In this edition we welcome Mr. Hirotada Tokuma, President and Director of Ginza PIAS Building Co., Ltd., which has leased buildings in Ginza 8-chome for 51 years, and President and CEO of M&L Trust Co., Ltd., a real estate brokerage and management business launched by himself.
Our first stop was Ginza Motoji, where Tokuma-san had his first shopping experience in Ginza.
Ginza Motoji runs a kimono business, with three street-level stores with different specialties: women’s kimono, men’s kimono and Oshima Tsumugi (Oshima longer).
Many people believe that men’s kimono tend to be simple, but “nagajuban” (full-length undergarment worn under a kimono) come in a large variety of colors and designs, sometimes depicting humor. We asked the second-generation owner, Mr. Keita Motoji, to show us some of his recommendations.
Ginza Motoji carries a unique lineup of “nagajuban,” including one depicting an old map of Ginza in the Edo period and many designed with a playful heart. Since the “nagajuban” can be seen from the sleeve edge, it would be nice to select one to match your kimono, or even for the sake of sparking a conversation.
Motoji-san also showed us some “gakuura,” lining material for “haori” coats.
He told us that popular motifs, include dragonflies, symbolizing victory (as they cannot move backwards), and other designs that are said to bring good fortune.
Since a sumptuary law was in effect during the Edo period, people were not allowed the freedom to enjoy colors and design, and therefore they enjoyed “uramasari,” or pursuing fashion in a way they would not be caught – “nagajuban,” “uragaku,” and other garments that could not be noticed. Because people had to wear modest kimonos, liner material was an important means of self-expression.
Specializing in men’s kimonos, the store bears an inviting atmosphere even for men who might usually feel uncomfortable shopping alone. The staff would be delighted to help with kimono coordination and I would suggest casually stopping by to see their collection on a visit to Ginza.Ginza Motoji Otoko no Kimono
Our next destination was Ishingo, that Tokuma-san described to be the restaurant that he felt the strongest ties with in Ginza.
Ishingo is a long-established Chinese restaurant with a history of over a century since its establishment in 1899 (Meiji 32). This time, we went to Ishingo Ginza Shinkan, located in Ginza 8-chome.
“My family has dined at this restaurant since my grandfather’s time and I still come here often on occasions such as New Year’s gatherings.”
The steamed meat bun, which has been Tokuma-san’s favorite since he was a boy, is a hit product at Ishingo. Very large and stuffed with a generous amount of scallops and pork, it is one of their specialties.
According to Mr. Cheng, owner of the restaurant, when they reopened after World War II, his father experimented with the dried scallops that he had kept in storage to find a way to make use of them. His attempt to use them in buns proved successful and the product became very popular among diners.
Ishingo offers four types of steamed Chinese buns: “Nikuman” (meat buns), “Anman” (azuki bean paste buns), “Goma-an” (sesame buns) and “Saipao” (buns with a salty “Nozawana” (Japanese variety of mustard leaf) and scallop filling). The buns can be taken away.
Other than the Chinese buns, the “Ebi-nori-yakimeshi” (fried rice with shrimp and dried sea laver, 1,600 yen excl. tax) and “Nabe nikomi soba (stewed noodles), 1,800 yen excl. taxes).
Twenty weekday lunches are served for a very reasonable price of ¥1,030 (including tax).
Come visit Ginza to indulge in the long-established taste of Chinese cuisine at Ishingo.Ishingo Ginza Shinkan
Our final destination was the Hyatt Centric Ginza Hotel, the Hyatt’s lifestyle hotel brand, which opened in Ginza 6-chome in January 2018.
When Tokuma-san was on the organizing committee for the popular summer event, “Yukata de Ginbura,” he was deeply impressed by the staff members’ supportive attitude toward the Ginza community, willingly offering their time for interviews and graciously agreeing to co-sponsor events. They inspired him to bend all his efforts toward the success of the event.
We went to NAMIKI667, the hotel signature restaurant, bar and lounge, located on the third floor. The spacious and sophisticated atmosphere of the hotel is one unique to Ginza.
According to Chef Hayasaka, given their location in an area symbolic of Tokyo, his wish was to introduce local Tokyo ingredients. Therefore, the restaurant serves oven-based slow-cook specialties that feature the freshest local ingredients, showcasing the finest seasoning, vegetables and Wagyu Beef. Even the food offered is true to their name,“Centric,” which means “city center” or “information center.”
My suggestion is to stop for a drink and light meal, such as their specialty Hokkaido pork tonkatsu sandwich with Tokyo Tokiwa sauce or NAMIKI667 Wagyu beef burger.
From 5:00-7:00 PM, they have a “happy hour” known by the name, “NAMIKI 5 to 7,” when you can enjoy a cocktail, or a glass of beer or wine for 600 yen. They offer six unique and creatively crafted cocktails that are differently arranged from season to season. Indulge in a cocktail and good music on Thursday and Friday evenings, when they invite guest DJs from bars in Tokyo.NAMIKI667
2017ミスアース群馬代表・全国大会4位ミス・ファイアー受賞。同年2017Miss Tourism queen of the year世界大会へ日本代表として出場し、各国の出場者達の投票によって決まる、ミスフレンドシップ賞を受賞。現在はモデル・MCとして活躍中。