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

A Calming Ginza Walk Piques Curiosity and Meets Practical Needs for Those with Multiple Professions

谷 宏美


I often go to Ginza for job-related research, announcements, tastings, and other events. I visit quite often on my own time, too. For years, I’ve gone monthly to the theater in Ginza. Sometimes I’ll meet people here for lunch or dinner. I visit quite often for various special occasions. Since GINZA SIX opened, these pilgrimages to Ginza have become even more varied. Based on the value I can find only here, I do research for articles, scout locations, and pick up things I routinely need. I often wear a kimono, garb for which the atmosphere here is especially welcoming. As someone who makes her living in the two spheres of wine and beauty—as a writer and sommelière—I find GINZA SIX meets both personal and professional needs.

For kabuki theater-going, I wear a tsumugi fabric kimono. A traditional Japanese mood maintains its grip as I start my wandering through GINZA SIX, after I take in a morning performance. First, I head to Ginza Tsutaya Books on the sixth floor. As you may know, the arts and design book section is extensive. Since I’m someone who is enthralled by aspects of the Edo culture, such as oiran courtesans, someone who never tires of reading books on the tea master Rikyu, I’m always quietly thrilled with the Yagura Japanese culture section.

There’s a special display right now featuring Hokusai, whose popularity in recent years has been global. It features the artist’s “Fine Wind, Clear Morning” print, commonly known as “Red Fuji,” from Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, along with a profusion of Hokusai books and products. The wine bar where I work recently hosted a talk on Hokusai, so I’m drawn to this particular display and pick up a Hokusai book. Some, of course, are filled with color plates: examples include famous pieces such as “Hokusai: The Ukiyo-e Master and His Disciples Who Captivated the World,” published by Unsodo, a specialist in woodblock printing, and “Learn More About: Katsushika Hokusai” published by Tokyo Bijutsu. That’s why I love this place.

Behind the Hokusai display are the tea ceremony books. There are how-to books, of course, but also a wide range of other books reflecting how the tea ceremony as an art form touches on architecture, art, food, textiles, and other arts. The tea ceremony is my life’s work, something I’ll continue doing wherever I happen to be or whatever else I’m doing. If I come across a study of Rikyu or novels depicting Rikyu and his circle, I cannot resist buying it. In a genre not necessarily known for an outpouring of new publications, Ijo Kumada’s “Tea Ceremony Tales” (Miyaobi Publishing) catches my eye. The volume collects anecdotes from ancient writings, letters, and other documents related to the tea ceremony and involving Rikyu, Warring States military commanders, and tea masters. The book is a lovely reissue, beautifully bound, and I resolve to read it.

I’m also interested in historical courtesan culture and love visiting the sad, beautiful worlds depicted in literary works by authors like Kesako Matsui and Keiichiro Ryu—to the point that I fantasize about being reborn as a courtesan. From harlots to high-ranking courtesans, only a major bookstore like this could stock so many titles on this particular aspect of history and culture. There’s also the “Nationwide Guide to Red Light Districts,” a volume that makes me restless. Right next to this is the erotica section, which now draws public attention like ukiyo-e, even if it takes some courage to pull a book down from the shelf.

I eventually find myself making my way to the belowground cosmetics floor. Since I work two jobs, I’m busier now as a freelancer than when I was as an in-house editor. What I want out of skincare these days is an instant, effective boost for my aging skin. Valmont is a Swiss brand of powerful skincare products. I became a fan while doing research on the spa at Le Meurice, a palace hotel in Paris, and learned about the remarkable efficacy of this brand. The brand also happens to support the arts and contemporary artists. La Maison VALMONT here displays a work, “Sister,” by the Berlin street artist El Bocho.

Updated this fall, the AWF5 series focuses on five factors, including elasticity, transparency, and fullness, and offers products composed of unique blends of efficacious ingredients. The innovation of this line lies in generating and harnessing the synergies among the various ingredients. My skin’s elasticity is apparently decreasing, so I’m shown the tightening V-Shape line (V-Shape Concentrate 32,000 yen, 30 ml; V-Shape Cream 35,000 yen, 50 ml; V-Shape Eye Balm 25,000 yen, 15 ml; all prices listed before tax). The Concentrate is a rich cream, but the texture is smooth and not sticky. The unique Eye Balm features a thick gel-like texture. When you dab it with a finger around the eyes, it stops and stays there. I feel the corners of my eyes instantly lift; it also tightens my laugh lines. All in all, it leaves me in higher spirits.

La Maison VALMONT, it should be noted, also lets you try IL PROFVMO, an independent Italian fragrance. Inspired by traditional Italian art, the beautiful bottle with its classic design is itself eye-catching. The fragrance, created by Bologna-born Silvana Casoli, is, by contrast, modern and nature-inspired as well. I love the delicate rose, too. Lysander and Romeo, inspired by Shakespeare’s plays, are fragrances for daily use. The gourmand series with Chocolat and Ginger would no doubt work for the wine scene.

