GINZA SIX EDITORS
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I will spell out how to enjoy walking.
GINZA SIX Is Fun Whenever GINZA SIX Is Fun Whenever
GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.73
Because I live across the Sumida River, Ginza is close to something and I often visit it regularly. There are many attractions in the city of Ginza, but I personally think it is a deep place. On the main street, there are glittering high-brand maisons lined up, and there are shops with the highest price and formal style. Ginza, which has a high threshold in a good sense, has a wide frontage, and it's fun to come here anytime.
In fact, GINZA SIX feels the same thing. The hall, where unique shops from all over the world gathered, is just like a country's sightseeing, and I feel as if I got lost in the theme park every time I went, and the feeling has been almost two years since its opening It does not change. Even if you don't have any particular purpose, going to GINZA SIX will always have something fun. This time, I visited GINZA SIX with such a feeling.
When you enter the museum and go up to the 2nd floor, you will see a space with a huge art work on display above your head. GINZA SIX has many photogenic places, but I personally like this space best. In particular, the scenery of the atrium seen from the escalator heading upstairs is exceptionally emotional. As you go up, the scenery under your eyes spreads out, and it feels like a city appears, and you will always be excited. The art work in the center seems to be replaced in about six months, and the work of Nicola Buff is currently displayed, but a new installation by Chiharu Shioda will be exhibited from February 27. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of scenery will come up.
Take the escalator to the 5th floor. I remembered that the business card holder I was using now was a little frightened, so I decided to look into "Somes Saddle". "Somes Saddle" was founded in 1964 in Utashinai City, Hokkaido, and is the only comprehensive harness manufacturer in Japan. In addition to working on saddles for top jockeys active in the world and carriages for the Imperial Household Agency, he also produces leather goods such as bags and wallets. I've been interviewing the bags here before, and I've always been worried about the thorough commitment to leather quality and the sympathy of all-handmade manufacturing without compromise.
The first thing I picked up was a business card holder of a classic series "Hanover" using leather and cord vans on horse buttocks, which are rare materials (14,000 yen * All prices below + tax price). Cordvans are weaker in water than other leathers, and there is a weak point that stains can be formed when wet, but this unique deep luster and color are attractive.
In addition to codevans, there are also items using carfs, which are high quality without any complaints. And after seeing the business card holder, check the bag. What I was worried about was the HT label “BOSTON L” (1880,000 yen), which started in 2014 with “Somes Saddle” as a designer with shoe designer Hiroshi Tsubouchi. The leather is moist and soft, and the round handle made of harness sewing machines is very durable and fits to your hands. Thick cowhide is applied to the four corners of the bottom, so it is nice that you do not have to worry more about dirt and impact. If you travel about 3 days and 2 nights, you often go out in a backpack, but as soon as you think such Boston is good.
The products of "Somess Saddle" were all good, not just a business card holder or a bag, and they seemed to want to use them for a long time. In the first place, if you take care of the leather goods properly, it will last a lifetime. I need a mind to enjoy the trend lightly, but I want to know the joy of continuing to use one thing carefully. When used, the color and luster increase, and the leather, which has its own taste as it changes over time, seems to overlap with the way of life that you should aim for in the future, and suddenly attachment comes out. In addition, the "Somes Saddle" has a generous service, not only engraving the name for free at the time of purchase, but also free oil-up, which is indispensable for leather care, in the maintenance space attached to the store. In the unlikely event that it breaks, there is a team specializing in repair, so that is also safe.
"Cybones case" followed. This shop, spun out of "Sibone" in Minami-Aoyama, has a particularly strong presence in its 4th floor where Lifestyle Shops from Sibone. We handle products that are collected from a free perspective, regardless of genre, such as the works of creators in Japan and abroad and modern Japanese manufacturing. I personally like interior goods and look into various shops, but since I like select myself, I always stop by when I come to GINZA SIX as a showcase to get hints on interiors.
