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Ginza and the New Normal Ginza and the New Normal
GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.100
It has been 23 years since I went to Ginza. That said (Magazine House) is a Kogiri town that crosses Mihara Bridge over the Sanjuma Horikawa River. For my 45-year-old myself, Ginza, the 23rd year, that is, half of my age goes to this city, so at last I feel like saying, "Ginza is a city with a connection to me." But it may still be early. In the magazine house, "Hanako" is a magazine that is more closely related to the city of Ginza, and has created a special feature on Ginza nearly 80 times in 32 years. Even though it was monthly, it is still twice a year. That's why I was able to get acquainted with people in Ginza by moving to Hanako, and I also participated in festivals. Well, after all, I can say a little louder, "Ginza is my city," and I can't say it. Ginza is a special and special city.
This time, I wanted to visit three new open stores to receive this interview. It's really special to open a shop in the first place in Ginza. But the appearance of Ginza, which they envisioned, may not be here now of the Corona disaster. It may be quite uneasy. Hey, you must be thinking that it's a big Ginza. That's why I wanted to meet and have fun talking with those three people as an editor who works in Ginza and continues to introduce the charm of Ginza.
The first house headed for "Kumamoto Akaushi Shabu Shabu koubai. The 13th floor of GINZA SIX is a floor with wonderful shops. Here, they eat shabu-shabu with Aka beef "Kosei beef" grown in Aso. Aso is one of the most favorite places in Japan. Expectations are growing because you can enjoy the red beef grown in that magnificent nature in Ginza.
Today's course is “Rin” (18,000 yen * All + tax price). The first thing that came out was four appetizers. From the upper left, clockwise, simmered Godofu, Aka beef, low-temperature cooking of taguri-yuba and Aka beef.
Above all, Saga's local food and godofu are rich in taste. Homemade tofu made by mixing soy milk and Yoshino kudzu. "It's hard to knead. It takes a lot of time," says Ueda, a landlady.
The following meat sushi is said to change the part used every time, but this time it is Zabton. Powdered with Marudon salt and roasted sea urchin. It's 13F!
Finally, the appearance of Shabushabu. In today's course, you can get triangular roses, tans, special carbie, Zabton, ribose, sirloin, ichibo and mystery. The meat will be sliced after it is ordered.
Why are you falcony in front of the meat? In the past, when I made a special feature on meat when I was enrolled in "BRUTUS", I wrote the heading "Delicious meat is social." People gather around the meat. "Meet Around Meat" (a little embarrassing looking back). I can't talk to the landlady. I like meat, right?
And what to hide (although not hidden) I am a fundamentalist. It's very noisy to everyone. To be honest, I'm more worried than meat. However, I was surprised to see the sesame who came out later. What's this groan? Who's shining!
Make homemade sesame seeds that appear in the form of dumplings while breaking them according to your preference. Even so, it's a wonderful taste.…I'm sorry. I can go to sake with only this sesame as a snack. I'd like to let you go.
A hot pot with a deeper taste by adding Tokushima's Shiitake Samurai to Rishiri's kelp soup, and slowly shabu-shabu over low heat. The reason for boiling is that the taste escapes. Shabushabu Shabu Shabu Shabu Shabu Shabu Shabu Shabu Shabu. Relax and relax.
The story of Ginza is about Aso. The story of the landlady was also fun, and I completely settled down. In such a situation, if there is a convenient private room like this time, you can eat slowly with nearby people, so the range of options will be expanded. This time, I promised to return to my private house and went underground.
It was Bicerin (Bicerin, the oldest café in Turin, Italy, stopped by on the B2F. It is a legendary cafe founded in 1763. Speaking of a long-established Italian cafe, Milan is also famous for its "CaféCova Milano", which was founded in 1817 in Montenapoleone, but in fact both are in GINZA SIX. Is Ginbra also very rare here?
Bicerin (1,000 yen) of signal drink with the feeling of after shabu-shabu's dolce. This chocolate drink, which means "small glass" in the trino dialect, is tilted and drunk without breaking the beautiful layer of hot chocolate, espresso and fresh cream. He said he loved Hemingway because the recipes and temperature were strictly determined. As an aside, Hemingway, Shotaro Ikenami, and Jurikomend Itami are kirawords for approximate male editors. Fufu.
