There are many reasons to visit Spiral in Omotesando. For one thing, it was designed by legendary Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. And since it’s been over 30 years since it was built – a good lifetime by Japanese building standards – it’s ripe for demolition. And with numerous design shops and galleries, it’s almost impossible not to leave without some designy souvenir.
Spiral first opened in October of 1985 with the concept of connecting lifestyle and art. It was the brainchild of Yoshikata Tsukamoto, the founder of lingerie-maker Wacoal, and is owned and operated by a subsidiary. There are 9 floors, which can feel a bit intimidating, but we usually focus on the lower floors where you’ll find Mina-to (1F), a creative market and Spiral Market (2F), a shop that sources modern ceramics and other tableware from Japanese designers. Connecting the 1st and 2nd floors is the Spiral Garden. With its spiraling staircase (which is where the building gets its name), this space hosts rotating art exhibitions.
There are several restaurants and cafes in the building too, including the casual Spiral Café on the 1st floor, a tea house on the 5th and a more upscale restaurant on the 8th.