"Is this kind of usage good?" "This is going to be a good accent." I went around the store while imagining such a thing. There is a gallery space in one corner of the store, which is developing a new plan about every month, but there are times when you know new writers, which is also one of the pleasures. Meet good-designed products that enhance the resolution of everyday life. Every time you visit, you have the joy of discovering new things, and you just forget the passage of time.
There was a lot I wanted, but this time I chose two. The work of Akio Torii, who runs a pottery workshop in Saitama Prefecture, is made by burning a lump of pottery in a kiln and polishing the surface (from 3,981 yen). For example, at first glance this is like a tea bottle, but there is no lid, so it is just a cylindrical porcelain, so you can use it freely as a paper weight or putting accessories and accessories. How would you use it if you were yourself? It's interesting to try out the imagination of the user beyond just functioning as a tool. It might be nice to give it as a gift.
The colorful depressions are works by Yoshinori Takemura, who has an atelier in Chiba Prefecture. There is no fixed type, and the shape and color are improvised, so each completed work has a different form and color, and each has its own charm. I want everything to tell the truth, but what I was worried about was a single-wheeled type (short peace B / 5,000 yen). What shall we decorate and where shall we put it? This time is fun to imagine a new life scene.
Finally, get off to B2F and go to the Foods floor. After that, I was going to meet someone and came to look for souvenirs to give at that time. When we meet people, we try to prepare souvenirs as much as possible. However, this souvenir is difficult. When you start thinking about quantity, price, appearance, taste, etc., there is no sharpness. So, I think that knowing good souvenirs is a barometer for adults who can do it.
"Jingoro" was recommended for such adults. "Jingoro" is the first shop in Tokyo that was founded in 1907 in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, by the long-established rice confectionery store "Nikko Jingoro Senmochi Honpo Ishidaya". It is not only a specialty but also a rice cracker. Among them, "Takumi", which is limited to GINZA SIX, has a reputation for being exquisite, and many people come to buy it.
"Takumi" is made by blending glutinous rice and glutinous rice, and has a rough chewy texture and rich flavor. There are a total of six flavors (Shio, Norishio, Nori Soy Sauce, Ebi, Sesame Miso, Ume Zarame), and the most popular is Shio (1,200 yen with 18 sheets). When you eat one mouth, the umami of sophisticated salt spreads in your mouth, no, this is more delicious than its reputation. The package is also stylish, so it is best for souvenirs.
In addition, various flavors of rice crackers are lined up in the store, and the taste you care about is sampled, so you can request a spicy curry (445 yen) yourself. Many of the curry flavors in the world are not enough, but they are quite spicy and very satisfying. In addition, from the flow of talks with the clerk, "Pakuchi" (445 yen) was also sampled. I'm not good at Parkchi, but I'm told by the store that I want those people to eat it. Yeah, I'm sure it's pacchi. But the flavor of lemon is effective, so it's not good. I might rather like this.
It is said that the store name "Jingoro" was named after the legendary master craftsman, Jingoro Saji, also known as the creator of "Nemuri Cat" in Nikko Toshogu Shrine. It is said that Jingoro left has many mysteries and was not a real person, but there are still about 100 works that he made. It's hard to keep up with this, but I'm grateful that souvenirs can be a story of a little conversation. In that respect, "Jingoro" is recommended.
Even if you come in a norp run, you will have some fun encounters and you will always be satisfied and return home. GINZA SIX is a place where you can enjoy your daily life. I think that life will definitely be richer if there is such a place. It was really nice to have the GINZA SIX.
Text: Masueuki Sawada Photos: Yuichi Sugita Edit: Yuka Okada
I live just on the other side of the Sumida River, so Ginza is close by. I’ll often go and wander around on my own time. Many things about the Ginza district are appealing, but what I like most is its inclusiveness. The main streets are decorated resplendently and lined with high-end fashion houses and stores of the highest rank, both in terms of price and status. At the same time, if you wander down one of the side streets, you’ll immediately come across tasteful establishments that have operated for a hundred years or more, along with welcoming places popular with regular folk. Alongside the glitter and high end, it is also full of stores and restaurants, which make Ginza less intimidating. The bottom line is its scope is broad, with an inclusiveness that makes Ginza a delightful place to visit whenever and for whatever reason.
