Tokyo – New Store Opens: Journey

As previously blogged, we’re out in Tokyo this week exploring what’s new in this awesome denim city.

Last year we blogged about Blue Blue in Nakameguro, owned by apparel giant Seilin & Co. Owned by Gen Tarumi, Seilin & Co. is the umbrella group for Hollywood Ranch Market, Toll Free, Blue Blue, Okura, and High Standard.

Gen Tarumi first opened Hollywood Ranch Market in 1972 in Sendagaya, Tokyo and in 1979 moved it to Daikanyama where it still stands. Earlier this year they opened a new store in this same area and situated it right in the middle of Daikanyama, next to their Okura store and Bombay Bazaar cafe. The building is particularly special because it is a preserved 60 year-old wooden house that was originally built around the Taisho era in 1916. The house was sadly burnt down in an air-raid in 1945 and rebuilt in 1948 in the form of the house it is now.

This unique house has stood in Daikanyama since the area was a small village surrounded by fields. Check out the pictures below of the house as it once was, as it has been in recent years with other Daikanyama buildings around it, and as it stands today with the new storefront. The store is preserved in glass and surrounded by walls as countermeasures against an earthquake.

The story is a lovely one: An old lady lived in the house for many years and when she became too old to live alone there she moved in with her family outside Tokyo. Planners wanted to demolish the old house and build a new one on the land, but Gen Tarumi was determined to not let this happen. The wooden home has become a fixture of great interest in Daikanyama and he wanted to celebrate and preserve this piece of history. He bought the property from the old lady and encased one side of it in glass to the Journey store. The rest of the house is completely preserved. The store manager’s job is to not only look after the store, but to also be the caretaker of the house, making sure it is aired, dusted, and preserved exactly as the old lady left it. One whole side inside Journey is the outside of her home, complete with wood paneling and sliding wooden windows. Open a little door in the back of the shop and you step inside the overgrown garden and can see the back of the house.

The main brand that Journey carries is Mt. Rainier Design, which is a classic outdoor brand specializing in wind and water resistant cotton and nylon. They also collect items from various U.S. brands that fit in with the unique outdoor inspired theme of the store. On their international shopping site, Okura Online Shop, they’ve recently started carrying Mt. Rainier Design to celebrate the opening of Journey. Next time you’re in Tokyo the store is well worth a visit, simply to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the beautiful space and original details.


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