Azabudai Hills: Japan's tallest building blends commerce and culture

The newest addition to the Mori JP Development Project roster of skyscrapers in Tokyo, Azabudai Hills, stands as the current tallest building in Japan, only being eclipsed by Tokyo Skytree which remains the tallest standing structure in Japan. The building stands in central Tokyo in the proximity of its sister constructs, Roppongi Hills and Toranomon Hills, all of which were designed by the revered Pelli Clarke Pelli Architecture Firm of Argentina. With the completion of Azabudai Hills, the three skyscrapers stand as distinguished symbols of central Tokyo.

But aside from the distinguished presence Azabudai Hills holds among the city’s skyline, it simultaneously serves as Tokyo’s newest commercial center, boasting a formidable roster of current and upcoming retail stores, restaurants, and other attractions. For Mori JP, the complex was constructed with the essence of the “Modern Urban Village,” with all the needed urban facilities intertwined with greenery and nature in a lived-in environment. Let’s take a look at some of the best the complex, which has finally been completed nearly 30 years since it was initially conceived, has to offer. 

Combining commerce, culture, and residency 

Tower Plaza 

Azabudai Hills is actually an amalgamation of three separate skyscrapers, along with surrounding retail grounds and a central plaza. The primary construction, Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower, stands as the current tallest building in all of Japan at 325 meters. At the base of this tower is “Tower Plaza.” Tower Plaza serves as a commercial center within the Mori JP Tower, consisting of six floors and a basement.

The basement and first four floors are home to a number of retail shops, restaurants, and cafes, while the fifth and sixth floors serve as the Keio University Center for Preventative Disease. 

Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower

Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower

Joshua Mueda

Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower Entrance

Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower Entrance

Joshua Mueda

Outside the southern exit of the Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower is the Central Green Plaza. Per its name, the plaza has a collection of grass and trees dispersed throughout sidewalks and other structures. From the Central Green, a great view of the surrounding buildings and the iconic Tokyo Tower can be seen from the distance, and pictures from this spot are quite popular. The Central Green is also one of the best spots to get an unobstructed view of the Mori JP Tower. There are a couple of stands in the Central Green, including a dessert creperie and one selling merchandise for Azabudai Hills, such as tote bags and water bottles. 

Central Green at Azabudai Hills

Central Green at Azabudai Hills

Joshua Mueda

A majority of tourists visiting the Azabudai Hills complex will likely be coming to see the TeamLab Borderless digital art exhibit. The exhibit, located in the Mori Digital Art Museum in the basement of the Garden Plaza buildings,was originally located on Odaiba in Tokyo and re-opened on February 9, 2024, after a two year hiatus. There are returning classic installations along with some new additions for visitors to see.

The Pace Gallery is set to open later in 2024 and will be located in Garden Plaza A. This gallery will specialize in contemporary and world art. Another staple exhibit hall of Azabudai Hills is the namesake Azabudai Hills Gallery which is currently holding its opening commemorative exhibit featuring the work of Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliassur up to March 31st, 2024. However, expect to see an impressive array of unique, contemporary exhibits featured in the space in the feature. 

Entrance to TeamLab Borderless

Entrance to TeamLab Borderless

Joshua Mueda

"Light Sculpture" installation at TeamLab Borderless

"Light Sculpture" installation at TeamLab Borderless

Joshua Mueda

Read more about TeamLab Borderless reopening at Azabudai Hills!

    Reaching new heights

    Holding a title such as “tallest building in Japan” puts a lot of pressure on the Azabudai Hills project. A necessity to provide visitors who will come solely on the merit of the building’s height with worthwhile activities is a tall task (pun fully intended). However, with a solid basis of shops and restaurants, art galleries and museums, and one of the best views to see in the entire city completely for free, Azabudai Hills will only become an even more worthwhile mainstay of the Tokyo experience, especially as it further develops as time passes. 

    Azabudai Hills in Tokyo

    Azabudai Hills in Tokyo

    Joshua Mueda

    Azabudai Hills in Tokyo at night

    Azabudai Hills in Tokyo at night

    Joshua Mueda

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