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I will spell out how to enjoy walking.

Sometimes Even Dads Want to Feel That Youthful Buzz

Shinji Mochida


Ginza is known as a neighborhood for grownups. For me, it’s the home of the publishing company Shufu to Seikatsu Sha, the company where I worked after graduating. (The company’s offices are actually closer to Kyobashi, one station away from Ginza, but I used to say Ginza back then to impress people. I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for stretching the truth in my youth…) In any case, Ginza is the location of many of my memories from my 20s. This marks my second visit to the area’s new landmark, GINZA SIX, since it opened. As I stroll around nonchalantly, I recall a sense of feverishness from those days, a time when I rushed from one thing to the next. What a delight shopping can be! How embarrassed I am of all the things I don’t know about! Now, a father on the cusp of my mid-30s, I realize that vividness has become unfamiliar. A heart-pounding excitement that reminds me of my youthful self returns as I visit three stores I’m interested in.

My first stop is Herno, an Italian luxury outerwear brand celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The stylish, innovative window and displays are based on the same design concept as the main store in Milan.

I want to try on items in the LEGEND series, a new collection for this season described as “condensing into a single collection a legendary line of outerwear that has accumulated the patina of eternal renown.” The design is a duffle coat, one of the brand’s standards. It features an appealing combination of lightweight matte finish nylon and premium goose down. I find myself drifting off as I wonder if this will look cool enough to make me a superhero among my son’s playmates at nursery school when I go pick him up with this jacket on…! (110,000 yen; all prices listed before tax). Son, I can only ask you to forgive your dad for being so simple-minded…

As one might expect from an outdoor brand with a history going back some 70 years, the lineup is varied. From all the different collections, I’m looking for something that’s a perfect fit for both mind and body. I find I can’t decide. “This one’s nice, but so is that one…” I’m engrossed. I’m struck by the visceral joy of shopping in this way.

The next store on my list is 999.9—“Four Nines”—one of Japan’s finest eyewear brands. I myself wear glasses from this store. I love the way they fit. They’re so comfortable I often doze off wearing them when I’m up late at night working. Ignoring the stress placed on the glasses themselves during sleep, it’s a sign they offer true stress-free comfort.

As I examine an array of the eyewear on display, I realize I might find myself playing with my son under the harsh rays of the summer sun with some sunglasses on. With this in mind, I choose one pair from the brand’s “999.9 feelsun” range.

I try them on, and that settles the matter. I fall in love at first sight with the matte black frame on a pair of Boston-style sunglasses in a range called the F-05SP (33,000 yen). The Boston style is in vogue right now, and I believe they’ll go well with casual attire. Right then and there, I decide to buy them. Besides the reverse-R hinges, a signature feature of 999.9 that ensures comfort, the nose pads and temple tips can be adjusted by the wearer. For me, these are decisive factors. (Fair warning—the comfort of this company’s eyewear is such that once you try on a model of a design you admire, you’ll find yourself unable to resist the impulse to buy them.) My eyesight is really bad, so while I’m there, I also ask them to make me some prescription lenses. I guess I’ll be going to the park more often on days off I spend with my son.

I apologize for the quality of this photo. What the staff is doing here is measuring the position of my irises while I’m wearing the glasses. This data is used to make the lenses. In all the time I’ve worn glasses, this is my first experience with such minute adjustments. I’ve included this picture to convey how impressed I was with this.

I’m now coming to the end of my stroll around GINZA SIX. Finding myself in the mood for some elegance, I step into Yamada Heiando Lacquerware, a brand that marks its centennial next year. It’s not the largest space, but the numerous, beautiful, and carefully arranged pieces somehow purify the mind.

This is a tin-lacquered soup bowl (18,000 yen for a pair that also includes a red one), the inspired creation of a young craftsperson. Each one is carved out of natural wood, then coated with a mixture of tin and highly transparent lacquer, creating a distinctive texture. Perhaps because it reflects the tastes of young people, it has a somewhat modern feel. I think it would go well with Western crockery. It feels wonderful in the hands. I find myself drifting away once again as I imagine the delights of drinking miso soup from this vessel each morning.

This was my main reason for visiting the store today—a white-lacquered plate available only in the summer (6,000 yen). Apparently, this shade of beige, which is especially refreshing to the eye, is made by adding a white pigment to lacquer-tree sap. It’s a concern that rarely came to me in my frenetic 20s. But since becoming a father, I’ve wanted more and more to enjoy each of the seasons with my family, a feeling as undeniable as it is (for me) out of character.

Getting married, choosing an independent course of career, and having a child…alongside growing responsibilities, I’ve become a bit more cautious and conservative. Take t-shirts, for example. I always buy the same brand. This doesn’t really bother me, but do you ever miss that youthful buzz inspired by something new and unexpected? GINZA SIX is filled with encounters that inspire that sense of heart-pounding excitement, stimulating a desire for both products and knowledge. As I head home with a spring in my step, my mind swirls with the sensation that GINZA SIX is something like a time machine for grownups, one that takes this dad back to a time when he felt like a mischievous little boy.

Text: Shinji Mochida photos: Toshiyuki Tamai Edit: Yuka Okada


Shinji Mochida

After serving as editor of LEON magazine, Shinji Mochida became a freelance editor and writer in 2016. Currently involved in a wide range of genres and media types, he produces advertisements, catalogs, web content, and movies as well as writing for men’s magazines.



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