The Shinmai Media Garden officially opens tomorrow! Not only is this spiffy new building designed by the famous Japanese architect Toyo Ito, it is also full interesting shops, restaurants, and more.
Notably, there is a new tourist information center on the first floor right as you walk in the door. Here you’ll be able great recommendations for places to go in Matsumoto and nearby, as well as sign up for cultural workshops such as taiko drumming and soba noodle-making lessons. Make sure you stop by when you come on your visit! Today when I checked out the information counter, the staff were dressed up as newspaper sellers from the early days of Japanese history (Shinmai Media Garden is also the new headquarters for the Shinmai Newspaper).
Personally, I’m especially excited for Matsumoto Brewery’s newest location, which is located on the 3rd floor of Media Garden. This lcoation has twice as many taps and more floor space as their Tap Room in Nakamachi and you can savor your pint of local craft beer while looking over downtown from the outdoor patio. Oh, and they have their own homemade beer ice cream and “kid’s beer” (a.k.a. fizzy apple cider) on the menu here.
The other restaurants/cafes are Maruyama Coffee (good coffee!), a Japanese restaurant called Matsumoto Terrace, and a roastery & grill restaurant called Restro (restaurant) Rin.
For you outdoors fans out there, you’ll find a North Face shop and a A&F Country store where you can purchase gear and supplies.
On the fun side, there is the Pomge shop that specializes in apple ciders (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), sweets and other foods made with apples. They also have a small cider/wine tasting counter where you can order a glass to try. The Markt and Markt+ shops sell snacks, accessories, specialty stationary supplies, items for the home and kitchen, and more.
The Media Garden has space for exhibitions as well. Now until May 6th you can see a special exhibition of Kusama Yayoi’s “Pumpkin” and from May 12th, there will be a Lego exhibition where you’ll find world heritage sites constructed out of Lego blocks!
(The pumpkin glows in the dark, too!)