Odori, Sapporo landmark 4pla closed after half century of business
January saw the closure of “4 Chome Plaza” (South 1, West 4, Chuo-ku), a commercial building that was loved by many for a half-century as a famous landmark in the Odori area of Sapporo. On the final business day of January 31, the interior shops were crowded with waves of customers in the closing-day commotion. Clerks and customers shared feelings of sorrow, and people walked around taking photographs.
A Sapporo woman (48) commented, “This was a symbol of my younger years and also a place of memories with my daughters.” Colloquially known as “4pla” (Yon Pura), the building consistently attracted a young customer base with its gathering of gyaru fashion, vintage clothing, and accessory shops. In the high school years of this Sapporo woman, she used to browse the shops with friends. And her two daughters in their twenties still came to purchase fukubukuro grab-bags and clothing until very recently.
Here and there, customers could be seen talking with their favorite clerks on the closing day. One female technical school student (20) has been shopping here regularly since her high school years in Tomakomai. “The clothing assortment was good, the prices were low, and just coming here always made me feel great. I want to express my gratitude to the clerks before leaving.”
Some expressed feelings of admiration, “This building was a leading presence in invigorating the Odori area.” A Sapporo man (75) reported that he frequented a café on the 2nd basement floor for many years, and bought a watch at a clock shop on that same floor as a remembrance of the closing. “4pla was a preeminent symbol of the Odori area. It is sad to see it go, but my hope is that the Odori area will continue to prosper on a level on par with the Sapporo Station area.”
On the 7th floor “Jiyu-ichiba” (Free Market) with its shoulder-to-shoulder gathering of diverse shops selling things like accessories, vintage clothing, and variety goods, store proprietors also bid poignant farewells. The president (39) of accessory shop “Kishokachi”, who ran the shop for 32 years as a parent-child team, looked back on the shop history, “We even had both a father and son buy presents here for their girlfriends across two successive generations. We had countless faithful fans who loved our shop for many years especially because of our location in a Jiyu-ichiba with such a diverse atmosphere.”
4 Chome Plaza
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