GINZA SIX EDITORS
Fashion, jewelry & watch, lifestyle, beauty, foods…
Unique editors who are familiar with each genre GINZA SIX aimlessly
We spell way of enjoying that we found on foot.
We sense "taking a lesson from the past" bodily in GINZA SIX Learning from the Old to Create the New at GINZA SIX
Ginza Six Editors Vol.78
"Ginza has everything". Certain Kabuki actor who reported approximately 20 years ago told. From "store specializing in tabi to drapery, we will have everything from materials of everyday rice to restaurant of high quality" I who am so buy ingredients for return of coverage and choose gift for friend and family and. We go to Ginza for theatergoing and meal of day of fine weather to cafe by meeting frequently. It may be town where I who am raised in Tokyo went most to visit. Such Ginza visiting a shrine increased pleasant place newly. "GINZA SIX." Shop of a little over 240 which was full of variety as if we condensed town called Ginza enters. Because is meeting today from the afternoon, on around the daytime aimlessly to GINZA SIX. At first, for journalist of meal, we check restaurant and cafe. Oh, is it good to next meeting here?
At first it is cafe of "Nakamura wisteria 𠮷 Main Store" of 4F that entered. It is store specializing in Uji tea founded in Kyoto, Uji in 1854 (Ansei 1). We advocate "tea smoke one day incense" given by Kaishu Katsu in family precepts and give to His Majesty the Emperor tea. We have tea signature than tea ceremony head master of a school and are long-established store which moved forward solely for tea business. It is this shop that made epoch-making product which put Matcha together to ganache which has begun to be popular at the time of approximately 20 years ago. Well, to seat at a table by the window. We can look down at Azuma street where stone pavement leads to. There is my favorite shop on street approximately only 100m, and cityscape feeling history of Ginza continues. That the tea ceremony is enacted while looking at here. It is little-known spot of Ginza.
Set of tea is placed in table. "It is today's tea". Oh, to be able to have various tea every day in rotation. Today representative brand "Nakamura tea" of Nakamura wisteria 𠮷 Main Store. We blend sencha and seven kinds of tea including Gyokuro. Oh, yes, we call that we blend tea "gokumi" (gogumi) in the tea industry.
Now is morning. There was taste like Kyoto and wanted to eat when we read menu. "Herring Cha-soba" (price all as follows tax-excluded 1,204 yen ※). On the Cha-soba which we kneaded Matcha into, herring cooked softly lightly indulgently appears. Flavor of soup stock touches body. Pickle of attached "Murakamiju Honten" is good to cleanse the palate. Mmm. We can eat such a taste only in Kyoto. "It is limitation in autumn in another store, but gives all year in Ginza including Uji Head Office" if I hear. Soba Kansai-style in in Tokyo and Ginza is rare. Sweets are famous, but I will measure up for this from now on here.
But it is parfait that after all eyes have been nailed. Crest expressing name "circle" on the done fresh cream is Matcha, and whip is beautiful and is described. Matcha chiffon cake, green tea ice cream cream, white ball dumpling, Namacha zerii, the inside put on Matcha soft serve increase texture of hail of wheat and acidity of franc Boise, kanroni of chestnut and sweetness of Tamba large-grained variety of the adzuki bean and are symphony of Matcha taste. As it is modest, taste of mellow tea becomes more attractive in condition that sweetness has good. Though is after ate soba, in no time. "Circle and parfait" [Matcha] (1,297 yen)
The shop is counter and seat at a table of lateral square-U-shape. Customer of wide layer enjoyed from one to with parent and child, group. As lunch is crowded, the morning is recommended.
Tea of the truth height of "Nakamura wisteria 𠮷 Main Store" by all means! Even sweetness, taste, good sencha of Balance of distress taste, Gyokuro which seems to be deep Uji, anything including mild roasted tea are prepared. Haruna Hino of manager who coped by explanation that was full of abundant product knowledge and love to product. The courteousness is good faith itself of shop.
