People

Yoshiki Tani×Chisako Takashima

GINZA CONNECTIVE VOL.9

Yoshiki Tani×Chisako Takashima

2012.06.10

A talk series with the violinist Chisako Takashima and the Ginza people. Ginza holds many personal and professional memories for Takashima. In this talk series, she thoroughly explores various aspects of the Ginza culture with her guests. Today’s guest is Yoshiki Tani, Representative Director of Mikasa Kaikan that attracts customers with cuisine from all different genres, including French, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.

It began as a 5 square meter shaved ice shop my grandfather opened in front of the Kabuki-za Theater.

Takashima
Mikasa Kaikan is a building of top-tier restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisine from French, Italian and Chinese to Japanese cuisine. I heard that it actually began as a shaved ice shop. Is this true?
Tani
Yes. It began as a 5 square meter shop my grandfather opened in front of the Kabuki-za Theater. He sold shaved ice in summer and oshiruko (sweet red-bean soup) in winter. There were some difficult times, but, thanks to the help of many people, he was able to overcome them. Unfortunately, the shop closed down during the war, and my grandfather himself suffered severe shock when Japan lost. Luckily, women are stronger (laughs). After the war, my grandmother put on her cooking apron and took over the shop.
Then, as a fateful move, a certain chef was brought in, and they began serving French cuisine which was as of yet unheard of outside the hotels. I myself was shocked to learn that they were serving such luxurious food.
Takashima
What was the origin of the name?
Tani
It was named after Mount Mikasa, that is a symbolic place representing Nara.
Takashima
It’s not really a typical restaurant name, is it?
Tani
It’s a very local name. My grandfather was born in Yoshino, Nara, so he must have felt very emotionally attached to his hometown.

I want to focus on value rather than price.

Takashima
Did your family open various different types of restaurants at first?
Tani
The present building on Namiki-dori was opened in 1966, but the economy was poor at the time, so it did not have a tenant. I guess my grandfather was a bit competitive, because he thought, “Okay then, I’ll take on the whole thing myself.” Then, I succeeded my grandparents at the age of 33, and here we are today.
Takashima
I assume the poor economy that is affecting all of Japan also affects Ginza. Is business difficult?
Tani
Yes it is, but that is not really how I see it. Just because of deflation, I don’t think about reducing prices. I want to focus on value rather than price. Our prices are not set particularly high in the first place, and, most importantly, I want to give customers dishes that spark a feeling of delight in their hearts. I personally try all new menu items during the development stage. If I don’t feel it’s good enough, I won’t give it to our customers.

The red shades are a symbol of Mikasa Kaikan

All List

銀座 らん月/(株)天賞堂/GINZA
三笠会館本店/Hatsukoマロニエゲート銀座
西銀座駐車場/三井住友銀行 銀座支店/銀座千疋屋/
みずほ銀行 銀座通支店/ギンザのサヱグサ/

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