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.
An Encounter at GINZA SIX with the Tiny House Relocation Project An Encounter at GINZA SIX with the Tiny House Relocation Project
GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.105
2020 when we put an end to the long office worker life and launched digital media "ELEMINIST" to send sustainable information to as producer and chief editor and have begun to work as FREE LANCE. Arrowhead doing search for personal office, remote work became new normal (new daily life) and made work space in home.
Life to open PC in dining after having enjoyed coffee time in the morning slowly, and to change to work mode. As for the time to spare, was born as was freed from commuting life to be jolted on crowded train, but gradually border with the private life ambiguously. It was one year when we had trouble with adjustment of work-life balance.
Acquaintances after starting Tokyo and two local base life increase day by day and realize that paradigm shift is taking place. We are not thinking while expecting, "renovation article with field may come out to Tokyo sometime soon" to emigrate immediately. But we want to prepare for living for disaster and climate crisis.
To look for sustainable living that matched style in the future; to "GINZA SIX." At first, we go to "Ginza TSUTAYA BOOKS" of 6F that can be also known as dictionary of my heart.
It is the most difficult to translate a certain image into language in subconsciousness. We pick up words to pursue now in bookstore and gather and, in the case of me, often expose. There is not book after something on that day and, anyway, looks at title of bookshelf.
Foot stops strangely at corner of interesting theme. Building corner of natural symbiosis type that titles, "living in hut" "lived with nature" formed a line. Editing power of even TSUTAYA BOOKS. We got desired book on that day.
It "is Small ECO Houses that met – Building book (it has been last one book by reference product handling) which gathered up small eco-houses called Living Green in Style of the world.
If opening-like residential space that lost Nature and boundary line of house is built in forest, it will be how wonderful. It is one that transformation from sense of values that has been considered that it is rich to be surrounded by things to minimal living was expressed.
"Such "TINY HOUSE" (small house) is good if oneself emigrates". Such words floated.
We purchase "school of Spectator vol.47 soil" about "soil" (all 1,000 yen ※ lower than + tax price). We received inspiration in TSUTAYA BOOKS and decided to go to visit outdoor brand "Snow Peak Mobile" at 5F.
We have stopped in front of model which we jumped into in front for several seconds when we entered shop. In mind "This is what I want!! (as for the thing which I bought this!) "And shock as we cry run.
Model of world-famous building designer Kengo Kuma and mobile house called "house box" (jubako) which "Snow Peak" developed jointly (4,000,000 yen ...) where Japan is proud of this. Living in "TINY HOUSE" takes on third dimension within a short time.
If it is necessary to make daily necessities or life miscellaneous goods even with both houses, but, in the case of two base life, customize home to trailer, this; is complete with one unit. City can say that they live by moving to local while working.
For us who are right in the middle, and live of climate crisis, it may be living that is the most minimal in ethical.
Fitting feeling that "Take! chair is long" and is wrapped up (19,800 yen) that sat down saying it was saying "naraba, furniture should be able to use outdoors and either indoor"!
We accept repair as much as possible even if damaged even if hole is vacant in "Snow Peak" which guarantees permanently, and copes of all products. We spend long time like tree and plant and connect the future. It is store snuggling up to such a living.
Having come next only in period until February 28, 2021 Shops "thing and Otho SIT BACK & RELAX" of premium design audio system at 2F. We go to look for speaker worried about for a long time.
In Swedish audio system brand "TRANSPARENT" (transparent), design such as art work is impressive, but the transparency is not only appearance.
In many electric appliances meeting life in a short term, product of "transparent" modularizes each part. We realize design that repair and parts exchange, upgrading are easily possible. Besides, we do not provide, and garbage can recycle when we become needless. We attract attention as sustainable speaker of such a circular economy type.
Series that this had collaboration with craftsman called "THE UPCRAFTED COLLECTION" of GINZA SIX-limited. The right "STONEWARE SPEAKER" (180,000 yen), the left of earthenware by Hortense Montarnal of ceramist "WOOD SPEAKER" using innocent Ashe materials by woodwork craftsman Calle Hansson (170,000 yen).
MADE TO ORDER which is made by hand of one one craftsman to prevent all production loss, and arrives from order in about three months. Time to wait impatiently "what kind of music shall we listen to?" seems to raise feeling to enjoy.
It is Yasuharu Matsuno who is sales manager of the head office which stood for waiting on customers by chance that showed willingly saying "please compare in music getting used to usually listening" on that day. It is simple function that just has pairing of smartphone in bluetooth if we switch on speaker. This seems to be usable in me who have no sense of machine immediately.
We listened to Wood, earthenware, each speaker sound. We are familiar, and a certain music feels in easy tone in some way.
We were too impressed and took package that Matsuno was made with recycled paper from backyard.
Heart is caught for direction that white cotton gloves come out to when we open cover. We hang, and sense of fun is put together with creativity and sustainability. No, hospitality, too.
