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Providing new
value for people,
building systems
and society.
An as-yet unexplored world awaits visitors in Shibuya.SHIBUYA SKY - created from the idea
of mountain climbing.

Creating value by offering a new viewing experience in Shibuya,
where people and culture intersect

A new landmark has sprung up above the Shibuya scramble intersection that enjoys worldwide fame. At a height of around 230 meters above Shibuya, SHIBUYA SKY creates an observation space at the top floor of the large commercial facility Shibuya Scramble Square.
What was the purpose behind installing this sort of viewing space on the rooftop of a skyscraper, and how was Hitachi able to answer the call and turn the concept into reality? We spoke with SHIBUYA SKY manager Mr. Jun Shinya from SHIBUYA SCRAMBLE SQUARE Co., Ltd., who drove implementation of the project as leader.
"Our aim was to provide a stunning viewing experience and create an experience-oriented viewing space that would stimulate the creativity of visitors. From the rooftop viewing space, people can see Shibuya extending out from beneath their feet, take in the Tokyo cityscape that spreads out to the east, and see Mount Fuji to the west." (Shinya)


From ordinary to extraordinary. From restriction to release.
The aims in a performance of vertical movement.

The view from about 230 meters above Shibuya is a stunning one that extends 360 degrees around. But that is not all he wants visitors to experience, says Mr. Shinya.
"We wanted people to experience the process of reaching the viewing space, and concept of mountain climbing provided the idea. We liken the series of experiences you undergo from when you board the elevator from the 14th floor ticket sales area to when you reach the rooftop to the journey of scaling the peak of a mountain. It is designed for visitors to enjoy the process along the way, and evoke a remarkable sense of release when they reach the top." (Shinya)
SHIBUYA SKY is made up of three zones, the SKY GATE as the space that transports visitors from the 14th floor to the 45th floor, the SKY STAGE as the outdoor viewing space, and the SKY GALLERY as an indoor viewing gallery on the 46th floor. Each zone is connected by elevators and escalators.


"Instead of installing elevators and escalators purely for the purpose of transportation, we combined sound, light and video at those points to present a sense of excitement. For the spatial presentation, we engaged the design section of Rhizomatiks Co., Ltd. as planners to develop the concept. The uniform blackness of the space aims to shift visitors' senses to the beginning of the climb. We wanted to create that sense of oppression from a dark world so that they would feel a sense of release all at once upon reaching the roof. The presentation of the elevator was crucial as part of the effect of teleportation, transporting visitors in both body and mind in the heart of the city center from something ordinary to something extraordinary." (Shinya)

After rising for around 30 seconds on the elevator, visitors travel up an escalator as their sense of anticipation reaches peak levels. Then out of the blackness they enter a world of white. As they view the outside world that lies beyond the glass barrier, visitors experience elation and the feeling of floating as they rise to the peak on the escalator. This is a blissful moment on the SKY STAGE that sets the mind and body free.

The certainty of meeting this unprecedented challenge was enhanced through the technological capabilities and practical expertise of Hitachi.


One of the presentations that gives visitors the sense of continually moving upward is the video presentation that takes up the entire ceiling of the elevator. To create the sensation that visitors are being teleported, Mr. Shinya paid particular attention to "vibrations" and "synchronization."
"Since we wanted visitors to experience the sensation of being in another dimension, vibrations were strictly prohibited. We need to innovate to prevent shaking both in terms of the elevator car as well as the video content.
Also, to produce the sensation of rising by way of the video presentation, we worked meticulously to synchronize the speed of the elevator with the sense of speed portrayed in the video. We put a lot of work into preventing even the smallest sense of discomfort. For instance, we made sure the deceleration of the elevator just before arriving is synced up with the sense of deceleration in the video. These considerations took up an enormous amount of time and effort, but Hitachi quickly created mock-ups, and we were able to verify the system and make adjustments in a near-production environment at their Mito Works. This mock-up played a huge role in allowing us to verify the experience from the customer perspective to ensure that you can get that sense of rising no matter where in the elevator car you are standing." (Shinya)

The points considered during the verification process extended as far as checking for shaking in the video content, the sense of distance between the ceiling surface video and users, the neck fatigue experienced from looking up for the roughly 30 seconds until arriving, and careful examination to ensure that the volume of information is not overwhelming. Hitachi took on this mountain of challenges as an elevator and escalator manufacturer, and utilized its many years of knowledge to demonstrate its problem-solving ability. And moving forward, Hitachi will continue to live up to that trust through a support system that includes maintenance services.

Rhizomatiks Design was in charge of space, lighting, and video direction.

Expectations for the further potential of elevators
in the continually evolving town of Shibuya

Through the SHIBUYA SKY project, elevators went beyond their role as a means of transportation and created new value.
"Thanks to Hitachi, SHIBUYA SKY has proven very popular, and visitors are beginning to realize the wonder of moving presentations. Together with SHIBUYA SKY, we want to make Shibuya the most sought after destination in Japan, and a town that residents and workers alike can be proud of." (Shinya)
For its part, Hitachi has also attracted optimism about the potential of transportation and the pursuit of further value creation beyond convenience. Looking ahead, Hitachi will continue in its endless pursuit to "Providing new value for people, buildings systems and society."