Virtual Shibuya Expands to Harajuku with V-Commerce

Virtual Shibuya Harajuku

Geometry Ogilvy Japan helps Tokyo’s street culture capital transform into a virtual e-commerce experience that reflects a city rich in culture and commerce.

Virtual Shibuya – the virtual town officially certified by Shibuya City, for the Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project – celebrates its first anniversary with the expansion to “Harajuku".  The new virtual e-commerce experience, labeled V-Commerce, captures the district’s rich cultures of music, art, and fashion with its exclusive virtual shops and entertainment.

The pioneering Japanese virtual platform was launched in May 2020, with an opening event in 2020 bringing over 50,000 people together in front of the famous Shibuya intersection.

To celebrate its first anniversary, the new experience was created by “au by KDDI”, the Japanese telecommunications brand, and launched with an event called “Virtual Harajuku au 5G POP DAY OUT 2021” in May. The event brought together a star-studded cast, including Japanese household names like Neo and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who made her debut on the streets of Harajuku with her unique fashion, alongside art exhibitions, talks and live performances.

Those visiting virtual Harajuku were able to create personal avatars, walk through the trend-setting streets to see live and exclusive performances, and enter the full sensory retailer environments to make purchases in the virtual world to be delivered in the real world. Included in the virtual shops were sneakers, available exclusively at the iconic Harajuku sneaker retailer, atmos Virtual Harajuku store.

As retailers in Japan still suffer the sales repercussions of an extended state of emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic, this new commerce and entertainment experience helps provide retailers a new outlet with which to engage their customers.

“Retailers are always searching for a way to merge Offline & Online experiences. Virtual Harajuku has moved beyond this and found a unique and seamless opportunity to blend commerce and culture together. And what better neighborhood to launch this in than one as steeped in street culture as Harajuku,” said Ichiro Ota, CEO of Geometry Ogilvy Japan.