Shopping & cafe tour under the railway viaduct: HIBIYA OKUROJI (PART 1)

In September this year, part of the brick railway viaduct, with a history of more than 100 years, between JR Yurakucho Station and JR Shimbashi Station reopened as a new commercial facility after a renovation. This is the first part of my stroll around the brand new “HIBIYA OKUROJI” that has preserved the original nostalgic atmosphere!

The historic railway viaduct in front of JR Yurakucho Station.

There are multiple entrances to HIBIYA OKUROJI, which has a tunnel-like structure.

Left photo: HIBIYA OKUROJI entrance on the JR Yurakucho station side. Right photo: HIBIYA OKUROJI is located in the semi-basement, so you enter the area by walking down a gentle slope.
One of the side entrances of the facility. You can also enter through some of the viaduct arches.
Left: The main walkway. Thanks to the roof (or rather: the railway tracks above), you can stroll around on a rainy day without worrying about getting wet. Right: The contrast between the historic red bricks and the modern pillars is exciting! The facility uses the original structure effectively.

With a total of 32 restaurants and retail stores (3 stores are scheduled to open by the winter of 2020), the charm of HIBIYA OKUROJI is that you can shop at various stores, take a break at a cafe, and enjoy a good meal.

These are two recommended shops!

Welcome to the world of “Japan Blue” indigo dyeing! “MIZUNO Some Koujyo”

“MIZUNO” is a shop specialized in indigo dyeing (ai-zome), which has its head office in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. The long-established company manufactures dyed goods such as tairyō-bata (traditional Japanese fisherman’s flags ), hanten (a short coat), festival costumes, and noren (traditional Japanese fabric dividers). The shop sells original colorful tenugui cloth, face masks, and indigo-dyed clothing and accessories.

Indigo-dyed masks are dyed one by one. Each pattern is different. With a unique mask like this, wearing face masks is much more fun!
Right: The cute tenugui are a genius Japanese invention. They can be used in various ways. You can use them as a handkerchief or put them in a frame as wall decoration. Also, they make a nice gift!
Left: Indigo-dyed shirts and hoodies. The clothing items are machine washable when using cold water or together with clothes of the same color.

The big buckets in the middle of the shop are used for indigo dyeing goods that are later sold in this shop!

The dye for indigo dyeing is derived from plants. The fermented liquid bubbles when stirred as shown in the photo.

The staff showed me how they hand-dye the products. She used a scarf as a demonstration.

I was allowed to help a little.
Left: With several rubber bands wrapped around the scarf, some parts of it will dye while other parts stay white. The scarf is dipped into the dye several times – each time a little bit deeper. The more you dip, the darker the color becomes. The result is a beautiful blue gradation.
Right: Instead of blue, the dyed cloth appears green at first. When it comes in contact with oxygen, it gradually turns indigo.
The indigo dyeing went really quickly. As promised, the part tied with rubber bands remained white. Isn’t the beautiful patter intriguing?

Depending on the dyeing method, indigo dyed products can be very chic or very contemporary street style. Indigo suits anyone regardless of age or gender. This makes indigo products ideal for souvenirs and gifts!

Beautiful latte art at “low line espresso & bar”

As the name suggests, “low line espresso & bar” is a cafe located in the semi-basement of the railway viaduct. Here, people enjoy their lunch, read a book over a cup of coffee, and chat with friends. At night the cafe turns into a bar serving a variety of liquors. Takeaways are available, too.

Left: The entrance of “low line espresso & bar”.
Right: The cafe has a small terrace with table-seating outside. The railway tracks build a roof preventing you from getting wet.
Authentic coffee with a focus on taste and aroma. Look at this beautiful latte art!
Rich gâteau chocolat that is the perfect match for your coffee.

The rich gâteau chocolat with just the right sweetness and the fragrant latte were the perfect combination for a short coffee break. The stylish space is so comfortable you might forget about time altogether.

Japanese matcha flavor latte

My HIBIYA OKUROJI stroll will continue next time! Stay tuned!


1-7-1 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest Stations: Yurakucho Station, Shimbashi Station, Ginza Station, Hibiya Station, Uchisaiwaicho Station