Ginza Lion building is Japan’s oldest beer hall, and an approved Tangible Cultural Property of Japan ∞ 1

Ginza Lion Building

Did you happen to notice that there’s an 87-year-old beer hall in Ginza, Tokyo’s posh shopping district? It’s housed in the Ginza Lion Building, which is regarded such an essential element of Ginza’s cultural heritage that it was recently identified as a Japanese Registered Tangible Cultural Property.

Japan’s classification of Cultural Properties, which encompasses both tangible and intangible artifacts such as artwork and architecture, is a strategy of conserving the country’s cultural legacy and iconic assets. The Agency of Cultural Affairs oversees these properties, which certifies them as Cultural Properties and provides them with protection and support, The Ginza Lion Building being one of them.

The Ginza Lion Building: A Brief History

Ginza Lion Building
© PR Times

In April of 1934, Dainippon Beer built the Ginza Beer building, a six-story, reinforced concrete structure in what is now Ginza 7-chome, Tokyo. The company relocated its headquarters in Mita, Meguro-ku and its Tokyo branch office to this new building. The design of the building was handled by Eizo Sugawara, who was responsible for the Shinbashi Enbujo. The first floor of the Ginza Building was dedicated to Dainippon Beer’s Ginza Beer Hall, a direct point of sale. There were twelve glass mosaics of different sizes installed throughout.

The sketches for the mosaics were drawn by Sugawara himself, and he oversaw their production. The colored glass used was made by glass artist Yoshizo Okura. Sugawara was quite stringent about colors and ordered several remakes, ultimately agreeing on over 250 colors that met his requirements. Today, the space remains in operation as Beer Hall Lion Ginza 7-chome, and it retains the original interior.

1934 Completion of Ginza Beer and opening of a beer hall
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Ginza Lion Building

The subject was “bountiful yields,” and it was decorated with considerable grandeur for the period. The area is decorated with themes of grain and grapes, giving it a feeling of abundance. It’s nearly like being in a Renaissance dining hall!

Two massive water features on either side of the bar top, which are no longer in function due to the building’s antiquity but are nevertheless gorgeous, add to the impression of elegance. The rooms inside walls are composed of red brick, giving it an even more opulent feel. Many people, including well-known architects, praised these innovative interior design aspects at the time of their construction.

A Video Look of The Ginza Lion Building Beer Hall

The Ginza Lion building now houses a beer and wine restaurant on the 2nd floor, an izakaya on the 3rd floor, a Japanese cocktail lounge on the 4th floor, and entertainment venue on the 6th floor, in addition to a beer hall (which was once used as an office space). Nevertheless, the beer hall is usually recognized as the most beloved element of the historic structure.

The Ginza building celebrated its 87th birthday this year, so perhaps the case that individuals have admired the beer hall for nearly 90 years had a role in its certification as a Tangible Cultural Property, allowing it to be conserved for many more decades.

Beer Hall Information

Ginza Lion Building
© Sapporo

Beer Hall Lion Ginza Nanchome-ten / ビヤホールライオン 銀座七丁目店
Tokyo-to Chuo-ku Ginza 7-9-20 Ginza Lion Building 1F
東京都中央区銀座7-9-20 銀座ライオンビル 1F
Open: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Mon-Sat), 11:30 a.m. to 1o pm. (Sundays & holidays)

Official Website

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