Ginza has seen many a huge shopping complex start business over the past year, but the biggest one yet is set to open its doors this spring. The main part of construction for the humongous Ginza Six (which boasts an awning that immediately makes us hum a certain 2010 hit) finally came to a close on February 1, and we went round for a look at the currently still quite empty shell.
Set in the lot previously occupied by the old Matsuzakaya, Ginza Six is scheduled to open in earnest on April 20. At the moment, the main tenants (read: mainly a bunch of high-end boutiques) haven't moved in yet, but the outer facade, office spaces, the Ginza Six Garden rooftop terrace and the disaster relief facilities are already done.
Sprawling across a staggering 19 floors – 13 of those above ground level – the massive complex boasts separate office and retail floors, with the latter set to provide a home for 241 brands. International high-flyers Céline, Christian Dior, Fendi, YSL, Valentino and many more will get the top spots facing Chuo-dori.
To be used in case of an emergency or natural disaster, this 'disaster relief warehouse' can accommodate about 3,000 people who are unable to return home, with mineral water, emergency food, blankets and other essentials available.
Floors 7-13 are set to house offices
But the main attraction has to be the rooftop garden and the picturesque views of Ginza's cityscape it provides. They've planted everything from cherry blossom trees to pines and maples, so you can see the best of every season high above the streets. Even better, there's talk of a beer garden in summer, so that both locals and visitors can wind down and beat the summer heat.
When Ginza Six opens in a few months' time, some of the other tenants will include the latest outpost of Tsutaya Books, and a Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten branch where you can shop for stylish Japanese souvenirs until your wallet bleeds; on the gourmet side of things, Tsukiji Suzutomi, Teppanyaki Ginza 10, Ginza Sanada and many more restaurants will be clamouring for space in your belly.
With the facilities also including some unorthodox features such as a Noh theatre in the basement and a tourist bus stop right in front of the entrance, we're interested to see how this one-stop shopping mammoth will pan out in practice.