When I enjoyed myself without stirring my Bicerin, and when she enjoyed it alone, suddenly noticed that Kitty was sitting next to her. Unu, Kitty? Why? ? ?
Actually, Kitty-chan was impressed by Bicerin's deliciousness when he went to Torino, and he was currently training. He said he was sitting in the middle to cooperate with the social distance in the store. I have a close feeling because I'm the same age as Kitty. From the feeling of a male magazine to the feeling of a female magazine, the feeling is completely reversed. Kitty, I'll try a collaboration menu next time!
As soon as we return to the editorial department, we will visit Basho-do (BASHODO) on the B2F to buy souvenirs for all the members. This was founded in 1868, that is, in 1868. He has been doing business for a long time as a mochi shop, and has been working on making bracken mochi for about 80 years.
There is a space for demonstration sales in one corner of the store. I heard that the current president held events at department stores around the country from Hokkaido to Okinawa, and gained popularity in this demonstration sale. Puni-no-warabi mochi and matcha are mixed.…and cut it quickly. No, it's not an ASMR. But anyway, the feeling when cutting the bracken mochi, the pleasant feeling of peeking!
…When I noticed, I looked at it unintentionally. Excuse me, sir. If you hear the secrets of Puni, you want to cook them in a copper kettle that is difficult to handle and cook them, and just eat them in a soft state that is freshly cooked.
If you are looking at the show window, this kind of product is also available. Purupuru using bracken mochi is different. "Warabi mochi bun" (from 232 yen per piece), which is wrapped with koshi bean paste and white bean paste, as well as Hojicha latte bean paste and mango bean paste. The female members seem to be good at uke, and this will also be with Warabi mochi.
A young staff member told me what this means when I wrote it on the whiteboard. I buy a lot of souvenirs for my uncle's term. Well, warabi mochi is a drink, so young people. I wonder if it will be in time for the three o'clock snack.
Even so, I remember the impact of GINZA SIX because it is a city I go to every day. GINZA SIX, which appeared as a shiny new model while observing the Ginza Rule, while personally thinking that there is only Wako in Ginza that looks natural and symbolic building. In the 1st floor part, the continuity of Ginza-like road shops, the part where you can feel the zigzag alley of the passage inside the floor, or the presence that has not been in this city until you respect Ginza and update Ginza, I felt that this was built to preserve Ginza for a long time. By the time I became a grandfather, Wako and GINZA SIX would be flat for young people, and it would surely be in an era when I felt that it was a cool building in Ginza for a long time. I want it to be.
It's been a long time since there were fewer people in Ginza. What a New Normal? Both commercial facilities and magazines are as urgent as they are. It's a non-easy job. But the New Normal is constantly overwritten. In our lives, entertainment is absolutely necessary, so we have to believe in it and read the wind of an era where we can't see the future.
And I would like to support these three houses that came to GINZA SIX at this timing. I have heard such words that the appeal of large cities will be reduced and the appeal of the region will increase, but I feel that the appeal of Ginza will not decrease. It's because Ginza is not just an attractive city because it's a big city, but a rare city where you can see the faces of people running shops despite the size of the city. I want to eat that dish, want to put myself in that space, and see his face. We want to spend not only greedy consumption but also a rich time, so we put ourselves in the city. Ginza is such a city, and I hope that GINZA SIX will continue to do so.
Text: Rotajima Photos: Yuichisugita Edit: Yuka Okada (81)
■1976, 2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO L611995
I’ve been commuting to Ginza for 23 years. Well, not precisely Ginza: Magazine House is in the Kobikicho district, across Mihara Bridge, under which the now-buried Sanjikken canal once flowed. I’m 45 now. This is my 23rd year in Ginza, which means I’ve been coming to the district for half my life. I’m finally starting to feel I may have a special connection to Ginza, though perhaps it remains presumptuously soon to say such a thing. Within Magazine House, Hanako has even deeper ties to Ginza, having run nearly 80 features on the district in the course of its 32 years. Since becoming a monthly, Hanako still features Ginza twice a year. So, ever since my transfer to Hanako, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know numerous Ginza locals. I’ve even participated in community festivals. Perhaps I’m entitled to say, with more decision in my voice, “Ginza is my town!” Or maybe not quite yet. I believe Ginza is just that special a place.