I see this same quality in GINZA SIX, which features many unique stores from around the world. Visiting feels like an international tour. Each time I go, I feel the same excitement I feel when I go to a theme park. In the nearly two years since its doors opened, this excitement hasn’t waned. It’s always fun to go, even if you have no specific goal. I went and wandered GINZA SIX once again this time with that same sense of excitement.
Heading inside and up to the second floor, you come across a spacious atrium and a giant art installation overhead. GINZA SIX has many places for photos, but I like this space best. The view from the escalators to the upper floors is inspiring. As you go up, the view expands before your eyes, an entire town unfolding before you. My heart flutters no matter how many times I see it. The atrium artwork changes every half year or so, I’m told. The current work is a piece by Nicolas Buffe. A new installation by Chiharu Shiota is scheduled to go up on February 27. I look forward to seeing this new view as well.
I continue up the escalator to the fifth floor. It occurs to me, suddenly, that the business card holder I currently use is well worn, so I decide to check out SOMÈS SADDLE, an establishment founded in Utashinai, Hokkaido, in 1964. It’s the only maker of horse harnesses in Japan. The company supplies leather products such as saddles to some of the world’s top jockeys, as well as equipment for horse-drawn carriages maintained by the Imperial Household Agency. It also makes bags, wallets, and other leather goods. I did some research on the bags here once before for an article, and I was impressed by the company’s dedication to the quality of its leather and its uncompromising stance on handcrafting everything it makes. I’ve been interested in the brand ever since.
I first take a look at the brand’s standard HANOVER series business card holder (14,000 yen; all prices listed before tax), made of shell cordovan leather, a luxury equine leather made from rare material beneath the hide on the rump of a horse. Cordovan isn’t as water resistant as other leathers and can stain if it gets wet, which is the downside, but it’s deep gloss and coloring have great appeal.
Besides cordovan, some products are made with calf leather. These, too, are indisputably of the highest quality. After looking at the business card holders, I check out the bags. After signing designer Hiroshi Tsubouchi, SOMÈS SADDLE launched its HT Label in 2014. I’m especially intrigued by the BOSTON L (180,000 yen) in this series. The leather’s soft, and the rounded handles made with sewing machines used to make horse harnesses are sturdy and feel comfortable in the hand. The four bottom corners are thick cowhide leather to put to rest worries about dirt and wear. I often go on three-day/two-night trips with a backpack. I find myself thinking this Boston would also work.
SOMÈS SADDLE products, whether business card holders or bags, all have an understated refinement. They inspire you to use and maintain them for long with a special a sense of care. With proper care, leather products last a lifetime. An eye for the latest trends is commendable, but the joy of owning and cherishing something for years and years has an appeal all its own. The feel and color of a leather product deepens with use and over time. Unique qualities emerge. The article merges with the life you strive to lead, and you find yourself suddenly very attached. SOMÈS SADDLE also offers comprehensive line of services. The store will inscribe your name on a product, free of charge. The maintenance space within the store will oil the leather for you, another complimentary service that also happens to be essential to the care and maintenance of leather goods. And if something breaks, the dedicated repair team has you covered.
My next stop is CIBONE CASE, a spinoff of CIBONE in Minami Aoyama. It has a conspicuous presence, even on the fourth floor, among all the lifestyle shops. They carry all sorts of products selected without regard for category, including works by creators in Japan and abroad and products from contemporary Japanese makers. I like interior products of all kinds and tend to check out the various stores that sell these products, but the selection here is right up my alley. Whenever I come to GINZA SIX, I stop in and look at the showcases for decorative ideas.
Some of the thoughts that go flitting through my head: “Using something like that in that way, that’s sheer genius!” and “Hmmm, I bet this would make a nice accent piece.” I go around the store imagining worlds of possibilities. The store features a corner gallery with new exhibitions every month or so, a great way to discover new artists and yet another thing to look forward to. You’ll also find well designed products that pleasingly accentuate our day-to-day lives. The sheer joy of discovery every time you visit makes you lose track of time.
