Monday, April 23, 2018

Ginza and the Amazing Ginza Six Mall

Ginza, like most other parts of Tokyo is always undergoing change.  In the last couple of years, a few famous landmarks have been demolished and new ones built.  A new luxury mall, Ginza Six has opened up.  Ginza Place has replaced the building with the big Sapporo Beer sign on the top that was diagonally across from Ginza Wako at Ginza's central intersection.  Ginza is a luxury shopping district, which suits it as its name means "Silver Mint" where money used to be minted.

Even if you don't plan on spending a pile of money here, the district is worth visiting even just to window shop for a bit.  Not all stores sell luxury goods like super expensive jewelry, fashions, or handbags either.  Stores for more modest budgets include Itoya for stationary of all kinds, the Uniqlo flagship store, Tokyu Plaza, the Sony showroom, the Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan radio shop (for regional Japanese products), the Muji flagship store, various bookstores, etc.
Ginza Wako and the central intersection of Ginza.
Kabuki Theatre
Ricoh Building at night.
Just south of Ginza Wako is Ginza Six.  If you look above the goldish part of the building in this picture, you will see a level with restaurants where there is balcony seating that overlooks the street for a number of restaurants.
Fancy Christmas bell when I was there in December.
Inside the impressive atrium.
Ginza Six is a really nice mall, with an great atrium area that has some awesome looking white and red pumpkin decorations by Yayoi Kusama.  There are like over 240 luxury brands represented in this mall.  Other than window shopping, there are also art exhibits, a small museum, and a pretty multi-story digital waterfall.  However, I was there to check out the rooftop garden, the dining floor on the same level as the really impressive Tsutaya Books store.  There is a food floor in the basement and even lower down is an entire Kabuki theatre which is only open for shows unfortunately.  This mall is posh.
Tsutaya Books
This is a really nice bookstore.  Lots of light, open spaces, woodwork, well curated book selection, and beautifully arranged and decorated.  I really liked this store and bought a number of photo and Japanese culture books here.  Even got a Godzilla retrospective showing all of the Godzillas to date.  Nice Murakami art books too.  The restaurants on this level share a common dining area and you can even get seating out on a narrow balcony area that overlooks the street.  All of the restaurants share one common menu that allows you to order from each of them (more than a half dozen establishments here).  There is also a good Starbucks here.
Impressive Japanese Starbucks baked goods.
More Starbucks baked goods.  Note the matcha cake.
Tsutaya also had some interesting jewelry on display.  This is a crown or head dress I think.
Great looking Star Wars models.
Replica light saber.
Finally, I went up to the roof top of Ginza Six which has a garden and walk that goes completely around the building giving you a 360 view of Ginza from up high.  It is also a relaxing place to take a break.  There is a beautiful reflecting pond, seating, and even a living wall.  I think it is worth visiting Ginza Six just to visit the garden and have a walk around while taking in the views.
View over Ginza.
Garden and pool area.
Pool area.
View down to the street.
Small Shinto Shrine
Historical plaque.
Tokyo Skytree view.
After visiting Ginza Six I across the street to visit the Uniqlo flagship store.  This is a great store.  I like a lot of their fashions, and their T-Shirt floor is amazing in both decor and in the many shirts that are tie-ins to other media franchises.
The Uniqlo flagship store.
Front of Uniqlo
Lobby of Uniqlo
Ginza also lights up at night pretty good and the window displays are way more apparent.  I miss the Sapporo beer sign at the top of the old building that is now replaced by Ginza Place.
Old building with the Sapporo Beer sign on top and the Ricoh building to the right.
Ginza Place is a new building that houses the new Sony showroom and a Nissin automobile showroom.  There are some fancy dining establishments too, including a Kobe beef place.

Ginza Place replaces the old building with a very sleek and well designed bigger building.

Fancy exterior metal work.
Low the sakura flower man hole covers.

A fancy window display.
And now I'm onto baked goods again.  These are Famina Bakery products found at Familymart convenience stores.  All the konbini have pretty nice baked goods.  Probably as good if not better than your local supermarket back in North America.
Baked goods.
Donut anyone?  Goes with canned coffee!
My last stop in Ginza was at the Muji Flagship store.  Muji has some great clothes and housewares to that show their minimalist design aesthetic.  They also have a great selection of food and snacks.  This Muji also has a good cafe and bakery in it with lots of seating.  On the main level it is mainly gardening, a fresh vegetable shop, and they have their minimalist cabin on display.  This "Muji Hut" is like $27,000 USD and you can buy it from Muji for your rural property or your backyard getway.  On the second level is the rest of the Muji greatness.
Muji Hut
Muji Cafe food.
These freeze dried strawberries covered in green tea chocolate are sooo good.
Pumpkin chips.
Muji seafood crackers are really good too.

More travelogue posts here.





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