Ginza Trad

  • Styling, Editing by Kyosuke Nitta
    Styling, Editing by Kyosuke Nitta
  • Hair & Make-up by Kentaro Katsu
    Special thanks for Shochiku Co., Ltd

On the Ginza, Japanese classics endure into the present day.
We paid a visit to Tokyo-based editor Ben Davis.
Outfitted in trad, he smoothed his lapels
and reported from seven of Ginza’s iconic spots.

Ben Davis

Editor

Editor

Ben Davis is from Perth, Australia. Working as an editor and researcher, he has been based in Tokyo since 2010. Writing for the UK lifestyle magazine Monocle and elsewhere, he presents the charms of Japan to the wider world.
www.thewhitepaper.net

Kabukiza Theatre

1-12-15 Ginza,Chuo-ku,Tokyo

A unique aspect of Kabuki is that stage names and performance styles are passed down. By protecting and honing traditional modes, this classical art form has been refined through the generations. The same applies to the structure of the Kabuki-za, now in its fifth iteration. Kengo Kuma, the architect who oversaw the 2010 reconstruction, retained many of the external features of the fourth structure, a beloved city fixture for six decades. Rather than remake this symbol of postwar Tokyo, he honoured tradition, in true Ginza fashion.

The kabuki stage has been replaced four times over. Same goes for the crimson carpet at the entrance, which uses a pattern specially designed for the opening of a previous theatre.

For the latest showtimes, visit the official site.www.kabukiweb.net/

For the latest showtimes, visit the official site.www.kabukiweb.net/

Ginza West

7-3-6 Ginza,Chuo-ku, Tokyo
OPEN 9:00-22:00, 11:00-20:00 (Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays)

The tearoom at Ginza West is another place where the beauty of tradition is palpable. The backs of the cocoa-colored chairs are extra high, “so that customers need not worry about bumping heads,” while white cloths “prevent soiling from the gentlemen’s pomade.” Seasonal flowers arranged in the Ohara style adorn the tabletops. Refreshed twice a week, these displays always have a tag to indicate the flowers. On this visit, we saw spider lilies and poet’s laurel.

Founded in 1947. The leaf pie, crispy and light, is a speciality. Any day beginning with their toasted ham sandwich (1,870 yen) is sure to be a good one.

Ginza Takumi

8-4-2 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
OPEN 11:00-19:00, CLOSED Sundays, Holidays

Every visit to Ginza Takumi is full of lessons and discoveries. You’re bound to find something you want. Ceramics and glassware, dyed goods and fine paper, folk toys from Japan and folk art from all over the world, this treasure trove of crafts has been the headquarters of mingei, or folk crafts, since all the way back in 1933, when it was founded by core members of the Folk Craft Movement led by Soetsu Yanagi. The baskets and strainers hanging from the ceiling are a constant curiosity. It makes you want to reach up and grab one.

Stop by without any particular objective and you’re likely to leave with a new treasure. We picked up an Onta ware dish and a teacup.

Nair’s Restaurant

4-10-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
OPEN 11:30-21:30, 11:30-20:30 (Sundays, Holidays),
CLOSED Tuesdays

If not for Nair’s Restaurant, Japan’s love for curry and the nationwide craze for spicy curry rice never would have happened. Its influence is huge. Opened in 1949, it was the first place in Japan to serve authentic Indian food. Their signature “Murgi Lunch,” served with a bone-in chicken thigh, normalized the practice of mixing curry and rice on the plate. This seat at the front of the first floor is a prime spot.

The recipe for the Mulgi Lunch (1,500 yen) hasn’t changed since the shop opened seventy years ago. No rules here: all you have to do is mix it up and eat.

Rengatei

3-5-16 Ginza,Chuo-ku, Tokyo
OPEN 11:15-14:30 (last order) and 16:40-20:30 (last order), CLOSED Sundays

Ginza is for Western food, Japanese style. As far as classic restaurants go, Rengatei is relaxed, so Ben was fine in just a gingham shirt. It’s said that the most common yoshoku dishes, like omu-rice and hayashi rice, originated here, but start off with the Original Pork Katsu (2,000 yen). This masterpiece, in which pork is fried in the traditional French style of veal cutlet, is best enjoyed in the window seats upstairs, with a healthy dose of sunlight.

The customs of serving pork katsu with shredded cabbage and a side of rice on a bread plate started here as well.

Kyukyodo

5-7-4 Ginza,Chuo-ku, Tokyo
OPEN 11:00-19:00

For a historic retailer of paper goods and incense, Kyukyodo always manages to be a new experience. The stock of postcards perpetually exceeds 200 items. The selection rotates with the seasons, with a notepad for every occasion. When you need wrapping paper, it’s a blast to pick out favorites from the wall of patterns. The galleries on the third and fourth floors stage over eighty calligraphy exhibitions per year, a stalwart presence in the art world since founding in 1663.

The sight of lines in front of Kyukyodo before they open at eleven in the morning is classic Ginza. May the gorgeous practice of handwriting never fade away.

UNIQLO COFFEE

12F Ginza Komatsu East Bldg., 6-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
OPEN 11:00-21:00

Need a break on your tour of Ginza? Stop by UNIQLO Coffee, on the twelfth floor of UNIQLO Ginza. Simple and spare, the cafe embodies UNIQLO’s stance of uncompromising quality. Our house blend coffee has a pleasant tang, while the drip coffee, brewed with sought-after geisha beans, has a fragrant aroma and yummy aftertaste. Try with the special butter cookies (200 yen) from Ginza West.

Our global flagship store turns ten this year. Coffee starts at 200 yen. Don’t miss UNIQLO FLOWER on the first floor, for a complete LifeWear experience.

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