Photo: Wikipedia/Kakidai
national

Another Tokyo urban landmark closing down, this time the home of Shinjuku’s giant Yunika Vision

16 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

In August, Tokyoites and travelers of the otaku persuasion bid bittersweet farewells to the Sega Akihabara Building 2 arcade and Tsukumo Akihabara Ekimae PC parts shop, two of the most recognizable landmarks of the neighborhood. Now comes word that another Tokyo landmark is shutting down, this time across town in the Shinjuku district, with the upcoming closure of the Labi Shinjuku Higashiguchi Building electronics store.

Located near the east exit of Shinjuku Station, the Labi branch has become a symbol of the neighborhood since opening in April of 2010. Standing tall on a corner just across the street from the tracks of the Yamanote Line that loops around downtown Tokyo, the building could be easily spotted from the train, almost as if it was saying “Welcome to Shinjuku!” as you rolled into the neighborhood.

It’s even been immortalized in anime and manga form, appearing in Makoto Shinkai’s Shinjuku-set "Weathering with You" and a recent chapter of manga artist Kenji Hayakawa’s "Deka ni Arazu," among other works.

But on Sept 11 Yamada Denki, Labi’s parent company, announced that the store will be closing on Oct 4. Many have voiced their sadness at the sudden parting, but unlike the gamers and PC builders who shed tears for Sega Akihabara Building 2 arcade and Tsukumo Akihabara Ekimae PC, most people’s fond memories of Labi Shinjuku Higashiguchi aren’t of things they bought or did inside the building, but of the experiences they had outside of it.

That’s because mounted to the side of the building is Yunika Vision, a gigantic video monitor display even by Tokyo skyscraper standards.

Yuika Vision has long been a popular place for music labels to show off their performers’ latest videos, particularly for  screening anime themes, idol songs, and boy band numbers, with the ample amount of screen space sometimes allowing for flourishes that wouldn’t be possible on smaller displays.

Part of what makes Yunika Vision special is that there’s a large plaza kitty-corner from it, which allows for fans to gather and have an unobstructed view of the screen. And unlike the multiple competing screens at Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing a few stops farther south on the Yamanote Line, where their sounds often blend into an indecipherable cacophony, Yunika Vision has this corner all to itself, all the better for fans who want to clearly see and hear their favorite recording artists.

Although Labi Shinjuku Higashiguchi is shutting down, it’s not yet clear what will become of the building. It is, after all, a prime piece of downtown Tokyo real estate and the structure is only 10 years old, so it’s possible that another tenant will choose to move right in instead of demolishing and rebuilding, and if that happens, they may also decide to keep running Yunika Vision, since the location is a highly coveted one for advertisers. Still, if you want to be sure of getting one last look of the Labi/Yunika Vision combo as it was, you’ve got less than a month to do it.

Shop information

Labi Shinjuku Higashiguchi Building / Labi新宿東口館

Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-23-7

東京都新宿区新宿3丁目23−7

Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Website

Source: Yamada Denki via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Akihabara saying goodbye to landmark as giant Sega arcade announces it’s closing for good

-- Akihabara then and now: Photos show how Tokyo neighborhood has changed over the past 10 years

-- Akihabara’s most popular anime girl mascot spokescharacter loses her job

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
Login to comment

you will be remembered. when I first arrived in Tokyo, I couldn't bother to keep my head down because of scenery like this. I hope they replace it with something better and worthy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

i don't know how these brick and mortor electronics stores manage to stay open. whenever i have gone into this labi denki, it was always dead, with a handful of customers on each floor. the same for every other electronics store in the area.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Meh. That building hasn't been there for that long. I always thought it was ugly anyway. I don't know why they're calling it a landmark. What made me sad was when they tore down and rebuilt Kabukicho. Bye bye, Koma stadium, bye bye theater square ... bye bye cool bars ... and hello monstrosity with posh upscale restaurants. Pffft. I miss how badass Kabukicho used to be. It's gentrified compared to 20 years ago. It used to be REALLY seedy. Them was the good old days!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Noise, noise, noise. Glad it's gone. (Though I don't suppose the replacement will be much better).

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Noise pollution and sight pollution. Hope it's replaced by something better, but I won't hold my breath.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This store was always dead there would be more staff than customers in there on most days. The screens will stay its not as if they will get pulled down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe, a park might be built there to give Tokyoites a reminder of the natural world?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good riddance. An eyesore and also an assault on the aural senses. Real landmarks have been lost in recent years all over Tokyo (e.g. Harajuku station) and replaced with bland, ugly corporate crap. Weep for those things, but this isn't one of them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Only 10 years and closing down?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Not really much of a landmark. The nearby Studio Alta screen has been there much longer and remains a big rendez-vous point. Shinjuku is filled with much better known landmarks.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope they replace it with something better and worthy.

Considering what they did to Harajuku Station, I'm not holding my breath.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As long as Nakano Broadway is still standing, we're good.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

a symbol of the neighborhood since opening in April of 2010.

Nope

you will be remembered.

Nope

girl_in_tokyoToday 07:43 am JST

Meh. That building hasn't been there for that long. I always thought it was ugly anyway. I don't know why they're calling it a landmark. What made me sad was when they tore down and rebuilt Kabukicho. Bye bye, Koma stadium, bye bye theater square ... bye bye cool bars ... and hello monstrosity with posh upscale restaurants. Pffft. I miss how badass Kabukicho used to be. It's gentrified compared to 20 years ago. It used to be REALLY seedy. Them was the good old days!

Yeah. It's sad how all the cool places with some individual character have been gentrified, blandified and destroyed over the last 25 years: Roppongi, Daikanyama, Nakameguro, Shimokita, Kabukicho, Shibuya and the like are all shadows of what they used to be.

shogun36Today 04:12 pm JST

As long as Nakano Broadway is still standing, we're good.

There's a tower block of luxury apartments at the north end now. Won't be long be that's gone too.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I remember when it first opened up as I was living in Tokyo at the time. It was like another Shibuya Crossing/Q-Front.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing remains the same, hopefully moving on to a better thing, good luck.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It used to be REALLY seedy. Them was the good old days!

Ya like seedy, then protest about people acting seedy, lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites