The first thing I noticed about the Tokyu Plaza rooftop was the greenery. The greenery truly stood out, especially in contrast to the cement-colored buildings of Tokyo and the grey skies of the rainy season.
In addition to noticing the greenery, I noticed a pleasant plant smell and heard calming music playing at a low volume (but loud enough to block any street noise). Looking up, I couldn’t see the city, except for a few antennae. The rooftop terrace was designed to block the view of as many buildings as possible. It all made me feel very relaxed.
Walking around the terrace, I found a community garden growing strawberries and some vegetables. The garden’s purpose is to have the children and residents of the neighborhood be able to experience raising their own produce. In the future, they may start to sell some of the products to the community.
Within the greenery, there were signs indicating the different types of plants, or what types of birds commonly visit the garden. Birds did indeed visit, I heard the uncommon sound of chirping.
Elsewhere in the terrace, there were several umbrellas set up to provide shade on sunny, hot days. There were also decorative chain lights and lamps to light up the terrace at night. The terrace is open until 21:00, so it is open in the dark every day of the year.
One of the advantages the Tokyu Plaza rooftop has over other green spaces throughout Tokyo is its dining options. There is a Starbucks Coffee directly adjacent to the terrace on the 6th floor (and some of the seating on the terrace is technically Starbucks’). On the 7th floor, there is a Bills Cafe, famous for their ricotta hotcakes and other Australian cuisines. The staff of both restaurants speaks English well, so don’t worry about the struggle of translation. At both dining facilities, it is possible to take food to go so that you may enjoy it outside on the terrace. The designers of the terrace even prepared for people eating outside, creating a large hexagon-shaped high-top counter surrounding the trees in the center of the terrace.
Overall, I thought the Tokyu Plaza rooftop terrace was a step above some of the other green spaces in Tokyo, especially considering I did not need to walk 15 minutes from the nearest transit stop. It offers fantastic dining options and is right in the center of Harajuku, while still being a calming spot with lots of greenery. It is definitely worth a visit.