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GINZA SIX EDITORS

ファッション、ジュエリー&ウォッチ、ライフスタイル、ビューティ、フード…
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
歩いて見つけた楽しみ方を綴ります。

The Delights of an Aimless Visit to GINZA

江部 寿貴

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.55

When I was child, going to Ginza on Sunday with my family was a happy event. I remember going to other shopping districts, too, but nothing felt like Ginza. Why was this? Was it because Ginza was a pedestrian paradise, with vehicles forbidden to take to its streets on the weekends? Perhaps I just associated the use of the word paradise in the description with happiness, as in: naughty children go to hell, while good children go to Or maybe it was the sight of all the pedestrians out and about on their Ginza strolls on a wide avenue where normally cars are passing by. I really can’t remember now.

Our Ginza stroll would begin when we alighted at Yurakucho Station. We would cross the Sukiyabashi intersection, walk along Harumi Street, and perhaps inspect the model railway on display in the Tenshodo store. Then, we’d turn left or right at the Ginza 4-chome intersection through which the pedestrianized zone passes. I would look forward with excitement to learning which direction we would take. Much time has passed since then, but the memories remain surprisingly fresh. As I recall them, I head to the right in the direction of the huge GINZA SIX shopping complex, the most talked about place in Ginza these past few years.

From the first floor filled with numerous high-end stores, I take the elevator up to The North Face Unlimited on the fifth floor. If I have nothing scheduled, my routine is to go to the beach to surf or, in the winter, to head up to the snowy mountains. So outdoor wear has always been a fixture in my wardrobe. The North Face is synonymous with outdoor wear. It’s one of my favorite brands and one I wear often. The designs tend to be more sophisticated than other outdoor brands—designs you can also wear about town. Another reason I like the brand, though I say this in quieter tones, is that it fits my own personal style, which is characterized by loose-fitting garments and a lack of distinction between weekdays and days off.

The Lightning Coat, for example, which is made of Hyvent, a material that offers high water resistance and moisture permeability (28,000 yen; all prices listed before tax), is symbolic of the brand. It’s remarkably thin, light, and compact, so it’s easy to carry, which makes it the ideal raincoat for outdoor life. If you’re a fashion aficionado, your eyes will be drawn to the styling, which recalls a mod coat. And because the fit is generous, a trendy look right now, you can combine it with the t-shirts and suits you normally wear to make yourself look stylish in an up-to-date way. The look is functional, yet chic. You can mix and match it with various other items to suit the TPO (time, place, and occasion). It’s so convenient you might even find your wife or partner borrowing it. The design is unisex, and it’s offered in a wide range of sizes. Perhaps you should even buy two?!?

Besides the Lightning Coat, there’s a wide range of high-tech clothing and gear for use in extreme environments. I especially like the trolley bag and button-down shirts.

The trolley bag (40,000 yen) has a special appeal for me because a stylist who went with me on an overseas trip happened to be using one. In lifting it, I’m struck by how light it is and how smooth the wheels are. The arrangement of the interior, clearly designed with storage in mind, is second to none. It also looks really cool. I’m lost in delusion for a moment, considering the possibility that if I took this to the airport, I’d give the impression of an inveterate outdoor type who also happens to travel a lot.

Apparently, the shirts (20,000 yen) are available only at GINZA SIX. Whichever way you look at them, they look as they’re made of cotton Oxford shirt fabric. In fact, they’re made of a high-performance material that contains nylon. They resist creasing and dry quickly. If I buy several, I’ll be able to wear them in every situation—on an everyday basis or when I travel for work.

In this way, I think kitting out a wardrobe with items that are functional because they strip away the boundaries between urban and rural will provide strong support for new lifestyles characterized by dual lives, or the growing diversity of work styles. I think it’s significant that so many of these products are available in Ginza’s most advanced commercial facility.

