Unique and Bespoke Jewelry at Atelier Shinji, Ginza
November 7, 2014
Walking through Ginza is always a delight, especially near the Kabuki theatre in Higashi Ginza. The side streets here are full of quaint, interesting and unusual shops. The antithesis of the big brand name shops just up the street, this area is bespoke and filled with the spirit of creativity and uniqueness.
A block or so away from the Kabuki-za is Atelier Shinji. It is perhaps the prettiest shop in Tokyo. Fresh and elegant, it stands apart from the other stores around it, and is a small oasis of beauty in a street of grey concrete office blocks.
White window panes offer a seductive glance into the open plan shop. Jewelry, all designed and made on the premises, is displayed openly on shelves and armoires. Mostly made of silver, there is also the occasional gold piece to capture your eye. Indeed it’s a little hard to focus inside, as wherever you turn there are pieces of beautiful contemporary jewelry, all vying for your attention.
Owned and operated by the Naoi family, Atelier Shinji offers not only beautiful readymade things, but also a unique service in which the staff design and make wedding rings based on a consultation with the couple and their unique and commendable design capabilities. Other commissions are also encouraged.
In the center of this lovely space is a display table with a clear top set in it. Through this you can watch as artisans downstairs make the jewelry, one piece at a time.
The shop is home to two collection concepts. The Shinji collection is based on whimsical food and traditional Japanese motifs with a contemporary twist. Many of the pieces are playful and fun. They are designed by the shop’s founders, Shinji and Matico Naoi. The second collection is Amamika and is designed by the second generation of the family, Ippei and Janine Naoi. Their work is based on nature and the urban landscape.
One lovely aspect of the collection is the Japanese themed jewelry, which makes a great gift for friends overseas or indeed as a special purchase for oneself. Motifs such as sakura, ginkgo, daikon and pine create strong, memorable pieces. The more whimsical champagne bubbles and food related pieces, including the fabulous chocolate bud collection, may serve to remind one of other pleasures in Tokyo.
Another very cute collection is the semi-custom-made sitting dog series, a range of small silver dogs which can be customized to match your pet and engraved with the pup’s name. Similarly, silver spoons of various designs are available for order with your choice of name for commemorating life’s special milestones, such as Christenings and naming ceremonies.
Made primarily of Britannia silver 958, which is a high purity silver, most of Atelier Shinji’s jewelry is also available on special order in gold and platinum. Atelier Shinji provides a delightful shopping adventure that will have you going back time and again.
Address: 5-13-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Open: Mon–Fri, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sat, Sun and hols 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (occasionally closed on Sundays)