Find “Wa” in Tokyo’s exquisite town
For more than 100 years, Ginza has remained the center of high society and luxury shopping in Tokyo. Despite several great fires and bombing during WWII engulfing the whole district, it has constantly revitalized itself as a fine shopping area.
In the late 1980s, during the Japanese bubble economy, it was said that the value of property in Ginza was worth more than that of the whole California. Now those high streets boast a collection of sparkling buildings housing major brands like Hermes, Cartier, Louis Vouitton, and more.
Although at first glance Ginza may look like any up-market shopping area in Asia, once you step into one of the shops that specialize in traditional Japanese wares, you realize you have stepped into the deep world of “Wa 和.” Wa is a highly nuanced, profound word that stands simultaneously for “Japanese,” “harmony” and “calmness.” Wa of Ginza is different from that of Kyoto. Kyoto was traditionally a city for aristocrats and Wa in Kyoto is elegant and rather “rococo.”
Whereas Edo (the medieval name for Tokyo) was a town for Chonin (well-off ordinaries) who were known for heir taste for all things ‘chic’. Ginza is the best place to find this Wa-chic. Here in this issue, we have picked just some of the shops and spots where you can experience such Wa.
It all starts in GINZA
June / 2011