The End of Shirokiya at Ala Moana Center

August 29: Hawaii Files Photo of the Day

One of the unfortunate victims of the COVID-19 pandemic,  Shirokiya Japan Village Walk in Ala Moana Center is officially done as the center has taken over the property and covered up the previously lit, but abandoned eatery that was embroiled in a lengthy legal mess. The bustling Village Walk eatery was closed by executive order more than two years ago when Governor David Ige exercised emergency orders that closed nearly all restaurants in the entire state due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shirokiya also operated the high end Vintage Cave restaurant which also closed during to the pandemic. The space was taken over last year by Ala Moana and will soon become the new location for Nijiya Market.
I ate a few times at the Japan Village Walk, sampling different types of food over the few years they were in operation. I also was lucky enough to have lunch one time at the Vintage Cave restaurant.
The photos on this page were taken by me between 2016 and 2022. Cameras used included the Google Pixel 4a smartphone and Canon Digital Rebel 600D SLR.
The Japan Village Walk sign from Shirokiya
Taken shortly after the place opened in its Ewa location of Ala Moana Center in 2016. Shirokiya had its origins in ancient Japan, having been founded in 1662 according to the sign.

Not too long ago this place was quite popular, though somewhat pricey, with a lot of vendors selling food and other goods. Shirokiya was once a department store of sorts specializing in products from Japan. They were an original tenant of Ala Moana Center and had previously occupied space on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the mall level near Macy’s/former Liberty House.

Shirokiya Japan Village Walk

Japan Village Walk was in operation from 2016 to March 2020. Government mandated closures due to COVID-19 forced Shirokiya to go out of business.

Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
The Buddah will be gone, if not already.
Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
Lots of pricey but good food was on offer at the former Shirokiya Japan Village Walk restaurant complex. This photo was taken in 2016.
Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
Between 2016 and early 2020, this was a popular place to eat Japanese food.
The End of Shirokiya
The high end Vintage Cave restaurant was also a Shirokiya owned property that was forced to close by government orders due to COVID-19.
The End of Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
The shuttered property had its lights on from the time of closure in March 2020 to August 2022.

The place was out of operation from March 2020 onward. Most of the time up to this month, the lights were on and the tables and chairs stacked up as shown.

The End of Shirokiya
The shuttered property had its lights on from the time of closure in March 2020 to August 2022.
Shirokiya was shuttered from March 2020
Shirokiya was shuttered from March 2020 to August 2022, with the lights on. Last week, the whole place went dark after the windows were covered up by Ala Moana Center, the property owner.
Shirokiya officially closed
Blue patterned paper now covers all of the windows at the former Shirokiya Japan Village Walk site. The place has been closed since 2020, mired in litigation for non-payment of back rent. The closure was forced upon by the State Government’s emergency orders regarding COVID-19.

Ala Moana Center would probably like everyone to quickly forget businesses that are closed. They pretty much wallpaper up those commercial spaces and hope to get replacement tenants soon.


Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.