Tokyo in Continuous Transition (1960-2010)

Lifestyle based on mass consumption had penetrated into people's lives by 1950s and 60s, as Japan experienced rapid economic growth. People and service concentrated in Tokyo, where new products were displayed on the sales floor of the department stores, and young people gathered in the downtown area, donning themselves in the most up-to-date fashion.

From the early 1970s, during the times of stable growth, people sought for new values that could replace material wealth. In Tokyo where mass media assembled, newly issued magazines introduced diverse domestic and foreign lifestyles, and the advertisements by the department stores sought to improve the image of consumption.

In the mid-1980s, during the age of bubble economy, people's attention shifted to consumption of costly products and services. Tokyo, where one could readily find stores selling famous brand-named goods and expensive restaurants, was chosen as an ideal stage for such consumption. Meanwhile, the mass media ranked various locations within the city as if they, too, were brand-named goods.

With the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s, cheap, accessible, and homogenous services became popular. At the same time, however, consumption behavior based on particular interests or opinions also came into prominence. Unique tastes and fashion developed in the individual downtown districts of Tokyo, such as Akihabara and Shibuya. The various trends that were set in the city were transmitted in detail by the media, then influenced local societies and culture.

By the 2000s, continuing deflation and wide use of internet resulted in intense competition among the various service sectors. In the couse of redevelopment, shopping malls that contained offices and residential units, broadcast stations and theaters were opened in the city center. The effects of the broadcasts on the national network and various events featuring celebrities attracted visitors to these malls and thus made them into the new "famous places" of Tokyo.