It is the biggest mall I haver visited. There is a shuttle bus between the head and the tail of the buildings. Technically, it is outside of Tokyo, as its location is within Saitama prefecture, and it is not a “beauty” in strict sense. (I mean how can an oil tanker be a beauty, it just carries goods)… More over are two shopping malls and one outlet bonded together with bridges over the main road.
They present also themselves into an unified concept since you arrive there. One is called Forest, Wind and ….they forgot to call the Outlet in a proper way, it is just Outlet.
Totally they cover 220,000 sqm than there is more, the artificial lake of 400,000 square metres that embellishes the window`s view and gives the proper name to the “town”.
The whole was planned by a giant retailer chain called Aeon, through an agency, indeed the center is called Aeon Laketown.
It is worthy to point out that Lake Town also features Japan’s first consumer-ready charging station for electric vehicles.
It has been open at least from 2009. I imagine not all of 556 shops opened the same day…
This blog call the new open at the beginning of October 2008.
the Wind (Kaze) and teh Forest (Mori) has its design from Oobayashi Architecture Office..
The outlet is apparently younger, this Aeon document (pdf )says 2011, and it is feasible since its design is more a pathway than one piece.
It is composed by three independent branches called 1st, 2nd and 3rd Avanues, thatare joining the Mori and the Kaze together in an alternative way.
Here the wikipedia voice dedicated to Laketown.
Here some nice pictures from the Taisei Corporation who took care of the lighting project for 2011 Christmas I guess.
Here a blog of an enthusiastic neighbourood with a video. He claims that is the biggest mal in Japan.