TOPTokyo LifeWhat’s New in Ginza This Month: January 2021

What’s New in Ginza This Month: January 2021

From new book releases to sweet, sweet Valentine's Day deals, this is what's trending in Ginza this season

By David McElhinney

The Tokyo Metropolitan area’s state of emergency may have affected day to day proceedings in the capital. In Ginza, however, some upcoming events are slated to run through the emergency’s current end date, February 7, while many others have shifted their focus online.

Here is a rundown of what to expect in Ginza through late January and early February, including art events, book launches, a boutique pop culture clothing collection, and lots of great ideas for 2021 Valentine’s Day gifts. 

Chen Shige’s ‘Steamed Peach Buns’ at Guardian Garden

The works of irreverent Taiwanese artist Chen Shige will be on display at the Guardian Garden exhibition space in Ginza from January 26 to February 21. Shige has won many plaudits for his attention-demanding and humorous motifs created using various materials and techniques, from illustrations to multimedia installations. The Guardian Gallery event, called ‘Steamed Peach Buns,’ integrates themes of wordplay and imagery which mirror the title: much like steamed peach buns, there’s often more to Shige’s works than meets the eye.

Virus prevention measures have been put in place for the event, such as temperature checks, hand sanitizers, enforced mask-wearing and social distancing inside the gallery. Admission is free.

Tissot Boutique Ginza New Limited-Edition Models

To commemorate the opening of Tissot Boutique Ginza on January 30, the 168-year-old Swiss watchmaking company is releasing three brand-new, limited-edition models. The models have a suave navy design theme, with two men’s options available — silver or gold rim — and one ladies’ option — silver rim — all of which come in both steel and leather strap styles. Only 30 units of each limited-edition watch are available. 

While they are only sold in Tissot Boutique Ginza, inquiries and consultations are accepted by phone or email. Reservations for visits are also available.  

Takumi Murayama New Wellness Book Launch

THALEIA, a wellness salon in Ginza, focuses on beauty and self-improvement. Leading the charge is Takumi Murayama, affectionately known as “the prince of flexibility.” His latest book, 家事や仕事中に体を伸ばす!毎日~しながらストレッチ (roughly translated as Stretch While Doing Housework or Work! Stretching While Doing Everyday Activities) is on sale from January 16, 2021. 

The book looks to incorporate stretching into everyday activities, from walking to work to cleaning the house. Murayama’s goal is to help people of all ages increase their flexibility, alleviate aches and strains, and maximize their daily physical performance. The book is available at Amazon and selected online retailers.

Toy Story Vintage Art Clothing Collection at Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto, an avant-garde fashion designer operating out of Tokyo and Paris, has taken one of the 1990s’ most iconic animated movie franchises as the inspiration for his new clothing range, the Toy Story Vintage Art Collection. Primarily employing monochromatic tones of black and white, as is Yamamoto’s style, the range of garments — from t-shirts and hoodies to dresses and totes — bear the unmistakable dramatis personae of the Toy Story gang, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie, Zurg and the highly endearing claw-machine Aliens. The range is available from Ground Y in Ginza Six, other Ground Y stores in Tokyo, or Yohji Yamamoto’s online store from January 27.   

HOPPIN’GARAGE Adult Chocolate Mint Drink

HOPPIN’GARAGE, a project launched by Sapporo Breweries Limited in October 2018, aims to create small beer batches based on concepts solicited from the general public. The latest edition to enter the fray is Adult’s Chocolate Mint, based on the concept of “a bottle that can be enjoyed like sweets.” Pre-orders for the low-malt, chocolate and mint-flavored beer are available from January 15 through February 2 at Amazon or Ginza Lion Shimbashi. Actual sales start on February 2 and will continue until sold-out.      

Loft Ginza’s Valentine’s Day Pairing Experience Kit

From January 16 to February 7, stationery and homeware store Loft Ginza will be selling exclusive “pairing experience kits.” Three Valentine’s Day kits endorsed by local experts of the culinary world – barista Takayuki Ishitani, sake sommelier Marie Chiba, and wine sommelier Motohiro Okoshi – are on offer, accompanied by chocolates from Tokyo-based confectioners UN GRAIN. The kits include your drink of choice – coffee, sake, or wine – alongside boutique receptacles and coasters, and pairing chocolates. 

More Valentine’s Chocolate Collections

As with every year, the department store confectioners and high-end chocolatiers in Ginza are gearing up for February 14 and White Day in mid-March. Some of the most delectable chocolate options include the Venchi Valentine’s day 2021 collection, available at the Venchi store in Ginza or online; limited-edition canelles au chocolat from Noix de Beurre, featured at the ‘Ginza Sweets Collection’ in Mitsukoshi Ginza; and the Luphia cookies available at Valentine World in Matsuya Ginza. 

While in other sweet news, Ginza Cozy Corner stores around the country will serve all-new fresh cream puffs made with Hokkaido milk from January 19 – the first time it has iterated upon its original style since 1984. 

Yu Hirayama’s “Showa Heritage: A Pilgrimage of 1,703 Views” Book Release and Online Event

Popular Japanese blog, Showa Spot Tour, which focuses on the remnants of Japan’s Showa Period history (1926 – 1989), evolved into a book released on January 17, Showa Heritage: A Pilgrimage of 1,703 Views. In the book, author Yu Hirayama romanticizes Showa Japan as he travels up and down the country to 1,703 sights dressed in period attire, driving period cars, and listening to a retro Showa soundtrack. To celebrate the book’s release, a Zoom event is being held (in Japanese) in coordination with Tsutaya Books in Ginza on February 4 from 20:00 to 21:30. See online event details here.

Know of anything exciting coming up in Ginza soon? Anything to add to the list? Send us tips at [email protected]