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I will spell out how to enjoy walking.

A Special Place with the Promise of Another Hidden Stage

Katsuhiro Konishi


I worked for a long time at a publisher in Kyobashi, so Ginza was like my front yard. Work would end, and Ginza would sparkle, in particular, in the evenings of the long summer days. I remember the promise of something in the air, like a stage yet to come.

I changed jobs, so I don’t come to Ginza as often as I once did. But every time I do, I’m swept by elation. This morning, after finishing an errand, I decided to have lunch in Ginza.

As I stroll the Restaurant Floor on the sixth floor of GINZA SIX, I recall I’ve always been intrigued by TEPPANYAKI 10 GINZA, a place that seemed constantly buzzing with people. Today, I’m lucky enough to find a seat at the counter.

Seated at the counter, flames and aromas rising up before me, I choose the steak lunch, the short course, available only on weekdays. At 3,800 yen (before tax), you can dine on Saibi Beef from Hokkaido, certainly a delightful prospect. This place is one of the rare teppanyaki restaurants with a spacious, hall-like atmosphere. Plus, the prices are reasonable, which probably contributes to the restaurant’s popularity.

I order a glass of champagne and a salad as well. As I study the chef’s meticulous work before me, the bubbly quenches my thirst, and I take a bite of the salad, which leaves me refreshed, my palate clear.

Before long, the steak is brought out, pre-cut into easy-to-eat cubes. I want a glass of red wine and get one that goes perfectly with the juicy beef, which has a nice, mellow flavor.
I first try the beef with salt and pepper, then with an onion, soy sauce, and quail egg sauce, which gives the well-marbled portions of the steak a pleasing, lighter taste. The steak is 150 grams, a perfect portion for an early afternoon lunch.

Just as I finish my wine, I’m served rice and takana mustard greens.
“To finish off the meal, we recommend an ochazuke (a bowl of rice with broth poured over it) with mustard greens.”
I have the dish as recommended. Somehow, this last offering of the meal, a simple ichiban dashi made with bonito and kombu, plus rice and mustard greens, recalls the wonderful flavors of the steak.

Next, the pastry chef brings the desserts around on a cart, each an original creation of French pâtissier Alexis Paola. I asked him to select several for me. You can also have your pancakes grilled right before your eyes, if you ask. Alexis speaks Japanese quite well, and he gives his canelés and soufflés an interesting twist. I have the dessert and feel like I’ve eaten a full course for lunch.

I leave the restaurant and walk the floor in a wonderful mood.
With time remaining before an evening appointment, I head down to the Food Floor on the second belowground floor. Recalling having heard that Blue Bottle Coffee had opened, I decide to stop by. I find the simple, white-toned interior relaxing, an oasis in the city.

I order the Seasonal Blend (500 yen)—the coffee beans are ground and the coffee hand-dripped after you order—and the irresistible Liège waffles (500 yen).

The cups and plates are designed for GINZA SIX by ceramic artist Yumiko Iihoshi, each piece made by hand at her workshop in Gifu Prefecture. The heft and texture when you bring the cup to your mouth feels natural, harmonious. Today’s light-roasted Ethiopia and Kenya blend is fruity, slightly acidic, and refreshing.

I shut my eyes, lost somewhere deep in a forest amid dense-growing coffee trees. Good coffee sets your imagination soaring. It’s just after lunch, but the moderately sweet waffle is a knockout: I make short work of it.

Now, the cans of iced coffee next to the register (600 yen each) catch my eye. The design is stylish, and they’re also sold in packs of six. Presenting this coffee at a meeting would certainly perk things up. I decide to buy some as souvenirs.

Finding there’s still time before my appointment, I stay and walk around the Food Floor, one of my favorite places. Trends that start at food specialty shops tend to be a wonderful reflection of the temper of the times.
At Wine Shop Enoteca, I buy wine from time to time. The royal milk tea soft-serve ice cream and baked sweets of Parisian tea seller Betjeman & Barton—available only in Japan—are beyond compare.
Ehime’s 10FACTORY offers a lineup of products featuring a variety of mikan oranges straight from the orchards; you can drink a mikan beer right in the store. Shoubunsu Vinegar Brewery, long standing for more than 300 years in Fukuoka Prefecture, offers a wonderful selection of mellow vinegars and vinegar products. KUROGI CHACHA provides the ultimate in light fare and sweets made with Fukujuen tea. The list goes on. I continue walking and come to a stop at Imadeya Ginza.
There’s a liquor store here with a pub inside?
The menu presents a striking lineup, from natural wine to great craft beers. The prices are reasonable. Here you can stand and drink a rare and grand Kikuhime 10 years old. I decide to have a glass.
I find I’m having trouble extracting myself from the GINZA SIX labyrinth of fascinations.

In light of my evening rendezvous, I decide to bring dessert from the Minamikaze Noukasha Dessert House. Here, you can purchase an original cake made with ingredients such as sweet potatoes and herbs grown on Osumi Peninsula, first created in a collaboration between Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) Pâtissier Confiseur David Wesmaël and owner-pâtissier Hiroharu Gohara to mark the opening of the GINZA SIX store.

The naturally sweet potatoes are the best.
The colorful cakes made with three potatoes, each a different color, are delicious and pleasing to the eye. They’d make delightful gifts, especially, perhaps, for occasions with women in attendance.

Murasaki-imo (purple sweet potatoes) Chocolate Berry, Ougon-imo (golden sweet potatoes) Almond Caramel, and Beni-imo (red sweet potatoes) Orange Cointreau—they’re called ice cakes, although they don’t melt. They’re frozen as soon as they’re made for a fresh, French-style take on the natural bounty of Osumi Peninsula you can enjoy at home.

I choose the three-cake set (1,070 yen) gift-wrapped in numbers matching the number of people I expect to meet. When I finally head out, the sun has sunk, the sky is wine red, and the lights have come on in Ginza. A breeze is blowing—it feels like fall.

Perhaps another stage awaits ahead. I remember my old self.

Text:Katsuhiro Konishi Photos:Kanako Noguchi Edit:Yuka Okada(edit81)


Katsuhiro Konishi

Editor-in-Chief of Hitosara. Departed for Europe after graduating university, traveling and dining in some 100 countries between the North and South Poles. Following a stint at K.K. Kyodo News, he contributed to the inaugural issue of GQ at publisher Chuokoron-Shinsha. Prior to his current position, he served as editor-in-chief at the launch of two magazines and as advisor to an IT firm.



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