"Straight chakoreto" which I collected data on approximately 20 years ago (1,200 yen). We pursue genuine taste from those days and remember that we felt the well-established real ability very much. Playful naming letting you assume medicine is good. Including "Namacha zerii so popular that there are always lines," a lot of popular articles including Matcha cheesecake with Matcha castella, astringent juice chestnut are appearing now.
For act to pass through large noren which expressed well-established personality, tension rises.
4F with "Nakamura wisteria 𠮷 Main Store" has fashion and shop of lifestyle, too. When hang around, favorite "Helen Kaminski." When we went to Australia by work 10 several years ago, we buy hat in local shop and still use habitually. Because Helen Mary Kaminski of the founder protects own children from scorching sunlight of Australia, is it with opening that we handcrafted Raffia hat in 1983?
We are worried about wide thing of purimu (saliva) recently as we begin to keep dog and were looking for hat for walk. What liked "Acheron" (38,000 yen). It is band of leather in classic form.
As for "Sisley" (38,000 yen), design performed knitting by hand of is individual. All the hats are particular about natural material and are made. It is Raffia that it is used for this hat. We bought best Raffia and seemed to arrive at product in Madagascar. It is taste only by genuine article that changes color after year.
Time when summer Collection is assembling in full force now in this spring. As for the thing of tone that color has abundant things forming a line this time, and is light. Hue that is this graige is refined. Sun visor cap "Kirsten" (21,000 yen) is popular item of these past several years. Basic goods "Provence12" of photograph lower as for the one which I came to want most (30,000 yen). We have the narrow same thing of purimu, but are item which is indispensable to trip as we wind and can receive. This of purimu is wide. It is convenient we put up purimu and lower, and to be able to make form at will.
We were taught care method in shop. We can repair by oneself if we make model break if we put steam and have you repair even shop. Neoprene belt attached inward is interchangeable (pay). Warm service supports old-line company of hat.
Let's buy present soon in basement if we choose hat. It is foods area of B2F visited many times. In fact, shop "ginza Kyoka moon in the water" of karinto noticed that it was new brand of long-established store karinto specialty store "Flowers bloom beautifully and the moon shines bright" of my favorite Yushima. Always dark at the foot of the lighthouse! Karinto of shop which continued eating as for the several decades with the Ginza first to go out shop. You must buy this!
Three kinds of products of new brand. "ama" which covered dough which we kneaded amazake into from this side with domestic soybean flour. "Amber" which added sticky rice to wheat flour, and finished mild texture quickly, and hung candy, and did (the inside). It is size that it is small and is easy to eat. "Mayuzumi" who mixed with candy with black sesame as pasty. Conventional karinto is something taste and texture all.
Assorted limitation product of the second anniversary of GINZA SIX, three kinds (1,950 yen). Illustration which Edo and modern Ginza cross gets a lot of looks. That President Tomohiro Mizoguchi of the third generation described how. For me, we want you to make constant seller not attributive quality. Ginza is treasure house of presents, but this karinto is turned on by my present pocket notebook, too!
Shop to have swung GINZA SIX for approximately two hours, but to always know all this three houses. We had old history each, but were evolved without contenting itself with the current situation. It is only long-established store behaving like "taking a lesson from the past". Right "late (fall) kio warm (tazu) and sleep new shikio two hours that know". There are all things and philosophy which is monomade in Ginza. Please look for philosophy snuggling up to you in GINZA SIX.
Text: Mika Kitamura Photos: Futoshi Osako Edit: Yuka Okada
“Ginza has everything,” remarked a Kabuki actor I interviewed around 20 years ago. “It’s got the whole lot, doesn’t it? From specialist tabi (Japanese socks) stores and kimono boutiques to places where you can buy everyday food ingredients to high-quality restaurants.” He is right. In Ginza, I buy some food on my way back from work or pick out gifts for my friends or family. I also go to Ginza frequently to attend meetings at cafés, take in plays, or dine on celebratory occasions. I grew up in Tokyo, but this may be the district I visit most. And now there’s a great new destination for me: GINZA SIX, the whole of Ginza distilled into one place containing more than 240 stores of quite remarkable variety. I have an afternoon meeting today, so around lunchtime I wander over to GINZA SIX. As a food journalist, I start by checking out the restaurants and cafés. “Oh, this place would be perfect for my next meeting,” I think.
