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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ginza Six Opens Today

銀座シックス

Ginza Six opens in Ginza, Tokyo.
Ginza Six - a grand, glitzy new shopping presence in Ginza

Ginza Six is a brand new shopping complex that opens today in Tokyo's most prestigious shopping district, Ginza.

Ginza Six is so named because it is on the Ginza 6-Chome intersection, on the site where the Matsuzakaya department store (Ginza's first) stood between 1924 and 2013. The company that runs the Matsuzakaya and Daimaru chains of department stores teamed up with Mori Building - most famous for its Roppongi Hills and Omotesando Hills complexes - as well as Sumitomo Real Estate - to bring this grand retail project to life.

And grand is the word. Ginza Six is a sleek, imposing modern edifice designed by the prominent architect, Yoshio Taniguchi, with just enough of a minimal, functional air - and just enough use of wood inside - to save it from complete 80s glam. The building's facade is supposed to evoke the idea of sunrays and traditional Japanese noren curtains that typically hang in the doorways of restaurants.

Ginza 6 facade, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo.
Ginza 6: a new home for international fashion brands in Tokyo
Ginza Six's 17 floors (four of them below ground) house over 240 stores, half of which are fashion-related and with dozens and dozens of food-related establishments, too, and a dedicated delicatessen floor on B2.

Special features at Ginza Six include a charming, church-like noh theater on the B3 floor, and a big, rather formal, rooftop garden that includes rows of maple and sakura trees.

A brief stroll through Ginza, especially on a weekend when the main street is pedestrianized, quickly reveals that a sizeable proportion, if not the majority, of shoppers here are from China. Chinese tourists are drawn to Ginza in their droves for the top-class brand goods here, which are guaranteed to be genuine; for the prices, which are generally lower in Japan for such goods than in China; and for the panache of Ginza: Tokyo's top shopping area in terms of the range and quality of luxury goods available there.

Entrance to Ginza 6 shopping center, Chuo-ku, Tokyo.
Entrance to Ginza Six
In the 21st century when most young Japanese now flock to cheap fashion outlets like H&M, Uniqlo and Gap, it is hard to imagine developments like Ginza Six surviving on the strength of Japanese shoppers alone. And to moneyed Chinese tourists used to the boutique glamor that makes up great swathes of cities like Shanghai, for example, old-time Japanese department stores just do not cut it. Ginza Six with its conscious Japanesque touches incorporated into cutting edge global glam is now the most alluring tourist trap in town.

New shopping glitz for Ginza - the Ginza 6 retail complex.
Crowds outside Ginza 6, Tokyo
Read more about Ginza shopping.

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