Little Japan in Hong Kong
New kid on the block
Matsuzakaya spearheaded the wave of Japanese stores in Causeway Bay, reinvigorating the district’s trendy image and shaping it into what is today. SOGO, a relative latecomer in 1985, is the only one of the four that’s still there. When the Japanese SOGO got in financial trouble in the 1990s, the local operation was sold to two local billionaires, who took the company public and expanded it into its current form.
In their heydays, the four Japanese stores - Daimaru, SOGO, Mitsukoshi and Matsuzakaya - had a combined retail space of 500,000 square feet. They turned Causeway Bay into a 'little Japan' and simultaneously made it Hong Kong’s most important shopping destination. Today, SOGO is still popular and a true centre of Japanese culture. Other tenants of the building include the Hong Kong Japanese Club and the Hong Kong Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
SOGO is synonymous with Causeway Bay. The department store even has its own MTR exit and is a popular meeting point. It is one of the places that define the geography of Causeway Bay.