Ginza means «silver mint» in Japanese. From 1612 to 1800, today’s Ginza district in Tokyo was indeed the site of a silver coin mint, after which the area was eventually named
A truthful stay
Inside Ginza Six — one of the major luxury shopping complexes of this area — there is a place where book and arts meet. A place that can give the visitor the hybrid feeling of exploring country’s vibes without having to forget the international dimension. On the sixth floor of this building, people can find the self-proclaiming «world’s best art bookstore». It’s the Ginza Tsutaya Bookstore, an oasis for anyone with an appreciation for art.
The Tsutaya Book brand has spread throughout Japan during the last decade (and also includes the Daikanyama T-Site). It has been imagined by its creators to be not just a bookstore but rather a concept store. Focused at the very beginning on online business, the company has recently opened up huge physical libraries in different cities across the country, in alliance neither more nor less than with some other brands such as Starbucks.
The idea is in fact to propose a combination among different experiences that makes the visit at Ginza Tsutaya a truthful stay. Here visitors are offered the possibility to rearrange thoughts, feelings and vibes going far beyond what they could imagine a bookstore to be.
A 2,300-square-meter space
A selection of around 60,000 domestic and international art books, magazines, and valuable vintage books as well as publications on Japanese culture can be found in 2,300-square-meter space. Visitors can also walk through a well-curated selection of photography, fashion, and travel-themed books.
The store’s interior, in fact, is divided into several unique spaces with a common idea: living with art. The Art Street, which hosts art books organized by era, shows the work of 100 selected artists. At the same time, the Art Wall displays a variety of the store’s recommended art products. The unusual — and rare — aspect of this place is that it succeeds in perfectly combining past and present: leading figures of the scene stand together with emerging artists, giving a feeling of continuity and consistency.
Likewise, the international mood confronts to Japanese culture in the Event Space, which is designed in the image of a tower, with an uncommon collection pulling from both Edo-era culture, including its red-light districts, to contemporary global phenomenon of Manga. This is actually the hearth of the bookshop: dominated by six-meter-high bookcases with this turret motif, paying homage to Japanese architecture, is specifically thought to make people encounter culture, to actively participate and share feeling and knowledge. Not only art can be read, touched and seen, but the idea is to transmit the real cultural feeling. That is how the visitor can rediscover Japan’s fascination. A designated corner will also allow a close-up look at the extreme craftsmanship involved in making Katana, Japanese swords, which have become the symbol of this store and can be bought inside too.
The idea of connecting past and present, international cultures, and Japan history finds its fulfillment in the stationery supply area where high-quality craftsmanship is on display and can be purchased. An incredible number of products — from prestigious design items to ceramic cups, all the way to tech branded accessories — allows the visitor to understand how art can essentially not be disconnected from reality: the feel of the object, seeing it, the desire to connect abstract and concrete.
A cosmopolitan experience
Everything in the store is complementary and has been designed to build unity among mind and space. Only this perception of a universal language being spoken can give the visitor a cosmopolitan — almost absolute — experience, complementary to this Tokyo district.
Tsutaya Book, finally, goes far beyond its main business: ever-changing exhibitions, installations by world-well-known artists, art talks, traditional Japanese crafts, a beautifully designed lounge area and the elegant Starbucks roastery gift the visitor a true experience.
Every day one can walk, admire, relax, or simply read a book having a coffee in an elegant high-end venture. Following the social pages of the bookshop people will be also inspired and encouraged to enter this art-heaven where books are just the beginning of the journey.
The district and the venue
Ginza means «silver mint» in Japanese. From 1612 to 1800, today’s Ginza district in Tokyo was indeed the site of a silver coin mint, after which the area was eventually named. It has evolved in the city’s most polished neighborhood following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake that destroyed the so-called Bricktown designed by the British architect Thomas James Waters after a huge fire in 1872 had destroyed that area.
Today Ginza is in fact a truly luxury fashion centre filled with store, exclusive restaurant, art galleries, boutiques, night clubs and cafés where people can experience a perfect match between shopping culture and the dedication to craft.
Imposing façades and modern architecture summarize the frensy of the district, leaving the visitor inspired. Considered one of the most expensive real estate in Japan, every leading brand name in fashion or cosmetics aims to have a presence there. Some of them are in fact at Ginza Six. Opened in spring 2017, it is the district’s largest shopping complex.
Besides many floors of luxury products, the complex — which hosts the Tsutaya art bookshop — offers inspiring areas devoted to foods and interior design, a pleasant rooftop garden and a Noh theatre in its basement. Not to forget: in the district you can also find the city’s principal kabuki theatre, Kabukiza.
6-10-1, Ginza, Ginza Six 6F, Chuo