On April 4, 2019, Japan’s iconic “label-less” label, Muji, opened the doors to its third and latest hotel, Muji Ginza. A follow-up to the impressive outposts in Beijing and Shenzhen which opened last year, the Ginza property stays true to Muji’s “anti-gorgeous” and “anti-cheap” ethos. At the same time, it manages to fit in with the luxury aesthetic that has made the Ginza district so renowned.
An absolute designer’s dream, the hotel’s 79 rooms, which occupy the sixth to 10th floors of a monolithic complex, prove that minimalist doesn’t mean boring. In total, there are nine different elongated room types, labeled from Type A to Type I. Each room offers something a little different, from family-sized spaces with traditional tatami mat reading nooks to bunk-bed rooms, solo studio suites and breezy couples’ hideaways.
Each of the rooms comes stocked — as expected — with Muji products, from the furniture and linen all the way down to the complimentary snacks. However, if there’s any particular Muji product you’re after, the hotel staff can deliver it from the shopping complex below to your door. The pricing of the rooms remains at the same rate throughout the year (again, true to the brand’s ethos), regardless of holiday seasons.
The sixth floor is where you’ll find classically influenced Japanese restaurant Wa and Atelier Muji Ginza, the brand’s “multi-purpose facility” dedicated to “design and culture”. The incredibly sleek open space features two galleries, a salon, a library and a lounge space, complete with a large, round communal table for meetings, studying or simply enjoying the ambience.
Looking closer to ground level, floors five and below belong to the company’s newest global flagship outlet. The outlet is Muji at its biggest and best. It boasts its own Bento Store, Juice Stand, Aroma Bar (where you can create your scent blends), on-site styling advisors, tea-blending service and bakery (serving sandwiches, pastries and fresh bread from 7.30am daily). And on the basement level is the Muji Diner.
For more information on store opening hours, and to book a room, visit hotel.muji.com/en
No music, no life … the future of the record store is in analog and vinyl
Tower Records, the defining music retailer from the 1990s, is finally getting with the times — by going retro. On March 21, 2019, the long-serving record store (which has closed in the US, where it originated, but has continued to operate in Japan) opened their first vinyl-only mini sub-store within their eye-catching Shinjuku branch. The new space, named Tower Vinyl Shinjuku, boasts a 70,000-strong selection of vinyl records, crossing all genre boundaries. For the ultimate shopping experience, Tower Records promises that it’ll host unique in-store events and vinyl pop-up shops in the future. tower.jp/store/shinjuku.