On taking this assignment, I said I wanted to go to three establishments that opened recently. Opening a store or restaurant in prime Ginza real estate is something special. Nevertheless, in the coronavirus age, is the picture of Ginza the owners of these three establishments once had in their minds still true? They themselves may be wondering if Ginza is OK. And that’s why, as an editor who works in and regularly features Ginza, I wanted to meet and talk to people from these three new places.
I went first to Kumamoto Akaushi Shabu-Shabu Koubai on the 13th floor. The 13th floor is a GINZA SIX hideaway filled with great establishments. Here you can enjoy shabu-shabu with Akaushi Kouseigyu beef from Aso, one of my favorite places in Japan. Akaushi beef from cattle raised in a magnificent natural setting—I’m getting pretty excited.
Today I’ll have the Rin course (18,000 yen; all prices listed before tax). First up are four appetizers: clockwise from top left, godofu, stewed Akaushi beef, taguri yuba, and Akaushi beef cooked at low temperature.
The local Saga godofu in particular, homemade tofu made by kneading soy milk and hon-kudzu from Yoshino, is especially savory. “The kneading process takes quite a bit of work,” Ms Ueda, the restaurant’s proprietress tells me.
Next is meat sushi. The cut served changes each time. This time it’s chuck flap. Add Maldon salt and powdered roasted sea urchin to taste. And it’s just as one would expect for the 13th floor!
And now, yes, the shabu-shabu has arrived. Today’s course is chuck short rib, tongue, ribeye lip, chuck flap, rib roast, sirloin, top sirloin cap, and top blade. The meat is sliced after you place your order.
Why am I grinning here? Way back when, when I was at BRUTUS, we did a meat feature with the title “Meet around Meat” (which sounds a bit embarrassing now), meaning that meat is social, that people congregate around it. My talk with Ms Ueda is warming up. “You look like you love meat.” “Don’t we both?”
I’m not trying to hide anything (and I’m not), but I’m a fundamentalist about sesame seed sauce. I make a pretty big fuss about it. To be honest, I’m often more interested in the sesame seed sauce than the meat. But, taking in the sauce that’s arrived, I’m amazed. This sauce! This glorious sesame seed sauce!
The restaurant’s own sesame paste is presented as something like a dumpling, to be broken apart as you wish, essentially allowing you to make your own sesame dipping sauce. The flavor is magnificent. The sesame paste alone could probably be paired with sake—altogether a course of action worth taking.
Shiitake samurai mushrooms from Tokushima further enrich the flavor of the Rishiri kombu dashi in the pot, wherein one slowly swishes the meat, shabu-shabu style, through the low temperature broth. This is because if the broth were brought to a boil, God forbid, the savor would simply take its leave. Swish-swish, shabu-shabu, swish-swish, shabu-shabu, slowly, leisurely, chill.
The talk turns to Aso, to Ginza. Ms Ueda is a pleasing conversationalist; I’m completely settled in now. Times being what they are, it’s nice to have the option of a private room into which one can settle, as I’ve done today, a place where one can come to have a leisurely dinner with a friend or close acquaintances. I promise to come again on my own time, then make my way belowground.
Now standing on the second belowground floor, I stop by Bicerin, named for the oldest café in Turin, Italy, a legend founded way back in 1763. The famous Café Cova Milano is another of Italy’s venerable cafés, this one founded in 1817 and located in Milan on the upscale Via Monte Napoleone shopping thoroughfare. Actually, they’re both here at GINZA SIX, so the one will have to pardon me for opting for the other. Not such a rare occurrence at GINZA SIX, I imagine.
I’m in a dolce mood after shabu-shabu and order the café’s signature bicerin (1,000 yen), a chocolate drink that means small glass in the Turin dialect. You drink it by tilting the glass to your mouth without disturbing the lovely layers of hot chocolate, espresso, and fresh cream. The recipe and temperature are rigorously controlled. Hemingway is said to have loved it. As an aside, I’d hazard that recommendations from Ernest Hemingway, Shotaro Ikenami, or Juzo Itami are clinchers for just about any male editor.
As I’m enjoying my bicerin alone, not stirring it with a certain panache, I suddenly notice Hello Kitty sitting next to me. What? Kitty? How?