Since editors generally work behind the scenes, I’ve tended to think a casual presentation is tolerable—or so one would hope!—but I also currently serve customers at a wine bar. Here, an indifference to one’s appearance is considered deplorable. Even if one falls short of perfection, an effort to look good is the norm. Hoping against hope, then, I head to Shu Uemura with the idea of getting some base and makeup.

Pepper, the robot, greets me at the entrance and asks: “Can I help you find something?”—then proceeds to tell me what I need. Pepper’s courtesy and attention are such that surprisingly, I find myself in earnest consultation.

The brand’s bestselling The Lightbulb foundation series continues to evolve. Apply a smooth layer with the gourd-shaped sponge to create naturally glistening skin—first-rate base makeup from an artist’s brand. Given a power boost this year, The Lightbulb Fluid (13 colors; 30 ml; SPF 25 PA+++; 5,200 yen each) brings out an in-fashion glow in your skin while effectively disguising blemishes. You can choose colors not just by hue, but by brightness. To my great satisfaction, this line neatly produces an adult-looking skin without giving too much whiteness. Applied with the gourd sponge, it produces a lovely gleam and glow; applying a smooth layer of foundation with the high-density brush (featuring 189,000 bristles) creates a look of austere refinement that goes perfectly with a kimono. Incidentally, the form of the brush was inspired by a display window seen in Ginza by a Shu Uemura artist.

I also check out a new lipstick, Matte Supreme (available in 15 colors; 3,200 yen each) and released October 1. The line features a matte texture and vivid colors, which somehow enhance the physical sensation of wearing lipstick. The texture and chic colors go perfectly with kimono makeup. The color variations include black—which, I may add, makes quite the artistic statement.

I drop by Imadeya Ginza, as I always do on my visits here. Imadeya Ginza offers an extensive lineup—astonishingly so—of Japanese wines, in addition to an assortment of sake. Its rare lineup is not found anywhere else. Strong-willed and particular, Japan’s small-batch producers can be reluctant to stoop to conventional sales channels. The volumes are small; availability is limited; and more than a few wines can’t be purchased without visiting the actual winery. But at Imadeya Ginza, you may come across products sold out locally or even wines from trendy wineries with purchases limited to one bottle per customer. Each time I visit, I find myself blurting out, “Wow! They have this one, too!” Store manager Shohei Okawa, who once again helps me today, says they stock around 100 Japanese wines. That’s astonishing, since all of Japan features about 330 wineries at this time.

Today, I blurt out my amazement on discovering wine from Tomi City, Nagano Prefecture, which I’d recently visited to do research for an article. Villa d’Est Gardenfarm and Winery and Rue de Vin are among the city’s best-known wineries, but I also came across Bonjourfarm and Cyclo Vineyards, small family vineyards both started by people who moved to Tomi from the Tokyo area and began cultivating grapes. Cyclo Vineyards began building a new winery this year and will begin fermenting in-house from next year’s vintage. Currently, both outsource fermentation to a neighboring winery. Production volumes, of course, are infinitesimal. I’ve just interviewed these two wineries about their passion for winemaking, so I’m thrilled to encounter the products of their devotion in Ginza.

When you’re simply wandering about, you can’t go wrong visiting a liquor store with an in-house bar. At Imadeya Ginza, you can sample four or five varieties of wine and sake, a selection that changes daily. Today, I try three: Novo Brut 2014 (1,000 yen), a sparkling wine produced with Riesling Lion grapes by in-the-bottle secondary fermentation at COCO Farm and Winery; Kita Wine Pinot Noir Rose 2017 (700 yen), a charming wine with uncluttered sensation on the palate; and Fujisawa Farm Yoichi Kerner 2015 (700 yen), which features an irresistible rich texture, from which one surmises the wine makers worked in a cold climate and patiently waited for the grapes to ripen fully. All were great. Drinking rare Japanese wines by the glass is a singular joy.

To top it all off, I purchase a bottle of Bonjourfarm Kurakake Netsu Rouge Pinot Noir 2017 (3,340 yen), whose pure flavor fascinated me while I was doing research on the winery, as well as a Shinshu Takayama Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (2,850 yen). The latter bottle is recommended by the buyer as an up-and-coming wine currently attracting a great deal of attention. But wait, there’s more! I stumble across an extremely popular wine from a winery I’d been looking for everywhere, a find that leaves me all but crying for joy! All in all, Imadeya Ginza is a Japanese wine wonderland where you’re likely to find just about anything and everything.

For someone with two different professions and professional focuses, wandering about GINZA SIX both piques my curiosity and provides suggestions for things I need. I’m glad I came today. I feel especially light on my feet as I make my way home.

Text:Hiromi Tani Photos:Midori Yamashita Edit:Yuka Okada


谷 宏美

フリーランス エディター/ライター、「渋谷ワインバー ローディ」ソムリエール。ファッション誌の美容エディターを経て2017年にフリーに。ワインや美容のフィールドで企画や執筆を手がけるかたわら、ワインバーで仕入れやメニュー開発、現場でのサービスを行う。


銀座 蔦屋書店




シュウ ウエムラ




2018.10.04 UP