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The Tokyo EDITION Ginza Image: The Tokyo EDITION Ginza

Tokyo EDITION Ginza knocks you down with a punch

By Mai Shoji

The Tokyo EDITION part two opened on March 14 with an extra touch of savoir-faire, this time meeting the history, quality and status of Ginza. Built in partnership with Marriott International and Mori Trust, and the highest rank within the Marriott Bonvoy group, Ginza EDITION is certainly one of the newest and the most stylish hotels to stay at in Tokyo.

The radiant 14-floored landscape is just a corner from the legendary Chuo-dori avenue in the less crowded Azuma Street. The entrance is modest, and the Lobby is veiled by a clear glass door and white chiffon curtains. The stationed doorman welcomes you with a smile. The grand floor is cozy, just like an apartment building, that gives you a sense of living in the middle of Ginza.

The Lobby is under the concept of Schrager’s “lobby socialise” where guests can gather to taste local coffee roaster by “Little Nap Coffee Roasters" and panettone from “Less” in Ebisu. Double-height and floor-to-ceiling windows highlight the symbol of EDITION hotels worldwide, yet making a first appearance in the Ginza EDITION - the iconic white staircase.

The iconic white staircase Image: The Tokyo EDITION Ginza

Again, the positioning of orchids, plants, chairs, tables, beds, throws and everything in the hotel are meticulously ordered directly by Ian Schrager, hotelier guru and co-founder of New York’s iconic nightclub Studio 54. Schrager tag-teamed once again with Japan’s praised architect, Kengo Kuma, to add his knowledge and nature-oriented vision.

I checked in at the modestly located reception on the side of the Lobby Bar and waited on one of the many couches. As I was guided to my room, the first thing to catch my eye was the signature eco-fur throw featured in each guest room, along with photography by Japanese photographer Takay and artwork by visual artist Sayaka Maruyama. The black-and-white photographs are simple, yet they possess an attitude, emphasizing the woody homeyness, while stirring guests to dress up and feel fab.

This Superior King is the largest standard hotel room in the Ginza district. Image: The Tokyo EDITION Ginza

The bathtub is long enough to fully stretch your legs. The circular lights above the sink on both sides of the round mirror are romantic and nostalgic, like an Orient Express rendition. Their concept of interweaving the old and new is apparent, not just in the rooms, but throughout the premises.

Among the 76 rooms and 10 suites, the Penthouse is one of a kind. The 115-square-meter space takes in sunlight with no other skyscrapers blocking the view, though it is only on the 13th floor. The kitchen pantry is fully equipped, with a Western home-sized refrigerator, a European brand oven, and even a dishwasher. Two rooms can be connected, for bigger families or celebrity entourages.

The Penthouse bathroom Image: The Tokyo EDITION Ginza

I then checked out The Roof, where my eyes grew wide in astonishment as the elevator door opened. Way back around 2000, I loved the rooftop terrace of an apparel building in Ginza that provided great music, vibes and immaculate drinks. That being long gone, I had been yearning for another outdoor bar overlooking Ginza. I can’t express the euphoria I felt at being able to routinely visit a rooftop bar in the heart of the most prestigious district in all of Tokyo. Anyone living in Japan knows the difference between Ginza and other parts of the city. Due to the height regulation in this district, there are no skyscrapers adjacent, so you get remarkable panoramic sky views. The Roof opened on April 6, so the word may not have gotten out yet, but it will definitely be a hotspot pre and post rainy season. The long and prodigious ko-no-ji (U-shaped) sofas lined up with colorful cushions in the lobby of EDITION at Toranomon is revived here.

The Rooftop providing a selection of wines and gasping open air in the middle of Ginza. Image: The Tokyo EDITION Ginza

From The Blue Room to The Jade Room + Garden Terrace in their part one establishment, the main dining here perhaps could have been called Olive Room (or light green room), but the name Sophie, “represents a typical French name for a typical authentic French cuisine” says Yuta Yajima, PR and Communication at HiRAO Inc.

During the day, the restaurant is filled with sunlight and the color of the chairs make them look like gleaming fresh green plants. At night, you can appreciate overlooking the colorful lights of Ginza from the 14th floor.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here, along with Afternoon Tea at this All-day French eatery Sophie at EDITION Image: The Tokyo EDITION Ginza

A couple of private rooms have a completely different decor. A long dining table seats 14 people, alongside a three-meter art piece of the Ginza area which you are able to compare with the artwork in the other room that has a modern photo of the city.

Local produce is the nucleus at Sophie. A must try is the “Tokyo Burrata Caprese - Dried Tomato, Pistachio, Tokyo Black Vinegar Reduction.” Colorful tomatoes and edible flowers are insta-friendly, and the fresh burrata is also friendly even for non-cheese eaters. The pistachio bits add a crunchy texture and the sour balsamic plus olive oil from Kagawa Prefecture make it an endless routine combined with the homemade bread.

