Muji Yurakucho – Flagship Store
Even in stylish Yurakucho, Muji sticks to its principles
Founded in 1979, MUJI, is a Japanese retail company that produces and sells a wide array of consumer and household goods. Written 無印良品 in Japanese, MUJI literally means 'no-logo', pointedly referencing the company's philosophy of design minimalism and emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Today, MUJI has become a global name, with over 250 stores in 24 countries outside of Japan. Within Japan alone, MUJI operates nearly 300 outlets, inclusive of factory outlets in Osaka, Gotemba and Fukuoka.
MUJI maintains its flagship store in Yurakucho, Tokyo. With over 3500 square meters of floor space, MUJI Yurakucho is the largest MUJI store. The choice of this location itself is strategically interesting, mere minutes from the glitzy Ginza district, where almost every major brand in the world has a flagship store; yet distant enough for MUJI to design the flagship store on its own terms. The result is a brilliant statement on branding and identity.
The MUJI Yurakucho flagship store is situated literally right next to exit D9 of the Yurakucho Station, and is simply impossible to miss. Whereas other flagship stores are often built on tiny plots and restricted to building skyward, often 10-12 stories high, MUJI Yurakucho is a 3-story complex sitting on a far larger (but presumably cheaper) piece of real estate.
From street level, you might even think that the MUJI Yurakucho flagship store was only 1-story high (how can this be the largest MUJI store?), but behind the simple and unassuming store front lies 3-stories of pure shopping heaven. The very flagship store itself has become an architectural embodiment of MUJI's own design philosophy - simple packaging, quality product.
MUJI Yurakucho stocks every single MUJI product available on the market. Apparel for both genders and children can be found on the 2nd floor. The popular stationery and miscellaneous item section is on the same level. What will probably catch your eye, however, is the huge MUJI house displayed in the spacious atrium. Yes, you heard me right, MUJI put a two-story high pre-fabricated residential unit right smack in the middle of their flagship store. Customers can enter the MUJI house, of course, and if you happen to own land in Japan you are most welcome to actually purchase the house.
If you just want to buy something you saw inside the house, however, then head up to the 3rd floor for household items and furniture. MUJI sells all sorts of household furnishings, and there is even a section dedicated to gardening and potted plants. In particular, MUJI has teamed up with furniture store, IDÉE; and here in MUJI Yurakucho there is an entire section dedicated to the creations they have come up with.
MUJI Yurakucho is also one of a dozen MUJI stores to feature a Café and Meal MUJI. The cafeteria-styled diner serves up some really delicious (and really not simple) dishes which can be slightly costly, but still worth trying after a hectic day of shopping. Café and Meal MUJI serves both lunch and dinner, and has an affixed bakery where one can purchase all sorts of bread.
As mentioned above, MUJI Yurakucho flagship store is located at exit D9 of the Yurakucho Station. The station serves the JR Yamanote Line and the JR Keihin Tohoku Line, as well as the Metro Yurakucho Line.