Tokyo Diaries: The Shiseido Parlour and Flagship Store in Ginza
The world is a huge place but there are two cities that I want to see in my lifetime: Tokyo and Paris. I have always assumed that I will be able to visit them when I'm 30 or something - traveling in your early twenties while paying rent in an upscale city, well, it doesn't compute. But thanks to Shiseido I had the opportunity to see Tokyo last week. I'll be sharing with you some of the beautiful sights to be found in this mega city, as well as the latest innovation from Shiseido!
But wait, why did the brand decide to bring the press to Japan instead of just holding the usual launch? The new line of products is a special step for them, they explained, because it is the first time that they'll be tapping the younger generation. Shiseido is thought of as catering to an older market, but they want to change that.
They wanted us to experience Tokyo - the luxe yet composed atmosphere of Ginza (the business district), the healing environment of the Meiji Jingu Shrine (a forest in the middle of the city), and the electrifying, high-energy streets of Harajuku and Shibuya (food and fashion reign supreme). We also visited the Shiseido Museum in Kakegawa, and where it all began in 1897 - the Shiseido Parlour and the Shiseido flagship store along the Ginza strip.
By visiting all these places, we are able to understand the brand at a deeper level. We have seen Shiseido's awe-inspiring past, its present, and perhaps even its future. Are you ready to see it as well?
Let's go on a trip! :)
View from my window
We stayed at the Royal Shiodome Tower, where the first 24 floors are occupied by the Shiseido offices. Did you know that they employ 3,000 employees in Tokyo alone? They are sort of an umbrella company that also own brands like Cle de Peau, Avene, NARS, Bare Minerals, Majolica Majorca, Benefique, and so on!
Welcome gift from the Shiseido team!
Shiseido toiletries only, of course
After settling down at the hotel, we took a cab to the Shiseido flagship store, which is right beside the Shiseido Parlour. These two places are actually the first two locations of Shiseido ever since it opened shop as a pharmacy in 1897!
Ginza Strip during the Meiji Restoration (credits)
The Shiseido Flagship Store has three floors of all the brands under Shiseido. It has Cle de Peau, the most luxurious and expensive one occupying one whole floor! Cle de Peau there offers facials and personal makeup consultations for quite a price, but if you are willing to pay then it sure looks worth the experience.
Window display with rotating flowers. So beautiful!
The flagship store was originally was built adjacent to the original Western-style pharmacy of Shiseido in 1916. The founder, Arinobu Fukuhara, wanted a place where people can buy cosmetics as well as view the works of his patronized artists. The three-story building also housed the testing area (where new products were formulated) as well as a whole floor just for its product designers. You will see how the brand took product design seriously when we visit the museum!
Today, the flagship store is a one-stop shop if you need new products, facials, consultations, hair cuts, and even studio photos.
Next up, the Shiseido Parlour! It's a high-end restaurant owned by Shiseido, with 11 branches (if I remember rightly) all over Japan. I asked the Japanese principals about the rationale for operating a restaurant, and the answer is simple. When Shiseido was built, it was styled after Western pharmacies that also featured a soda fountain and even an ice cream parlor. The Japanese-Western pharmacy eventually evolved to become a restaurant where people can stop over after a delightful afternoon shopping at Ginza.
Window display of Shiseido Parlour
The food was divine! This was my favorite, the Confit of Duck Foie Gras
Roasted Japanese Beef with Gravy Sauce and Horse Radish
End it all with a cup of tea and candy
The Shiseido principals and the Philippine press. (Top row, L-R) Mia of Town & Country, Jillian of Cosmopolitan, Shirasuka-san of Shiseido's Tokyo office, Martha of The Beauty Junkee, Nana of Chalk Magazine, Zhuo-san of Shiseido. (Bottom Row, L-R) Marian of Shiseido Philippines, Nikki of Preview/Stylebible, Jen of Shiseido Philippines, Kim of Mega, Liz (me!)
So there you go! Tomorrow I will be talking about the Shiseido Museum and of course the latest product from the brand: the Ibuki Line. Spoiler: I love the stuff. I've been using it since it got it! ;) It will be coming out in September so watch out for it then!
What do you think of my Shiseido adventure so far? Sound off in the comments!