Handwritten serial number by craftsman is written down at corner of box. Saying point to there, and is saying "place writing for logo of box adversely is witty"; Matsuno. With feeling that mention smile and personality, and want to hug if is not corona evil full (laugh).
With ethical consumption, do you buy “ anything? Do you buy from “ anyone almost as same as "? "Is important.
We were impressed with waiting on customers of Matsuno who spun thing by words full of love. It is the times when we can shop without depending on salesperson, but we do not often know if we do not hear in the sustainability, and there is.
There is "responsibility to be handed down" between "responsibility to make, responsibility to use" in aim 12 of SDGs. That is my ethical method to think about. We completely became fan of "thing and Otho".
"It is earthenware or, no, wants to see secular variation of Wood if we put in house box". It is addition in list of shopping of "TINY HOUSE" project. While murmuring, "wait because come to pick up again, and send" over glass, finally to "BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE" (Blue Bottle Coffee) in B2F.
"Blue Bottle Coffee" supplies sustainable coffee beans by making a contract with some farmers directly. There is not trouble to select carefully from menu desperately even if we order anything as it is ethical.
Lifestyle miscellaneous goods including eco bag and tumbler made with recycling material in shop in a row. It is recommended to selection of gift to feelings person like me.
As for "cup which washes, and is usable repeatedly ecological on holiday" (2,000 yen), degradable Bamboo Powder is made to raw materials in soil. It is sustainable product harvesting from bamboo forests growing up in sustainable regime.
I handed my cup which we brought and ordered "almond pound cake" using soy milk (400 yen) from open space breeding egg that "Oates milk caffe latte" (570 yen), animal well were fair.
Energy is filled up if we draw breath! "Well, it is place where we want to go round Round 2, but keeps for next pleasure which land shall next install house box in?" (laugh). That may be me if there is person opening map in "Blue Bottle Coffee". Please call out anytime then. Let's swell by ethical talk.
Text: Minami Fukamoto Photos: Yoshihiro Tsuruoka Edit: Yuka Okada(81)
Just last year, in 2020, I ended my long career as a company employee and embarked on a new and independent one in launching and serving as producer and editor-in-chief of ELEMINIST, a digital publication providing information on sustainable living. Just as I began looking for an office, remote work became the new normal. So I created a workspace at home.
Now, my day consists of leisurely enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning, then opening my computer at the dining room table and shifting to work mode. Freed from daily commutes on packed trains, I have more time now. But the line between work and private life has blurred. From time to time last year, it was hard to find the right work-life balance.
More and more of my friends and acquaintances have started splitting time between Tokyo and the countryside. It really does seem like a paradigm shift is underway. I keep hoping a renovation property with a vegetable patch within city limits will come onto the market. Otherwise, I have no plans to relocate anytime soon. Still, I want to prepare for a way of life more resilient to natural disasters and climate change.
So I head to GINZA SIX to look for forms of sustainable living in harmony with this emerging style. My first stop is Ginza Tsutaya Books on the sixth floor: You might call this place a dictionary of my heart.
Putting words to images in your subconscious can be really difficult. In my case, I often collect the words I’m after at the bookstore and draw on them to make these images tangible. As usual, there’s no specific book I’m looking for. I just scan the titles on the shelves.
I come to a halt at a section that exerts a strange and quiet fascination. Here the shelves are lined with books on natural living and eco-architecture, titles like Cabin Porn. The selection at Tsutaya is, as you would expect, outstanding. Today, I pick up another book I’ve wanted.
This title is Small ECO Houses – Living Green in Style. It’s an architecture book showcasing small eco-houses from around the world. (The copy I picked up was the last one which was used as a sample.)
How wonderful would it be to build an open living space in the middle of the forest without firm boundaries between nature and one’s life! This book expresses a transformation in values from wealth defined as being surrounded by stuff to something minimal.
Some words come to me: “If I relocate, let it be to a tiny house like this.”
I also buy Spectator Vol. 47: Tsuchi no Gakko (“Soil School”) (1,000 yen; all prices listed before tax). This volume is about land and soil. Taking inspiration from Tsutaya Books, I then make my way to Snow Peak Mobile, an outdoor store on the fifth floor.
At the entrance I stop for several moments in front of a model that catches my eye. Astounded, I exclaim inwardly: This, this is what I want!
It’s a model of a mobile house called Jyubako (from 4,000,000 yen) developed jointly by Snow Peak and renowned architect (and pride of Japan) Kengo Kuma. Life in a tiny house is rapidly becoming a more realistic option.
Splitting time between two domiciles means you need two sets of home goods, daily necessities, and various other things. But if you could customize your house as a trailer, just one will do. It would make it possible to live and work from there in a mode that moves, like the tide, back and forth between city and country.
In the midst of a climate crisis, this may well be the most ethical minimal way to live.
