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Ginza dep't store trumpets new era with live fanfare

Trumpet players are seen commemorating the Matsuya Ginza department store's first opening in the Reiwa era in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on May 1, 2019. (Mainichi/Koichi Yamashita)

TOKYO -- A department store here has heralded the beginning of the Reiwa era with an opening celebration for its customers, complete with some brassy live music.

Matsuya Ginza, a department store in Tokyo's Chuo Ward, celebrated the first day of the Reiwa era when doors opened at 10 a.m. with a live fanfare from trumpet players. Commemorative sake straight from the barrel and "anpan" sweet bean paste buns bearing the phrase "Celebrate Reiwa" in kanji characters were handed out to the first 100 customers, respectively.

Masanobu Ishizaka, 53, of Takasaki in Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, came to the store to shop with his family. He spoke to the Mainichi Shimbun while enjoying his complimentary sake, saying, "We came here to enjoy the 10-day break; I think it's a good memento."

Andrew Esterline, 28, an English teacher from the United States living in Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, in central Japan, said, "I wasn't sure how the era change is celebrated in Japan, so I'm glad I came here. I hope it'll be an era where everyone can be happy."

(Japanese original by Jun Kaneko, City News Department)

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