The second store I visit is DENHAM, also located on the fifth floor. This is a premium denim brand often featured in the pages of Oceans magazine, where I work in the editorial department. I can safely say that of all the stores in GINZA SIX, this one has my favorite interior. Put simply, it’s a denim theme park. The first points of interest are the denim washing bath and drying room, from which the brand message FROM VIRGIN TO VINTAGE comes. This free service allows customers to come in and have denim goods they’ve purchased washed and dried as many times as they like, whenever they like. What’s great about it is that anyone can watch the process. It’s kind of like going on a school excursion to a factory or watching your chicken being grilled at a yakitori shop. And while the less informed might dismiss them as random junk, the numerous vintage figures and signboards displayed around the store are also an impressive sight.

You won’t want to miss the kidswear and the kids play area at the back of the store. The teepee tent in the middle serves as a fitting room just for kids, a really charming feature. Next to it is a café, which serves drip coffee and espresso as good as any served in a proper coffee shop. Certain gimmicks around the store feature the coffee cups—but you’ll have to come to the store yourself to find out what they are!

So this is more than just a store where you buy clothes. It’s a space where you can relax, socialize and have fun. It provides diversion you can’t get sitting at home with the tedium of online shopping.

Having walked around quite a bit, I’m feeling peckish. I head down to the basement food floor. As was my family’s rule when I visited Ginza on Sundays as a child, I instinctively move toward the food floor on the second belowground floor. Here you’ll find stalls where you can find delicious food from all over Japan, or you can savor food and beverages while standing up. There’s also a huge choice of souvenir gift items, which are essential purchases for an upstanding editor like me. From all these stalls, I make my way to Patisserie Ginza Sembikiya, drawn there as if magnetized as soon as I see the sign. I think it’s because, when I was small, my parents used to tell me the fruit sold here was of an unmatched quality.

It’s a specialist sweet store that’s especially famous for cakes containing fruit carefully selected by Ginza Sembikiya. They all look so delicious. I will give you a forewarning: your eyes won’t stop flitting from one to another. In the end, submitting to the power of sweetness, I pick two unusual sweet items despite every temptation from seasonal cakes to fruit sandwiches.

The available edibles include gummi sweets produced in collaboration with UHA Mikakuto cororo, called Ginza Sembikiya Premium cororo (600 yen). Thinking, Oh, they’re just gummies, no different from what convenience stores sell, I almost end up being an amateur ignoring the true value. Once you toss one into your mouth and start chewing, there’s no turning back. You’re overcome by a delicious flavor that almost makes your cheeks hurt. Consider yourself forewarned! I especially recommend the musk melon flavor, a fruit and flavor symbolic of Ginza Sembikiya.

The other ones are strawberry chocolates (1,500 yen), or white chocolate infused into freeze-dried strawberries. Once again, a single bite produces an unusual chewy sensation that almost knocks you out. Again, take care!

Yet trying them all, the only word I can muster in the end is delicious. I’ll probably never get any more work reporting on food for the rest of my life…

If you’re an editor, you have to choose a topic, select stores relevant to the topic, and then write something articulate. But I’ve chosen my stores with no real logical connection. As I ponder this, I end my journey by settling on a convenient rationale for my behavior: The appeal of GINZA SIX lies in its diversity, a diversity that gives visitors the opportunity to make wonderful discoveries, find the products they want, and delight in superb service and lovely spaces—even for those simply wandering about without specific purpose. If you find yourself wandering around this retail heaven, you’ll fall in love before you know it’s happened.

Text: Toshiki Ebe Photos: Shohei Saito Exit: Yuka Okada

editors_ebe

江部 寿貴

「オーシャンズ」副編集長。1977年生まれ、東京下町出身。早稲田大学卒業後、株式会社世界文化社へ入社。「メンズEX」「Begin」勤務の後、2005年退社。同年、創刊メンバーの1人として「オーシャンズ」編集部に参画。2010年より現職。
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2018.09.03 UP