My first stop is a café at Nakamura Tokichi Honten on the fourth floor. Specializing in Uji tea (a tea from Uji in Kyoto prefecture), it was founded in Uji in 1854, the first year of the Ansei era. The phrase Saen Eijitsu Kanbashi (aroma of tea on a long spring day), inscribed on a scroll presented as a gift from Katsu Kaishuu, was adopted as the family motto, and gifts of tea were offered to the emperor. The name of the tea blend was chosen by a tea ceremony master. The company has been in the tea business ever since. This is the same teahouse that came up with the revolutionary idea of combining matcha (powdered green tea) and ganache some 20 years ago, an innovation that quickly became popular. Today, I take a seat by the window, where I can look down on the brick-paved Azuma Street. The street is just 100 meters long or so, but it has a shop I like and an atmosphere that evokes the history of Ginza. This place is one of the best-kept secrets for teatime in Ginza.
There’s a tea set on the table. “This is the tea of the day,” I’m told. You can try various teas that change each day. Today’s is Nakamura-cha, the representative brand sold by Nakamura Tokichi Honten, a blend of seven types of medium- and high-grade tea. In the world of tea, the term gogumi describes the blending of tea.
It’s just before lunchtime. Looking at the menu, I decide I feel like eating something with a Kyoto flavor. I choose Pacific herring with matcha soba (1,204 yen; all prices listed before tax). Matcha is kneaded into the soba flour. The dish also features slightly sweet and tender simmered Pacific herring. The flavor of the dashi seeps deep into the body. Served as a side dish, the Murakamijyu Honten pickles are great for cleansing your palate. These are flavors you would normally encounter only in Kyoto. At all the other branches, including the main store in Uji, the server says, the dish is only offered in the autumn. Here at Ginza, it’s served year round. In Tokyo, and especially in Ginza, Kansai-style soba is rare. The restaurant is also renowned for its desserts, but this very soba will set it apart as a café I plan to return to in the future.
Still, what ends up catching my eye is the parfait. It’s topped with fresh whipped cream, on top of which the teahouse emblem, a cross inside a circle, is beautifully drawn with matcha. The parfait contains layers of matcha chiffon cake, matcha ice cream, Shiratama dango (sweet rice dumplings), namacha (freshly picked tea leaves) jelly, and matcha soft serve ice cream. There’s also crunchy wheat arare (bite-sized crackers) and raspberries, as well as candied chestnuts and Tanba Dainagon azuki beans, all of it building to a tea-flavored symphony. The sweetness is just right and the flavors subtle: the mellow deliciousness of the tea stands out. Even though I’ve just had soba, I find myself gulping it down. (Maruto parfait [matcha]) (1,297 yen).
The interior features tables and counter seats arranged in a U. Guests included those on their own, parents with children, and groups. It gets crowded at lunchtime, so I recommend going in the morning.
You also have to try the Nakamura Tokichi Honten tea! They have every variety you can imagine. The medium-grade tea balances sweetness, richness, and bitterness. The premium tea presents the depth you associate with Uji tea. There’s also roasted tea, which has a milder flavor. All this is explained to me by Haruna Hino, the manager, who demonstrated a wealth of product knowledge and genuine affection for the products—a level of care that attests to the sincerity of the teahouse.
This is the “nama-chacolate” (the term “chacolate” coined from cha, the Japanese word for tea, and “chocolate”) (1,200 yen) I reported on 20 years ago. Right from the beginning, the goal was to achieve a singular, authentic flavor. I remember being struck by the potential of the long-established teahouse. The humorous naming of the product was also clever and made me chuckle. Nowadays the teahouse offers a range of popular products, most notably the namacha jelly, for which waiting lines form, as well as matcha castella cake and matcha cheesecake with candied chestnut.
Anticipation builds as you pull aside a large noren (curtain hung at the entrance to traditional shops in Japan) that is the hallmark of long-established shops.