There’s a lot I want, but this time I choose just two. One is this work by Akio Torii (3,981 yen), who operates a ceramics studio in Saitama Prefecture. It’s made by baking a clay mass in a kiln and polishing the surface. At first glance, it looks like a tea caddy, but one lacking a lid. It’s a ceramic cylinder, to put it bluntly. You can use it as a paperweight or put it somewhere as an accessory of some sort. The uses are endless. What can I use it for? It transcends its function as a simple implement and tests the imagination of the person using it. It would make a good gift, too.
These colorful vessels are the work of Yoshinori Takemura, whose atelier is located in Chiba Prefecture. They lack a common recurring pattern to unite them. The artist’s style is to conceive forms and colors in the moment. Each and every work has a different form and color scheme, and all have their own appeal. Honestly, I want them all, but the single-flower vase (Short Piece B, 5,000 yen) is especially appealing. What should I put inside? Where should I place it? Spending time in this way imagining new possibilities for your life and living spaces is oddly delightful.
Finally I make my way down to the second belowground floor, the Food Floor. I’m planning to meet someone later. Since I habitually try to have something small for people when I meet them, I’ve come to find a little gift. But finding gifts like this is hard. If you start to think about quantity, price, appearance, flavor, and so on…the considerations can go on forever. Knowing what makes a commendable gift, I would argue, is one measure of a refined adult.
Recommended by one adult of this stripe is Jingoro. Jingoro is the first store opened in Tokyo by Ishidaya Honten, a traditional purveyor of rice crackers (senbei) established in 1907 in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture. It’s known, of course, for its rice crackers. Of these, Takumi (Meister’s Senbei), available exclusively at GINZA SIX, are touted as masterpieces. Some people, I’m told, even make special trips to GINZA SIX just for them.
They’re made from a blend of glutinous and non-glutinous rice and have a perfect crunchiness and rich flavor. Six flavors are available: salt, seaweed and salt, seaweed and soy sauce, shrimp, sesame miso, and granulated plums. Salt (1,200 yen for 18) tends to be the most popular. They’re even better than advertised—you experience a distinct, refined, salty goodness as soon as you put one in your mouth. The stylish packaging, too, helps make them the perfect small gift.
The store also displays variously flavored senbei throughout. You can try the ones that strike your fancy. Since I like spicy food, I ask for the Spicy Curry (445 yen). Most curry flavored foods out there aren’t spicy enough, but these are plenty spicy, so I’m more than satisfied. Based on their recommendation, I also try the Cilantro (445 yen). I don’t normally like cilantro, but I’m told: “It’s precisely people who don’t like cilantro who should try these.” I do, and, well…they taste a bit like cilantro. But there’s also a hint of lemon here. I don’t dislike them; I kind of like them, actually.
The store is named after Hidari Jingorō, the legendary sculptor who carved the famous sleeping cat at the Nikko Toshogu shrine. Hidari Jingorō, of course, is shrouded in mystery, and some say he wasn’t even a real person, but the name is associated with distinctive sculptures in some 100 locations around Japan. Those who openly display erudition lack sophistication, but I’m thankful to have this little bit of information to go with the gift I bought. On this point as well, I can recommend Jingoro.
Come to wander, with no particular purpose or plan. You’ll still enjoy delightful encounters and go home deeply fulfilled. For me, GINZA SIX is a place that deepens the joy of day-to-day life. Having establishments like this, I think, can only enrich one’s life. I’m glad there’s a GINZA SIX.
Text：Masayuki Sawada Photos：Yuichi Sugita Edit：Yuka Okada
Editor and writer. Born in 1975 in Saitama Prefecture. He joined an IT firm and led the corporate life after graduating from the Waseda University School of Commerce before eventually setting out to work as a freelance writer. Currently edits and writes for magazines, books, online sites, catalogs and more, with a special focus on interviews with individuals active across a broad range of fields.GINZASIX_OFFICIAL Instagram