各ジャンルに精通する個性豊かなエディターたちが、GINZA SIXをぶらぶらと

Becoming an ‘Editor of Experience’ at GINZA SIX

立石 郁 編集者・ライター・構成作家


As someone from the Tama region, the western part of Tokyo, I’ve always been jealous of those with hometowns outside the city, blessed, unlike me, with local color. At the same time, I looked up to people who lived in central Tokyo (whether they themselves liked it or not) for traits like their flexibility and refinement. I lived in a rural commuter town an hour from downtown. While technically within city limits, you could catch freshwater crab in the stream that ran by my school. I remember considering it a dreary nondescript landscapes since my childhood. I mean, culturally, it lacks any sort of cachet. It lacks definition and sharpness. No colorful counterculture notes offset the dreariness, either.

I also happen to be an obsessive geek, with interests ranging far and wide. I’ve never had enough time to obsess over a single subject I love in all its myriad details. I sift through my interests randomly, turning them into articles. I’ve managed to work and live like this. There’s a general lack of focus in what I do. Media ranging from radio to online to print; categories from beauty to sustainable living to fashion to art to music. I’ve managed to get jobs this way since my teens. I’ll talk about my favorite cosmetics in a magazine in the morning; in the afternoon, I’ll write a radio program script for a young musician I like. Even so, it’s a very ‘sub’ or ‘proxy’ existence—it wouldn’t come naturally for me to specialize in any one field. And, in fact, in my twenties, I was insecure about not having a fallback skill or profession, of not having any one thing I could consistently rely on.

So, the creatives who congregate at places like GINZA SIX, both Japanese and international, are mentors to me. A fresh world of unique sensibilities, unconstrained within the bounds of a single concept or idea, is profoundly liberating for anyone who found school suffocating and whose interests, even when pursued with geeky passion, are quick to alight on the next branch.

Today I’ll be walking around GINZA SIX. The first store I visit is Gluxury (B1F). I’m such a shopping nerd! Lately, I’ve noticed I only need to see the font on the price tag to know which company manages the store and which importer handled purchasing, most of the time. But here I’m filled with excitement—so many never-seen quality products from around the world!

Inside, I see an array of home and lifestyle products that would make great gifts. Micro Cotton, which uses time-honored spinning technology from India, is a luxurious sustainable towel brand made with 100% Indian cotton. All products, including the towels, are certified by OEKO-TEX® to the highest standards—a guarantee that production systems will not only maintain product safety but give ethical consideration to the environment and to workers. Knowing this with the towels in your hand feels good. Luxury towels aren’t rare these days, so it’s important that they have a story beyond feeling marvelous against your skin.

Japanese luxurious towels are considered as ones having long fibers, but these high-end Premium Series bath towels (16,500 yen; all prices listed after tax) are soft and plush, which accounts for their luxury reputation. They have a shorter, denser pile that creates a rich and springy feel, perhaps suggesting a more Western sensibility. Lots of people give towels as gifts or buy new towels when they move somewhere. I’d love to do the same…

The store’s name, Gluxury, is a portmanteau of “green” and “luxury.” The store offers an assortment of high quality sustainable products from Japan and abroad. Candles from RATHBORNES (7,700 yen), a candle maker going back more than 500 years, are handcrafted from 100% natural materials. The beeswax-based herbal scents are marvelous and satisfying. The packaging is green, too. Its paper is FSC-certified and the cardboard is recyclable. The care and consideration that go into both the package and its afterlife are equally pleasing to consider.

ONODA, the company that manages Gluxury, also operates infrastructure support programs overseas in Bangladesh and other countries. This stance—going beyond simply selling good products—is a good fit for these times. This perspective also comes through in the store’s sense for the products they select. I’d rather support and buy things at stores like this. Each selected brand has its own particularity, every backdrop of which they told me was inspiring.

I head next to the Food Floor on the second belowground floor.

The cookies and baked sweets in front are displayed like pages from an illustrated reference book. Acorns, pine nuts, and other fruits, nuts, and berries—the bounty of the mountains—are some of the main ingredients. Established by ENA GIN NO MORI, a popular patisserie in Ena, Gifu Prefecture, patisserie GIN NO MORI (B2F) sells tins filled with assortments of these confections, along with pound cakes and other goodies. This location is the first flagship shop in Japan outside Gifu, where it’s headquartered.

The chic navy-blue shop features a large, silver-colored tree in the middle, surrounded by lights that look like the acorns used to make the shop’s baked sweets. The setting also features two squirrels: a chef named “Chest” and an assistant chef named “Nuts.” The general look of the store suggests the brand’s folkloric outlook. The blue tin, decorated with a host of forest animals, has legions of fans. The limited edition packages are especially popular.

Some in the know may know that GIN NO MORI’s parent company also makes traditional New Year’s food boxes on contract at its facility in Ena. That’s why its tins of assorted cookies are packed so tightly and beautifully—they use the same techniques used to pack the traditional tiered boxes of New Year’s osechi ryori. No wonder the tins feel quite a bit heavier than they look.

The store’s refined cookies are so popular that people are happy to queue up for them or wait several months if ordered online, making it the perfect gift for someone you’re visiting. This Petit Bois assortment (size 180, 5,940 yen) is likely to inspire joyous shouts at photo shoots with sweets-lovers, or at tea time. Yep, these are the one, I think, and buy a box.

My last stop is the Beauty Floor on the first belowground floor. I think I’ll treat myself at a heavenly salon for beauty nerds.

Mary Cohr (B1F), a major brand that ranks No. 1 in sales in France, the birthplace of this beauty treatment, is known for treatments that combine massages by hand and its own unique beauty devices.

I go with the Catio Lift course (80 minutes, 22,000 yen), a treatment that lifts your face and décolleté. I lie on a hot bed in a private room and submit to the skin softening treatment, from cleansing to keratin care. The CatioVital Lift, a device with a minute electric current, then gives my face a lift. It’s applied directly to the facial muscles, vigorously stimulating the skin while delivering beauty nutrients absorbed deeply within.

The device’s treatment doesn’t hurt, but I do let out an excited “whoa!” at the unexpected vigor of the treatment. But this sensation becomes more and more pleasant. I do a daily lymph massage, but the feeling of the lift you get immediately after the treatment is really impressive.

The salon also offers the full lineup of Mary Cohr’s rich skincare series. And, of course, you don’t need to get a treatment to buy the products. Many customers who receive the same Catio Lift course (80 minutes, 22,000 yen) as I selected this time keep the lift alive by getting the treatment on a regular basis. Taking time just for yourself in the middle of Ginza is the essence of luxury.

By the way, an evaluation of my skin just before the treatment shows that it’s dry, despite the humidity outside just now. I had no idea. Going to GINZA SIX once a month for skincare treatment and checking out the fashions and merchandise on the upper floors at the same time—can you think of a better way to lift your spirits?

Walking around today to a store, shop and salon, I realized how satisfying it is to devise your own way of enjoying a place with so many unique and interesting establishments. All sorts of people who come here, not just editors by title, become editors of their own experience, as it were.

My outing today reminds me of the warm and urbane customer service I experienced in my teens at department stores and specialty boutiques and the experience of shopping to rejuvenate my workaholic self in my twenties. In my thirties, a new decade in life, at GINZA SIX, with the contemporary sensibilities and diversity of hospitality I experienced today, I still want to pursue forms of fun that are a fit for me.

Text: Kaoru Tateishi Photos: Kozue Hanada Edit: Yuka Okada(81)

editors_ tateishi

立石 郁

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パティスリー GIN NO MORI




2021.06.25 UP