Welcome Through the Elevator
One of the biggest differences between Japanese cities and those in the West is that what often look like regular office buildings are in fact the home to shops, restaurants, bars, clubs and all manner of business. It’s not uncommon to go up an elevator to the 6th or 7th floor of an average-looking high-rise and discover a world of radical interior design, lights, music, products and signs, even plants, bamboo or waterfalls (some examples will be featured in an upcoming post).
Of course some of the more traditional aspects of shopfronts don’t exist in such situations, being difficult to implement when the shop is many floors above street level, without window displays and entered from an elevator rather than a regular door. One obvious example is the absence of the bell attached to the back of the door, which would ring happily in welcome as one swung open the door of a small shop or office.
However visiting my travel agent always raises a smile, as they’ve created a lovely variation on this concept, bringing it up to date in an obvious but quite clever way.