Aesop Nihonbashi Takashimaya S.C

Aesop Nihonbashi store, front window

Smoked brass was chosen for the surfaces, tapware, and the small cross symbols inlaid in the shelves and granite flooring—a subtle replica of the marker that appears in the centre of the bridge.

The present stone-and-steel iteration of Nihonbashi—literally ‘Japan Bridge’—was constructed in the early twentieth century, replacing earlier wooden structures that dated to 1603. While it remains a site of historic commercial significance, today it bears evidence of rapid modernisation, partially eclipsed by the Shuto Expressway stretching overhead.

It was with this past in mind that our Nihonbashi signature store, located within the Takashimaya department store, was created. Designed in partnership with CASE-REAL, the space draws on the neighbourhood’s evolving urban landscape, and the layering of structures over time.

Native Cypress wraps the walls, demonstration sinks and a sales counter. Bronze was chosen for the surfaces, tapware, and the small cross symbols inlaid in the shelves and granite flooring—a subtle replica of the marker that appears in the centre of the bridge, designating the ‘starting point’ or kilometre zero of Japan’s national highway network.

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‘Life is a lying dream, he only wakes / Who casts the World aside.’

Zeami Motokiyo