The fourth floor, where Nakamura Tokichi Honten is located, is also home to fashion and lifestyle stores. Strolling around, I come across one of my favorites: Helen Kaminski. Around ten years ago, when I traveled to and from Australia for work, I bought a hat at one of the stores there. I still wear it all the time. The brand traces its roots to 1983, when founder Helen Kaminski handcrafted a raffia hat to shield her children from the searing Australian sun.
I got a pet dog recently, and I’ve been looking for a hat I can wear when I take it for walks. I’m drawn to the ones with wide brims. I soon find one I like, the Acheron (38,000 yen). It has a classic profile and a leather band.
The Sisley (38,000 yen) is unique for its handwoven pattern. All the hats are made from natural materials. This one is made of raffia. Apparently, the designer went looking for the finest raffia and settled on one made in Madagascar. As the years pass, the color may change, but this adds to the brand’s authentic character.
The brand recently launched this year’s spring/summer collection. The hats currently on display have a variety of hues; you’ll find pale tones, too. This greige shade is elegant. The Kirsten sun visor (21,000 yen) has been one of the brand’s most popular products in recent years. But the hat I want the most is the classic Provence 12 (30,000 yen) shown in the photograph below. I have the same one with a narrower brim. It can be rolled up for storage, which makes it a travel essential. This one has a wider brim, which can be turned up or down to suit the light, the elements, or the mood.
The staff presented words on proper hat care. If the hat loses its shape, you can restore it yourself by applying steam. You can also bring it in to the store, where the staff will do it for you. The neoprene band inside the hat can be replaced (for a fee). This attentive service helps explain why it’s such a long-established hat brand.
After choosing my hat, it’s time to head down to the basement to buy some presents. I go to the food area on the second belowground floor, a place I visit frequently. I realize that Ginza Kyoka Suigetsu, a karintou (fried dough cake) shop, is a new brand operated by Kagetsu, a long-established karintou shop in Yushima that I love. It’s amazing to have come all this way only to find a store, the company’s first in Ginza, selling the karintou I’ve been eating for decades. I just have to buy some!
Three types are sold under the new brand. From the front of the photograph, the first one is Ama. Amazake (sweet sake) is kneaded into the dough, which is coated with Japanese roasted soy flour. Next is Kohaku (middle), for which glutinous rice is added to wheat flour, which is then fried and glazed to create a light, crunchy texture. They’re small, convenient bite sizes. And, finally there’s Mayuzumi, for which black sesame seeds are made into a paste, which is mixed with sugar glaze. The flavor and texture of each is a slight departure from conventional karintou.
A limited-edition assortment (1,950 yen) is available to celebrate the second anniversary of GINZA SIX. It features an eye-catching illustration, apparently drawn by third-generation president Tomohiro Mizoguchi that mixes old Edo with modern Ginza. I wish it were available all the time, not just for a limited period. Ginza is a treasure trove for presents, and I’m definitely making a note of the karintou here!
I strolled around GINZA SIX for about two hours. All three stores I visited are places I knew about before. Each has a long history, but they aren’t content to rest on their laurels. Quite the opposite: they’re choosing to evolve. They’re learning from the old to create the new. Truly, it was a two-hour period in which I visited the old and became acquainted with the new. Have I mentioned that Ginza really does have everything and that palpable here are philosophies regarding how things are made? Why not come visit GINZA SIX to go looking for a philosophy that matches yours?
Text：Mika Kitamura Photos：Futoshi Osako Edit：Yuka Okada
Mika KitamuraFood journalist. After a stint working for an advertising agency, she apprenticed under food journalist Yukiko Oomoto. She’s traveled to 24 countries to sample cuisine, ranging from three-star restaurants in Europe to back alley eateries in South Korea and farmhouses in Bhutan. She writes regular columns for the Asahi Shimbun, Fujinkoron, and T JAPAN web. She also produces, edits, and writes for eclat, T JAPAN, AERA STYLE MAGAZINE, Numero TOKYO, and more. She’s produced and edited numerous recipe books, including Eight Basics of Wu Wen’s Home Cooking (Bungeishunju), with the goal of communicating the importance of home cooking.