Nearby Tokyu Plaza may be grabbing all the headlines in Ginza these days, but another – and more interesting, some would say – shopping centre is now making waves among Tokyo's moneyed fashion and food connoisseurs. Opened on March 26 underneath the Sony Building in the space vacated by much-vaunted French eatery Maxim's de Paris, The Parking Ginza is the work of musician and multi-talent extraordinaire Hiroshi Fujiwara, and feels like a world away from Ginza's tourist-infested streets above.
Heading down from the entrance towards the second basement floor, the first spot you'll notice is Café de Ropé, the Harajuku-born eatery specialising in variety toasts and decadent desserts. We're especially fond of the nori seaweed toast (pictured below), while the cheese curry version will delight big eaters. For a little something sweet, try the fruit sandwich, which comes courtesy of Akasaka's Fru-Full.
The same floor is also home to Bonjour Records, hidden behind an entrance less than a metre wide. A glass case with cassette tapes greets you at the door, while the insides house CDs, DVDs and a range of collab items available only here.
Grab the gold handrail at the staircase and make your way deeper into the complex until you reach the fourth basement floor. Check out the massive ‘The Parking Ginza’ logo with arrows pointing downstairs on concrete walls, making it seem like you’re walking through an actual parking lot, and start exploring the jumble of shops touting all forms of original merchandise. Highlights include Sony's 70th-anniversary shirts and sweatshirts, clothing by the likes of Denim By, Descendant, Nike and No. 813, and artsy marginalia courtesy of Poggy's Box, a pop-up shop housed in an old industrial fridge and produced by United Arrows & Sons director Motofumi Ogi. This one's on until May 22, so consider heading over sooner rather than later.