「Shops that make you feel even more knowledgeable about Ginza」
In this edition, we welcome Mr. Sohey Matsuzaki, eighth-generation storeowner of Ginza Matsuzaki Senbei, with a history of over 200 years since its establishment in 1804.
Matsuzaki-san gave me the task of finding “shops that make you feel even more knowledgeable about Ginza,” so I went to Ginza for a little stroll!
Pencils with a unique touch
The first place I visited was Gojuon, a stationery shop.
This shop is across the street from Hodo-inari Shrine on an alley between Namiki-dori street and Ginza Renga-dori street.
There is a path to the shrine at the left side of the store.
This very cute and narrow path is lodged between buildings. A monkey is there to greet me.
Now, let’s go inside.
It is a shop that specializes in pencils and pens, but when I immediately notice a colorful pen, I realize that it is actually a pencil extender.
When I think of pencil extenders, I remember using them in my elementary school days, but these come in many different colors, patterns, materials, and types, each with a distinctive style. They can also be customized for pens.
Next to those are pencils. These ones that say ‘writing brush leads’ are grade 10b, and you can try them out.
It writes so smoothly and softly, just like an actually writing brush even though it is really a pencil.
There are also some unique and stylish pencils
In the shop, there is also a hidden room where antiques and other items are on display. (Admission for the permanent exhibition is 350 yen.)
This shop is appointment only and only opens irregularly, so be sure to call or email before coming.
Getting healthy in Ginza
Next, I went to a healthy green juice (aojiru in Japanese) specialty shop that Matsuzaki-sansaid is in Ginza.
Half doubting that there could actually be a specialty shop dedicated only to green juice in Ginza, I went to the Endo Aojiru Tomonokai Aojiru Service Stand .
The shop exterior is quite spectacular. I was unsure whether or not I could actually go inside, but I stepped in and saw customers here and there.
The ordering system is simple; you order either a small for 260 yen or large for 520 yen , and they bring you one right away.
I immediately try the 100% domestically-produced pesticide-free kale juice.
I usually drink smoothies with spinach or Japanese mustard spinach. This was my first time to try green juice.
I ordered a small (180 mL), and all the customers around me were drinking it in one gulp, so I did too.
The juice was cold and went down easily. I thought it would be bitter, being 100% kale, but they said that it gets sweeter in winter, and so it was easier to drink than I thought. They also provide salt and water for customers who have trouble drinking green juice.
In addition to men and women from offices, juice cleanses and smoothies have become a thing lately, so lots of younger people come too.
There were also many people who come regularly, and they offer coupon tickets.
It’s very easy and convenient, and many different people popped in for a drink while I was there. The shop staff said that people often come before they go out for drinking parties.
How about a quick health recharge in Ginza?
Long-standing department store’s careful selection of designs
The last place I visited was Matsuya Ginza for the design collection on the 7th floor that I heard is a good place for casually enjoying designs.
This design collection was started in 1955. There are all sorts of products, like kitchenware, daily commodities, interior decor items, and even toys, and it is considered a pioneer for the current style of boutique. These products were each carefully selected after assessment and discussion by 26 leading experts from various fields in Japan, including Kenya Hara, a graphic designer, and Tetsuo Matsumoto, an interior designer, and comments from the experts can be found next to each product.
The products were selected from among items with reasonable prices, and you can just pop by and check it out, even if you are not looking for anything in particular.
It is fun just looking around and perfect for looking for a present for a birthday or other occasion.
Look at all the different types of rice bowls. The shop is fun to just look around in. It makes you feel like slowly examining each and every piece, like you would do at a museum.
There is also a large assortment of children’s toys. It would be fun to look for a present among them.
Design collection with a wide variety of products. How about experiencing the world of design in a laid-back space?
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。