“My furniture then, too, should be usable indoors and out.” I sit down in Take! Chair Long (19,800 yen). The fit is perfect!
Snow Peak guarantees all its products for life. If the chair develops a hole or is otherwise damaged, they’ll repair it, if they can. Just as plants and trees do, this links the present to the future for the years to come. As a store, Snow Peak is a perfect fit for this mode of life.
I next visit MONO ＆ SOUND SIT BACK ＆ RELAX, a premium design audio shop on the second floor that’s here for a limited time, until February 28, 2021. I’m looking for a speaker I’ve been interested in for a while now.
The Swedish audio brand Transparent produces striking designs, approaching visual art. But the brand’s name is about more than looks. Most electronic products have short life spans. Transparent’s products feature modular components designed to make them easy to repair, replace, and upgrade. They’re also recyclable. They don’t have to be thrown out when you no longer need them. Transparent’s speakers attract attention because they’re sustainable products built for the circular economy.
Exclusive to GINZA SIX, the UPCRAFTED COLLECTION is a collaboration of several craftspeople. The ceramic STONEWARE SPEAKER (180,000 yen) on the right is by ceramic artist Hortense Montarnal. The WOOD SPEAKER (170,000 yen) on the left is made of solid ash wood by fine carpenter Calle Hansson.
Since each is handcrafted by the craftsperson, to avoid production-related losses, they’re made to order. This means a wait of roughly three months from order to delivery. Time spent waiting and weighing what music to listen to will no doubt make you cherish it all the more.
“Try comparing the speakers with music you listen to all the time,” says head office sales manager Yasuharu Matsuno, who is attending on customers today. He lets me try out the speakers. I turn one on and pair it with my smartphone via Bluetooth—simple, straightforward. It’s more or less an instant process, even for someone like me, who isn’t especially tech savvy.
As I listen to the wood and ceramic speakers, songs I thought I’d known forever take on soft, friendly tones.
I’m amazed by the sound. Then, from the back of the store, Matsuno-san brings a package made from recycled paper.
He opens the lid and produces a pair of white cotton gloves, a whimsical and delightful gesture that wins me over. Creativity, sustainability, hospitality!
A corner of the box bears a serial number hand inscribed by the craftsperson. Matsuno-san says, “It’s written upside down, opposite to the box logo, but I kind of like it as is.” He smiles in a way that clearly expresses his personality. If it weren’t for the COVID crisis, I would have hugged him!
When it comes to ethical consumption, who you buy from matters as much as what you buy. I’m impressed with Matsuno-san’s style of customer service. A love for the products is clearly woven through his words. It’s certainly possible to shop without relying on sales attendants these days, but when it comes to sustainability, there are many things you won’t know without asking.
Sustainable Development Goal 12, “responsible consumption and production,” requires responsible communication. I consider this a basic ethical practice. I’ve become a big fan of MONO ＆ SOUND SIT BACK ＆ RELAX.
“If I’m putting this in my Jyubako, maybe ceramic…no, I want to see the wood age over time.” I add it to my shopping list for my Tiny House project and whisper through the glass, “I’ll be back to see you soon, so wait right here for me.” Finally, I head to Blue Bottle Coffee on the second belowground floor.
Blue Bottle Coffee procures sustainable coffee beans through direct contracts with select farmers. No matter what you order, it’s ethically sourced. You don’t have to struggle picking out the exact right thing off the menu.
Here you find a lineup of eco-bags, tumblers, and other lifestyle products made with recycled materials. It’s a great place to find gifts for sticklers like me.
The washable, reusable Holiday Eco Cup (2,000 yen) is made of materials like biodegradable bamboo powder, a sustainable product harvested from bamboo trees grown under sustainable management.
I give them the coffee mug I’ve brought with me and order the Oat Milk Caffe Latte (570 yen) and Almond Pound Cake (400 yen), baked with soy milk and eggs from free range chickens.
This little break has recharged my batteries completely. I think: “Next up is deciding where to park my Jyubako!” I feel ready to go another round—but I’ll leave the fun for the next visit.
If you see someone at Blue Bottle Coffee with a map open on the table, it’s probably me. Drop by and say hello. We’ll have some fun talking ethics.
Text: Minami Fukamoto Photos: Yoshihiro Tsuruoka Edit: Yuka Okada（81）
ELEMINIST editor-in-chief and ethical concierge. As a student, took part in establishing an environmental group and worked to promote environmental measures at music festivals. Pivoted thereafter to the fashion industry, with the goal of contributing to society from a commercial approach. After work involving online retail consulting, primarily for luxury brands, serving as manager of an online retail business division and head of a creative office, she launched the digital publication ELEMINIST, a guide to sustainable living. She serves as its producer and editor-in-chief. Active as an ethical and online retail consultant. (Instagram: @soundbeach1990)GINZASIX_OFFICIAL Instagram