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Shiseido Parlour fêtes 120 years with drinks inspired by geisha fashions from Meiji Era

From October 1st to October 29th, 2022, "BAR S" on the top floor of the Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building will be serving special cocktails and desserts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Shiseido's founding and the 120th anniversary of Shiseido Parlour, which continues to be a stylish and fashionable gathering place for adults in the ritzy Ginza neighborhood of Tokyo.

The highlight of the lineup are cocktails in 新橋色 shimbashi iro, or "Shimbashi Color."

Shimbashi Color and Shimbashi Geisha

A turquoise blue color, 新橋色 (shimbashi iro | Shimbashi color), also known as 金春色 (komparu iro | Komparu color), derives its name from the Meiji Era when the geisha houses on 金春新道 Komparu Shinmichi street (the current 金春通り komparu dōri street) in the Tokyo neighborhood of 新橋 Shimbashi adjacent to Ginza were coming into their own as an important center of geisha activity.

You can see Shimbashi color name plates on Komparu Dōri street today:

When chemical dyes were first imported into Japan in the Meiji era, the color became popular as one of the numerous elements that symbolized the Westernized appearances and lifestyles that people referred to as ハイカラ haikara (from the English "high collars" of the men who wore Western clothes). The color first appeared in prints and paintings in the late 19th century but then the Shimbashi geishas (also called Komparu geishas), fashion leaders of their time, began wearing the color in their kimonos and accessories, sparking a new trend.

A Japanese woman wearing a Shimbashi color kimono. | metamoworks / © PIXTA

From the time of its founding in 1902, Shiseido Parlour, where Japan's first soda fountains were installed, was a favorite hangout for Shimbashi geishas. Their patronage was so valued that Shiseido offered them bottles of Eudermine Revitalizing Essence (launched in 1897) to take home when they ordered soda water, which became a must-try item in the Ginza neighborhood. Shiseido Parlour even built a place for geisha to keep their instruments so that they could enjoy a glass of soda water as a quick break from their shamisen lessons.

Shimbashi Color Cocktails at BAR S

Paying homage to Shiseido Parlour's roots, BAR S will be offering two beautiful Shimbashi Color cocktails.

芸者 Geisha: 1,700 JPY

A gin-based cocktail with a refreshing taste, it features aromatic yuzu liqueur and blue curaçao in a cultured milk beverage base.

ブルービューティ Blue Beauty: 1,600 JPY

A cool and refreshing semi-frozen non-alcoholic cocktail made with pear syrup and サイダー (saidā | from "cider"), a carbonated citrus-flavored drink.

Anniversary Cocktails

In addition to the Shimbashi Color cocktails, BAR S will be offering several anniversary cocktails.

From left to right:

  • 銀座1902 Ginza 1902: 1,700 JPY, non-alcoholic, cranberry and grapefruit
  • 銀座2022 Ginza 2022: 1,700 JPY, non-alcoholic, butterfly pea flower and violet syrup
  • 陽光のエナジー (yōkō no enajī | sunlight energy): 2,000 JPY, rum, lemon, lychee
  • 幽玄のアクア (yūgen no akua | mysterious aqua): white wine, yuzu, blue curaçao


パフェ ジュエル Parfait Jewel: 2,800 JPY

A sophisticated parfait featuring the freshest seasonal fruits and champagne, champagne jelly, cherry jelly and vanilla ice cream.

苺とポートワインのアイスクリームソーダ Strawberry Porto Ice Cream Soda: 2,200 JPY

花椿ビスケット24枚入 限定缶新橋色 Hanatsubaki Biscuits in Shimbashi Color tins

Sold at Shiseido Parlour stores nationwide, mainly in department stores, and at Shiseido's online store, 花椿ビスケット (hanatsubaki bisuketto | Hanatsubaki Biscuits), with their gentle taste, have been a long-selling product since the early Showa period. Available for a limited time in beautiful and elegant Shimbashi Color tins, they're perfect as a reward for yourself or as a gift for your friends or loved ones.

A tin of 24 biscuits costs 1,998 JPY (incl. tax).

About BAR S

  • Address (JP): 東京都中央区銀座8-8-3 東京銀座資生堂ビル11階
  • Address (EN): 11F Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Bldg. 8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
  • Phone: 03-3572-3922
  • Business hours: Tuesday - Saturday 15:00 - 23:00 (L.O. 22:30) / Happy Hour: 15:00 - 19:00
  • Cover charge (from Oct. 1st): 1,000 JPY per person at all times.
  • Closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays (as well as irregular holidays)
  • Official website

By - Ben K.