A few days ago, I went to Ginza to fix my glasses. Having half an hour to kill while waiting for them I decided to walk from Shinbashi to Yurakucho on Chuo street – the main street of Ginza. For the first time I looked at it through the eyes of a casual observer rather than busy shopper. Being always on the mission to hunt down a particular shopping obsession of mine I had never paid attention to the beauty of its architecture or to the contrast between modern and traditional that Ginza is so famous for.
I noticed its buildings to be tall and slim, like runway models. There is so much geometry in the architecture and yet every building has a very distinct, unique look. There are no two buildings alike and that is so very Tokyo. ^-^ At first, I was a bit baffled by Tokyo’s chaotic setting. Now, I see its charm. Tokyo is not picture perfect but great discoveries and inspirations lie within its imperfections.
This is actually a cafe, not a cosmetics shop. Shiseido abroad is associated with expensive Japanese makeup, not tasty pastry and yet here in Japan, Shiseido Parlour cheese cakes and baked chocolate cookies are very classical Tokyo souvenirs. I always buy these at Haneda airport when flying to Sapporo to visit relatives.
Speaking of pastry. Japanese girls’ day is coming in a week. It is celebrated on 3rd of March by displaying dolls dressed in ceremonial kimono and eating sakura mochi – a delicate rice cake dessert wrapped in sakura leaves.
My favorite building in Ginza has to be GAP flagship store. I am a frequent visitor these days, buying a lot in their BABY section. With how things are going, I will be moving to KIDS section sooner than I think. My son is growing so fast. ^-^
I have my own stereotypical jokes about tourists in Tokyo. ^-^ Unmistakably, you can always spot Korean visitors at Burberry, Chinese visitors at Bao Bao Issey Miyake (and you will hear them as well even before entering the shop) and European visitors at Mikimoto pearls in Ginza. Mikimoto is collaborating with Hello Kitty this time (http://hellokitty.mikimoto.com/) and that is just icing on the cake as these two brands are very major in Europe and America.
I restrained myself from entering the Apple store as my addiction levels are spiking high in those territories. I recently sold my old Macbook air in anticipation of the release of a new model so I need to avoid touching and smelling new Macs till then. ^-^
Somehow Prada store in Ginza looked like a Pachinko to me. With colorful posters and a big ECC sign on top of the building, it just didn’t look posh at all.
Armani boutique at Ginza tower on the other hand has really impressed me. The building lights up in the evening and besides housing all clothing labels under Armani name, it also has a spa, a casa (interior boutique with custom made furniture), a chocolate parlor and a restaurant at the top floor with a breathtaking view to the city. I received an Armani layette set on my baby shower from Jiye – my Korean friend and yesterday, I learned how much it costs!! Crazy crazy crazy!! I can live for two weeks on that money!
Just like in another posh district of Tokyo – Omotesando, you can still spot here and there old Tailor parlors that I am sure can make a suit far better than any of the International brands they are neighboring with.
More and more traditional Japanese department stores are undergoing major renovations. Instead of packing hundreds of small boutiques next to each other like in a mall, they are creating one big spacious floor with all brands together. If not for any other reason, I like buying a VELVET dress knowing it hang next to Alexander Wang. ^-^
By the way, I fixed my 999.9 glasses for free and the shop also cleaned and did a general maintenance too. Japanese service is amazing. ^-^