109 (department store)

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Shibuya 109
109-2 in Shibuya, August 2007

109 (Ichi-maru-kyū) is a department store in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. The store is operated by SHIBUYA109 Entertainment Corporation, a subsidiary of the Tokyu Group.

History and description[edit]

The building, located just across the street from Shibuya Station, opened in April 1979. The architect was Minoru Takeyama. Tokyu, the building's operator, designed the building as a "Fashion Community" containing small retail stores targeting the early-30s female consumer. Tokyu intended the store to compete with Seibu Department Stores, which was making inroads into the Shibuya area.[1]

The name of the building, 109, is a form of word play (goroawase, specifically numerical substitution) and is taken from the Japanese characters (meaning 10) and kyū (9) as in Tōkyū. The interior of the building is designed to move shoppers in a loop on each floor from the elevators past various shops. A movie theater was originally planned for the top floor, but the fire department would not grant approval due to emergency-evacuation routes not meeting appropriate standards. Although originally targeted at women in their 30s, the building later became more known as a sanctuary for young women from the gyaru subculture.[1][2]

The original emoji set from SoftBank Mobile (as used by iOS prior to the Unicode emoji standardisation) included one for Shibuya 109, . As a corporate icon, it was not assigned a standard Unicode code point, but it continues to be supported by Twemoji at its location in SoftBank's Private Use Area.[3]

Due to its prominent location in Shibuya, the building appears in various Japanese media like anime and video games; however, since 109 is a copyrighted brand, the number is always altered.


  • Shibuya 109 (Shibuya, Tokyo) - April 1979
  • MAGNET by Shibuya 109 (Shibuya, Tokyo) - April 2018

Opened as 109-2 in April 1979, renamed to 109Men's in March 2011 before being renamed once again to its current name.[4]


  • "SHIBUYA109 東京ガイド" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-24.
  • "109Watch" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2008-01-24.
  • "Elastic" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 27 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-24.
  1. ^ a b Bull, Brett, "Decades as Tokyo's tower of girl power", Japan Times, January 22, 2009, p. 17.
  2. ^ Nagata, Kazuaki, "Shibuya 109 eyes rebound: Fashion landmark wants to make last year's sales drop a mere blip", Japan Times, May 14, 2010, p. 7.
  3. ^ Emojipedia. "Shibuya Emoji". Emojipedia.
  4. ^ "Shibuya's 109 Men's gets new look with 'scramble'-overseeing rooftop, dining floor and name". Japan Today. April 28, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-05-01. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  5. ^ "「SHIBUYA109ドリームス」静岡にオープン" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-01-24.

Coordinates: 35°39′34.36″N 139°41′56.44″E / 35.6595444°N 139.6990111°E / 35.6595444; 139.6990111

External links[edit]