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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。

Finding the Special Everyday in Ginza

川上 康介

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.58

I’ve liked everyday things ever since I was a kid. It’s not that I didn’t like “special” things like school events—sports day and field trips—but I’ve never really liked how everyone, myself included, would get restless and jittery. I disliked that atmosphere. I feel the same even now, as an adult. I love the everyday, when I can spend my time at the pace I prefer; I appreciate being able to do that. I work freelance, so my days don’t have a set routine, which may be why I feel this so strongly.

So, here I am in Ginza. A special place in Japan and one of the world’s special places. It glitters, but it’s not restless. It’s special, but it’s also everyday. It’s a district that transforms the everyday into the special. You really perceive this visiting GINZA SIX, the newest, distinctively Ginza spot in Ginza. GINZA SIX is full of the special everyday things I love.

Today, I first visit Tabio Japan GINZA SIX on the fourth floor, a specialist boutique for high-quality socks made in Japan. These socks, simply put, are comfortable. Don’t laugh and say they’re just socks! It’s been said you can judge the quality of a man by his feet, and it’s not just about shoes. No matter how much your shoes cost, if you’re wearing 3-for-1,000 yen socks, you’re not in the running. One can’t really know the value of luxury shoes if the quality of the socks you wear falls short.

I came looking for knee-high socks, which I’ll wear a lot this coming season. Out of the extensive lineup, what caught my eye was the Cotton/Silk Banner Socks (2,200 yen). These socks are knitted with machines rarely found in Japan. From the instep to the top is high-grade silk, while the sole features thick cotton pile. They take the best parts of business socks and athletic socks. The cushioned sole makes me feel I could walk the entire day in them without getting tired.

My first experience with Tabio was with athletic socks. I’ve worn various Tabio socks since then, so I can’t believe these gems were hiding in plain sight. Tabio’s socks are made from cotton, wool, and silk. They all feel great on your skin. Prices range from 1,000 yen to 2,000 yen—not excessively luxurious, to my mind, if you consider the everyday comfort they provide.

The Beauty Floor on the first belowground floor of GINZA SIX, I’m happy to say, is a place where men, too, can wander comfortably. With all the cosmetics counters, overheated enthusiasm of women seeking beauty products, and the swirl of intermingling scents, the cosmetics areas in department stores can feel forbidding to men. It’s totally different here. The floor as a whole is very relaxed, freeing you to seek out beauty, as it were, as a middle-aged man.

On this visit, I drop into John Masters Organics Select, the boutique of an organics brand from New York. A hotel I stayed at overseas provided the brand’s shampoo and conditioner as amenities, and I’ve been interested ever since. The wash feels great, with a relaxing effect on my hair. They also leave a gentle, natural scent.

There’s an extensive lineup of shampoos and conditioners. I can’t decide which to choose, so I seek out a free scalp diagnosis, which takes about three minutes. Having your pores and scalp examined helps immediately identify which product is optimal for you.

In my case, I have a normal scalp, so I get a shampoo in the normal range, the L&R Shampoo N (2,400 yen). L&R stands for lavender and rosemary. The faint scent alone is soothing. The conditioner is the somewhat luxurious R&A Hair Mask (4,400 yen). I don’t like hairspray, so my hair tends to get a little bushy; this conditioner helps keep it under control. What grabs my attention, though, is the well-rounded scent: the rose and apricot are refined, without being too sweet. I’ve always felt middle-aged men should invest in hair quality and scent. For just several thousands of yen, it’s an interest that enriches everyday life and helps send middle-aged mustiness packing, something to be thankful for. I also buy Lip Calm (1,500 yen)—with winter approaching, the air grows dry. So I’m shooting not only for shiny hair but lustrous lips.

Finally, I go to the Food Floor on the second belowground floor. I’m find myself tempted here, there, everywhere, but I arrive at my intended destination: L’abeille, a specialty store for honey from around the world. In all honesty, I love honey. I originally wanted simply a good partner for yogurt, which I eat like a staple. In trying all sorts of honey, I came to love honey generally. Whenever I travel in Japan or anywhere overseas, I check out the honey. I also buy it online. I’ve looked through the years for the ideal honey, but it appear I could have avoided the ordeal. At L’abeille, I’ve found an assortment of pure, delicious honey rigorously selected by honey professionals.

L’abeille offers many types of honey from a total of 10 countries. Japan, of course, but also Italy, France, Greece, Hungary, New Zealand, and others. The lineup has over 85 varieties, including acacia, orange, lemon, apple, buckwheat, coffee, chestnut, and cherry. All are available to be sampled. I tend to want to have my way and taste this and that, so I’m delighted by the sweet but not overbearing customer service.

Incidentally, my recommendation, as an amateur honey critic, is a honey made in Sicily. It’s highly viscous, with a unique texture and a florid flavor. You sense the characteristics of the different flowers. Scoop up a spoonful—it’s so delicious you’ll want to lick the spoon. This time, I buy Wakayama Mikan 250 g (3,300 yen), a “new honey” made in Japan (the “new” indicating the latest extraction, in the same way new rice is the most recent crop). The sweetness is tinged with a faintly bitter grapefruit flavor for a unique and fresh taste. I bet it’d be delicious mixed with yogurt and spread on bread. The honey at L’abeille will undoubtedly make your everyday meals that much more enjoyable.

Finally, while it’s not something to buy, I want to tell you about a GINZA SIX service you might like to use if you’re like me and prefer traveling by car. The normal parking lot for customers is on the fourth belowground floor, but there’s also a valet parking service in a dedicated area on the second belowground floor. (First, sign up to become a GINZA SIX APP member, then make a reservation no later than one hour before that day; the charge is 2,000 yen.) If you do use the service, you can just leave your car and go directly inside to shop. If you want to shop but don’t have much time, the service is perfect. It feels like you’re at a nice hotel, so you get to enjoy a little luxury as well.

Get decked out, pump yourself up, and go to GINZA SIX! Of course, that’s fine too, but you don’t necessarily experience everything doing that. Loosen up a bit, wander around, and enjoy. Even then, it’s something that will make your everyday something special. Today was day for getting a sense for the depth of GINZA SIX.

Text: Kosuke Kawakami   Photos: Sachiko Horasawa Edit: Yuka Okada

editors_kawakami

川上 康介

エディター、ライター。1971年生まれ。1993年、文藝春秋入社。『週刊文春』『CREA』『Title』の編集部を経て、2003年『GQ JAPAN』の新規創刊に参加。2006年に独立し、フリーランスに。人物インタビューから、ファッション、時計、自動車、農業など幅広い分野で、雑誌や書籍、ウェブサイトの編集・執筆、広告の製作に携わる。著書に『リシャール・ミル プロフェッショナルコンセプター 1億4000万円の時計を作るという必然』など。
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2018.09.27 UP