence for members of the old Korean imperial family, will be preserved. The hotel is planning a special photographic exhibition for February that will display pictures of the hotel in days past (Mukashi no Aka Pri), and was accepting photographs sent in until January 21.
Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka map and further info

Closing temporarily from Thursday, March 31. French restaurant L’osier, which wasgiven 3 stars in the Michelin Guide Tokyo, will close temporarily because the Shiseido Head Office, where it is situated, is being rebuilt. The temporary closure means that even though the restaurant was given the coveted 3-star Michelin approval again in 2011, it wasn’t included in the guide. It’s difficult to get a reservation, but it’s definitely worth trying the restaurant at least once. The Shiseido Life Quality Beauty Centre, which is housed in the same building, is moving to a different location, and the ‘House of Shiseido’ will close.
L'osier map and opening hours

Ishimaru Denki Soft Main Store, Aidoru-kan (Idol Store)
Closing Sunday, March 27. Ishimaru’s Aidoru-kan is home to a myriad of idol and anime voice actor bric-a-brac. It has also been the location for many special events like CD releases, and some are worried that its closure is going to affect idol-related CD sales. It hasn’t been uncommon for the popularity of artists to shoot up on the Oricon daily music charts the day after an event has been held here.

Address: 1-1-10 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03 3251 0700
Hours: Weekdays 11am–8pm, Sundays and holidays 10am–8pm

Akihabara Radio Kaikan
Closing summer 2011. The Radio Kaikan was built in 1962 and is said to have been Akihabara’s first high-rise building. But time has left it a little worse for wear and its own time has arrived. With everything from audio and computer products to figurines, it’s an exhaustive shopping centre that includes outlets including Kotobukiya, Kaiyodo and K-Books. As yet there is no information about how the demolished building will be replaced.

Address: 1-15-16 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Homework Café
Closes Thursday, February 10. The music on offer at Homework Café, which includes jump blues, jive and jazz, was selected in its entirety by the members of jugband Ban Ban Bazar. For seven years, you’ve been able to relax and drink good coffee to any record or CD that you stole your fancy, but it is all coming to an end. The good news is that the shop is holding a sale which will run until its last day, and all used CDs are ¥1000 (including double and triple CDs). There is also a ¥100 corner for bargain hunters.

Address: 2-4-11 Sangen-jaya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03 3410 1505
Hours: Monday, Thursday and Friday 5pm–10pm, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1pm–10pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Daikanyama Tokishirazu
Scheduled to close mid-March. Over time, the select shop Tokishirazu has perfected its own highstreet-centred blend of street casual and designer brands, but it is closing because its parent company, United Arrows, is pulling out of the business. Online sales will also be stopped. At the moment the Daikanyama store is having its second sale on 2010 autumn and winter stock, with 40% off marked items.

Address: 2-7 Uguisudani-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03 5784 1861
Hours: 12 midday – 8pm

Yokohama Cial
Closes Sunday, March 27. Cial opened in 1962 and has continued as a community-oriented station shopping centre ever since. But the building itself is showing the effects of time, and upgrading it to make it barrier free and earthquake-proof would be such an ambitious project that it was decided that demolition was the better option. The shopping centre is currently holding a ‘thank you for your patronage sale’ (go-aiko kansha). After its closure, the Yokohama Excel Hotel Tokyu next door will follow suit. The site is set to be developed by JR East and the Tokyu Corporation into a high-rise building with 33 floors above ground and 4 below.

Address: 1-1-1 Minami Saiwai, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
Phone: 045 320 8001
Hours: Most stores open 10am–9pm (times vary for some restaurants and cafés)

テキスト Akiko Toya
Translated by Virginia Okno
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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