View with San-ai Dream Center (ARA)


(Translated from the original article on March 22, 2023)

This is ARA.
The reconstruction of the San-ai Dream Center has been announced.

This building, which faces the Ginza 4-chome intersection in Tokyo, has been used as "RING CUBE" and "Ricoh Imaging Square Ginza" for some time since 2008, and many of you may have visited it for exhibitions, photography classes, GR Cafe, etc.

I took some pictures of the view of this building from the streets of Ginza before this landmark familiar to GR fans disappears.

GR IIIx, P mode, 1/50s, F16, ISO200, Positive Film
The display window of Ginza Mitsukoshi. Beautiful displays are also great subjects for photography.

The San-ai Dream Center opened in 1963, the year before the Tokyo Olympics.
The modern, all-glass, cylindrical architecture must have been an eye-catcher even in Ginza during the period of rapid economic growth.

Surprisingly, it was not until 2006 that the Ricoh logo appeared on the top billboard.
I remember having a strange first impression that the empty margins stood out when our company's horizontal logo was placed in that location.

GR III, P mode, 1/30s, F8.0, ISO200, Hi-Contrast B&W
On weekends, you can enjoy street snapshots literally on the street in the pedestrian paradise.

Meetings and press interviews were often held in the meeting place on the ninth floor.
I especially enjoyed Lintaro's (Samuel Lintaro Hopf) video coverage of the square.

I wanted him to introduce the appeal of the Imaging Square to the international audience, but I made many mistakes during the interview. However, with his editing skills, he was able to turn it into a delightful YouTube content.

GR III, Av mode, 1/100s, F2.8, ISO200, negative film
The loss of resolution caused by shooting through glass and the fading of the Negative Film mode give the image a vintage print look.

The intersection seen from a little above.
From here it looks a bit cramped with the many magnificent buildings surrounding it, showing how much Ginza has changed in the past 60 years.

GR III, 5s, F16, ISO200, ND: On, Vivid
I didn't use a tripod for this long exposure. I pressed the camera against the curb along the sidewalk. This is a trick that only a compact camera like the GR can do.

The front view. This is the best angle to get the best view.
By using a slow shutter (5-second exposure) with the smallest aperture and the built-in ND filter, I was able to capture the light trails of cars coming and going at the intersection at dusk.

The San-ai Dream Center will be demolished over the next two years starting this March, and the new building will be completed in 2027.
It may seem like a long time, but four years will go by in the blink of an eye.
I can't even imagine what kind of facility it will be, but I hope it will be a beautiful building that everyone who visits Ginza will want to take pictures of.


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