Tokyo Burrata Caprese - Dried Tomato, Pistachio, Tokyo Black Vinegar Reduction Image: Mai Shoji

The menu items on the tasting course are not on the a la carte menu, but the chef amiably accepted my request to replace a small portion of “Seasonal Vegetable Spaghetti (Vegan) - Black Olive, Capers, Tomato Sauce” from the a la carte menu as an appetizer, and the roasted duck from the seasonal course menu for the main course. Only the right French chef knows how to cook a duck right. Other specialities on the menu are “Grilled Salmon - Wilted Spinach, Horseradish Sauce”, “Beef & Potato Casserole - Wagyu Ragout, Gruyère, Shisho Leaf”, “Roasted Whole Chicken - Seasonal Vegetables, Tokyo Yuzu Pepper, Tokyo Miso & Fresh Herb Sauce.”

Roasted Duck is a tricky dish but the chef at Sophie prepares it sublime. Image: Mai Shoji

“Vegetables, free of pesticides or chemical fertilizers, are sourced from Yoko Farm in Saitama Prefecture, and honey is made in Ginza,” says Yukari Fujiwara, PR and Communication at HiRAO. You can’t go wrong when well-sought after local Japanese ingredients are merged with French culinary techniques. And if you feel like you had too much to eat, you can hit the gym on the 3rd floor equipped with Technogym machines.

My experience at the cocktail bar, Punch Room, was one of the highlights during my stay. The coffered ceilings and walls with dark walnut wood were insisted by Kuma to relive the traditional Edo trend. The down-to-earth milieu encompasses guests from different backgrounds. The royal blue couch in the center stands out and yet somehow blends in with the east-meets-west amalgam. This is also relevant to the punch, made of five ingredients, from 19th century London’s original recipe to a twist of Japanese liqueur and spice.

An astounding chandelier stand greets guests at the entrance to Punch Room. Image: HIRAO Inc

I tried “Davis & White - Suntory white whisky, vanilla tea, bitters, pineapple, miso, citrus” recommended by bar manager Yasuhiro Kawakubo, who says, “When pineapples ripe well, it gives a distinctive scent close to miso, so I recognized miso would be a great match.” Kawakubo is well respected in his field as an incredible mixologist and a knowledgeable soul.

Punch Bowl - “Davis & White - Suntory white whisky, vanilla tea, bitters, pineapple, miso, citrus” Image: Mai Shoji

In addition to the Punch Room’s classy ambience, all the accomplished bartenders have the charm to entertain guests with their communication versatility. I found myself laughing out loud like I was watching a stand-up comedy act. They suggest everyone try their seasonal punches in silver punch bowls poured with ladles. The menu will change come June, so best try the current list of Tokyo originals now.

As the clock hand almost made a straight line, I carried the fun memories into my dreamy room. The king bed and Frette 400 thread count linen are absolute comfort and there was no noise to be heard, despite Ginza being known as a city of the night. The night was peaceful and to top it, I was embraced in custom Le Labo bath amenities in signature EDITION black tea scent.

Continental breakfast selection - curated selection of pastries, charcuterie, fruit and more at the bar Image: Mai Shoji

Breakfast makes you start your day with a smile. To kick off, a choice of coffee and perhaps fresh juice as you hit the buffet that beautifully has rows of yogurt, oatmeal, salad, hams, pastries and fruits. For the main dish, I went for “Japanese breakfast - Grilled Fish Filet, Simmered Vegetables, Side Dishes, Steamed White Or Brown Rice, Miso Soup, Pickled Vegetables” in order to test the local culinary style at a French brasserie. Each of the seven small dishes alongside brown rice and miso soup are attentively prepared, with delicate taste, true to the authenticity of washoku.

Japanese breakfast - Grilled Fish Filet, Simmered Vegetables, Side Dishes, Steamed White Or Brown Rice, Miso Soup, Pickled Vegetables Image: Mai Shoji

Tourists are the dominant guests so far, but there seems to be a trend for locals to stay at domestic luxurious hotels due to the accelerating fall of the yen. I can highly recommend the EDITION in Ginza for Tokyo residents who need a retreat. And while at it, you might enjoy bar-hopping at their four bars - The Lobby Bar, Sophie’s bar, The Roof and the Punch Room.

What I believe separates EDITION from local boutique hotels and five-star luxury hotels, is the omotenashi - from as simple as remembering guest names, to a hand-written welcome letter by the general manager, sweets waiting for you on the table in the room upon arrival, to an instant photo sealed on a thank you card next to a hand-drawn artwork. These acts of kindness are what warms our hearts and stay in our memories. It is no boutique hotel, but a top-ranked establishment, where I can feel comfortable going back to because I know I would be welcome again and again.

Address: 2-8-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061

Hotel Phone Number: +81 3-6228-7400

Reservations: +81 3-5422-1610

Sophie at EDITION

Open daily

Breakfast 7 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Lunch 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Dinner 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Lobby Bar

Open daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Punch Room

Bar: Sun – Mon Closed

Tue – Thu 6 p.m. - 12 a.m. (Food L/O 10:45 p.m. L/O 11:30 p.m.)

Fri – Sat 6 p.m. - 2 a.m. (Food L/O 10:45 p.m. L/O 1:30 a.m.)

The Roof

Open seasonally Wed - Fri 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sat - Sun 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Roof will be temporarily closed for maintenance June 3 (Mon) – July 3 (Wed)

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Looks nice....the writer obviously stayed as a guest of the management. Good for her.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Beautifully written and the pictures are sensational too! I'll be doing a staycation there next month. Thanks for the turn on.

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