Actually, Kitty was so moved by the taste of bicerin when she visited Turin, she’s now in training, I’m told. She’s sitting there in the middle between the seats to help in the café’s social distancing efforts. Compatriots of the same age, we share a sense of affinity. I’ve been wrapped up in men’s magazine mode for a bit, but now I’m back in Hanako lane. Well, Kitty, I think next time I’ll have something off a special Hello Kitty collaborative menu.
In no time at all the time has come to head back to the office. I’m thinking of buying our editorial staff a little souvenir, so I’m off to Bashodo, also located here on the second belowground floor. Founded back in 1868, it’s sold mochi rice cakes forever—it began making its trademark warabimochi some 80 years ago.
There’s a demonstration space in the corner of the store. When I inquire, I’m told the current president hosts events at department stores around the country, from Hokkaido to Okinawa, and that his sales demonstrations have become quite popular. The warabimochi of just this squishy-squishy consistency, the powdery matcha, and the cut, cut, cut, cutting. Actually, strictly speaking, in ASMR terms, it doesn’t sound like cut, cut, cut. But, at any rate, the sensation of warabimochi being cut is a thrill.
I find myself, without thinking, gazing, gazing, gazing from the front row. My apologies. I inquire into the secrets of the wondrous consistency. I’m told the warabimochi is prepared over direct heat in copper pots, which are somewhat difficult to handle, and that the proprietors are anxious that we enjoy the fresh warabimochi at its softest.
I look into the showcase and see these as well. These Warabimochi Manju (from 232 yen each), with fillings including smooth sweet bean paste (anko), white bean paste, roasted green tea latte-flavored bean paste and mango-flavored bean paste, surrounded by dough made from warabimochi that is jiggly-jiggly (differing from squishy-squishy, to be sure). I believe this is something the women editors at the office would like. I get some, along with the warabimochi.
I wrote on the whiteboard that I was going out a bit (the actual term I used puzzled some of the younger staff; it must be a middle-aged male thing), and I ended up buying all sorts of souvenirs and gifts. But, my dear younger colleagues, warabimochi is to be regarded as something like a drink! Hopefully I’ll make it back before our 3 o’clock break.
Since I’m in Ginza every day, I remember my shock when GINZA SIX was built. Until then, I’d seen Wako as the only iconic building in Ginza. Along comes GINZA SIX, a sparkling newcomer reflecting an understanding of traditional Ginza rules.
The first floor portion maintains continuity with the very Ginza-esque storefronts at street level, the indoor passageways zig and zag like the alleyways outside—a tribute to Ginza—while updating tradition with a presence the district lacked before. I get the sense it was built to last, to be a Ginza fixture for a very long time to come. When I’m an old man, the youngsters will likely look at Wako and look at GINZA SIX and see, on equal terms, two really cool Ginza buildings that have been around a long, long time. I certainly hope so.
There are fewer people in Ginza right now, and it’s been this way for some time now. Is this really the new normal? Both retail complexes and magazines, strictly speaking, are non-essential. But the new normal gets constantly overwritten. We need diversion and brightness in our lives to live. In these unpredictable times, we have no choice but to faithfully proceed, little by little, while keeping a hopeful eye on the latest developments.
In the middle of all this, from my depths, I want to cheer on and support the three establishments I visited today at GINZA SIX. Urban areas are becoming less attractive while rural areas grow more attractive—it’s something you hear all the time these days. But I feel Ginza’s charms will never fade. The appeal of Ginza doesn’t lie in its urban character. Rather, it’s that rare neighborhood, regardless of scope or scale, where one encounters shopkeepers, their bearing and conduct, as people, openly. I want to eat that food, I want to be in this space, I want to see that face. It’s not simply about lavishly enjoying consumption. We come for the richness of the time spent here. Ginza is a rare example of this kind of space. I hope it remains so for a long, long time to come.
Text: Ro Tajima Photos: Yuichi Sugita Edit: Yuka Okada（81）
©1976, 2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L611995
Editor-in-chief of Hanako. Born in 1974. Joined Magazine House in 1997. Assigned to the editorial department of BRUTUS in 1998, becoming deputy editor-in-chief in 2010. Named editor-in-chief of Hanako in 2016, subsequently overseeing a major overhaul. Currently at work developing the Hanako brand over broad areas ranging from digital to events, reader organizations, and product development, not simply in the traditional roles of a magazine, with the mission of providing intelligent lifestyle media to working women who want to know more.GINZASIX_OFFICIAL Instagram