Thrifting in Kanazawa: Must-visit street for fashion lovers

Looking for fun activities in Kanazawa? Maybe you're always on the lookout for fashion treasures wherever you go... Come on over to Tatemachi, a small street located in the center of Kanazawa, just minutes away from the 21st Century Museum of Art Kanazawa. The street was coined the biggest fashion street in the Hokuriku region where locals gather to explore one-of-a-kind, unique fashion finds. We go
t the opportunity to talk with Matsuzaki-san, the owner of GENT, a second-hand shop with a great selection of military style fashion and vintage / used clothing from Europe. 

Q: What kind of styles can we find at GENT?
A: GENT specializes in vintage / second-hand clothing from various countries in Europe as well as military style fashion. Although we do have some women's pieces, we mostly carry men's. We also have collections from some of our favorite Japanese designers like Comme des Garçons and Issey Miyake. Imagine a teenager starting off with street fashion and as he grew up to become an adult, his fashion style gradually evolved to designer brands... That's probably the best way to explain the style here at GENT.


Q: What does "GENT" mean?

A: That's great you asked because naming my store was the most stressful part about starting my business. Coming up with my kid's name was much easier! Haha! So, the previous owner named the store "Launch", (like a rocket ship launch) and I wanted to continue with the theme of outer space. I also wanted the name to have a Japanese meaning. That's when I came across 玄兎 (pronounced "Gento"). In the ancient times in Japan, people used to call the moon "Gento". When I saw this word, I remembered that the very first city I visited to purchase vintage clothing in Belgium was "Ghent". Serendipity! But long story short, GENT means moon.

Q: What's so great about vintage / second-hand clothing from Europe?

A: In my opinion, fashion pieces from Europe are so much more unique and fascinating than any other regions. Take a trench coat for instance. You'd normally just tie the belt over and around the waist, but I've seen trench coats made in a way so you can pull the belt through on the inside so you can wear it open with the belt dangling in the front. It's a small little detail but it opens up a plethora of possibilities. I love that there's always a little bit of play and creativity in European fashion. There aren't a lot of shops out here selling European vintage and second-hand clothing, so I wanted this to be the essence of my store.

Q: What's the most important aspect when selecting items for your store?

A: When selecting items for the store, I actually have real customers in mind. I say, "Ok, this jacket would look so good on him..." or "This dress is totally her style!" But by the time those customers actually come to the store, the pieces are sold out! Bummer! But that's my way of selecting pieces.

Q: What are your favorite pieces in the store right now?

A: K-Way! It's a pretty popular windbreaker brand from France. When the kids in Europe go on field trips, K-Way windbreakers are on their things-to-bring list. It's vintage, but look at how vibrant the color is! Normally it's worn as a windbreaker as an outer jacket, but I think it's also fun to wear it inside of a sweater like this, showing just a little bit of color from the collar and the sleeves. See, this is the fun in fashion!

Also, come look at this ring. It's an antique women's ring made almost 100 years ago in London. I'm imagining a lady wearing a military style outfit matched with this ring. So chic!

It'd be great to see more fashion lovers and people who want to start exploring fashion, here in Tatemachi.

Q: What's your current favorite store in Tatemachi?

A: Steady. is an amazing cafe & bar. They also sell some lifestyle goods too. Highly recommend!

Thank you so much Matsuzaki-san! If you're around the area or planning a trip to Kanazawa, come visit GENT and all the fun shops on Tatemachi street! 


Address:Kitaguni Denmura Building 2F, 1-12-23 Katamachi, Kanazawa
Tel: 076-254-6035
Hours:12pm - 8pm
Closed on:Wednesdays

Address: 99 Tatemachi, Kanazawa
Tel: 076-210-5155
Hours: 12pm - 1am / Weekends: 12pm - 2am
Closed on: Irregular Holidays

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