[Feature] Q1 (Kyuichi)! Yamagata’s newest creative city center facility
The Yamagata Creative City Center Q1 (pronounced “kyu-ichi”) which just opened in the center of Yamagata City in September 2022 is a complex facility where Yamagata’s cutting-edge technologies are gathered.
Since it opened, it has been visited by many people because it is a place where you can experience various creative genres such as fashionable shops and cafés, along with traditional crafts and art!
This time, we will introduce the charm of this new attraction Q1.
1. Yamagata Creative City Center Q1
◆A symbol of Creative City Yamagata
Yamagata City, known as the Movie City, is one of the few cities in the world where creatives of all genres exist. In 2017, its value was recognized and it joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
In the future, Q1 is expected to become a base for promoting the creation of a town called Creative City Yamagata that connects diverse cultural assets and industries.
Yamagata Creative City Center Q1 (Kyuichi) is a co-creation platform for the creative city of Yamagata. Yamagata City has been recognized as a creative city with excellent local assets in various fields such as movies, music, art, design, traditional crafts, and food culture. We will create a sustainable city by linking creativity to industry, creating new economic activities and creating human resources.
(Quote: Q1 official site )
◆Access & Parking
Q1 is located in the center of Yamagata City, a 15-minute walk from Yamagata Station, and has excellent access.
The outer appearance looks like an ordinary school at first glance…
This building is in fact a renovated old school building, the former Yamagata Municipal Daiichi Elementary School, and the name Q1 comes from the school’s nickname, “Kyu-ichi-sho” which means “former dai-ichi elementary school.”
As for the parking lot, you can use the exclusive parking lot across the road (between the NTT building and the Yamagata Grand Hotel), as well as the Yamagata City central parking lot.
If you use the central parking lot, you can get a discount by bringing your parking ticket to the management office on the 1st floor.
The eye-catching “Q” monument is a spot that shines in various colors in the dark.
2. Inside view of the facility
Let’s go inside now!
It is a modern interior where retro and new coexist.
The classroom-like atmosphere gives you the excitement of a cultural festival day.
Built in 1927, it is the first reinforced concrete school building in Yamagata Prefecture and is registered as a national tangible cultural property.
The exposed concrete surface is from the construction about 100 years ago.
You can feel the dignity that has watched over children for a long time as a place of learning.
There was a picture book corner with a cat theme in the hallway.
Picture books can be taken anywhere within the facility. It looks like it would be nice to read a picture book slowly on the terrace seat with your child!
3. Floor map
In Q1, as of October 2022, about 20 tenants including shops, offices, and artist ateliers will gather, and there will be a rental kitchen and shared offices too.
This time, we will introduce some of them.
Provided from Q1
Let’s take a closer look inside the building!
4. Unique encounters
Kisui-iki [Metalwork miscellaneous goods]
This shop sells miscellaneous goods and accessories centered on handmade metal crafts.
There are items that are familiar to your daily life and give you richness in your daily life.
This three-dimensional cat figurine (pictured below) is made with a single panel of flat board!
It is as if you can feel the plump texture of the cushion.
I can’t believe it’s made out of solid metal.
And the exquisite leaf veins (pictured below) are so beautiful that you can’t help but look at them, and the patterns are copied from real leaves.
You can also engrave the metal products sold in the store as you like.
A workshop is attached to the shop, so you can shop while watching the craftsmen making their products.
This time, I was also shown the inside of the workshop.
Representative Takashi Ota, who was born in Yamagata Prefecture, grew up in a family of metalworkers that has continued since the Edo period, and learned metalworking techniques at a workshop in Kyoto.
In addition to creating works sold in the shop using a large number of tools lined up in a narrow space, they also carry out activities to decorate the surface of Yamagata casting.
Most of the metal miscellaneous goods displayed over the counter express colors in a way that does not use paint.
This lifelike sparrow (pictured above) also uses the properties of metal to create multiple colors by combining multiple materials.
A lot of advanced technology is packed in a small item.
A flower hat motif that is perfect for souvenirs. There is also a hair elastic charm.
The owner, Ai, who met Takashi in Kyoto and moved to Yamagata after getting married, is from Fukuoka.
“Yamagata has a lot of good things that are not yet known.
I would be happy if you could discover the charm of Yamagata at Kisui-iki.
It’s fine just to look at it, so please come by.”
When you look at the beautiful and tasteful works, you will forget the passage of time.
Workshops to make rings and small plates are also planned at Kisui-iki.
For details, please check the official website.Kisui-iki HP
An image of the small plate that is scheduled to be produced at the workshop. The second plate from the right is molded and a pattern is applied using a hammer or mold.
◆New Culture Boutique Niu [Books/Apparel/Miscellaneous Goods]
A select shop that mainly sells second-hand clothes and books.
In addition to used American clothing and miscellaneous goods from the 1950s to 1970s, sophisticated original items are also on sale.
Many of the books selected according to the theme of each month are hard to find in large bookstores, such as individual publications.
You may come across a destined book that will affect your life.
◆ROOTS & Technique the Real Store [Shop]
Starting with young artists with ties to Yamagata, this store handles unique crafts according to monthly themes.
The texture and individuality of the work stand out even more with the sunlight coming in through the window.
Products are also sold at the Q1 online shop, but it is a place where you can meet new charms that you will only notice when you actually pick them up.
If you get tired of walking, come have a meal.
We stopped by Tsuchi, which is an affiliated sshop of the BOTAcoffee café in Yamagata City’s Nanokamachi area and Bota, a coffee-to-go shop located on the 1st floor of Q1.
Like the other two shops, Tsuchi offers not only the fragrant bota coffee, but also dishes made with fresh vegetables and sweets that go well with coffee.
Chicken curry containing about 10 kinds of spices.
You can feel the complex spice scent that overlaps many layers, but it is not too spicy because plenty of milk is used, so the taste is somewhat relaxing.
Homemade Ginger Ale combines the refreshing spiciness of ginger with the deep and spiciness of taka-no-tsume chili peppers for an addictive adult taste.
The scent of lemon and the sweetness of honey accentuate the refreshing aftertaste.
The shop also offers alcoholic beverages such as craft beer.
While enjoying the extraordinary scenery of a night at school, how about spending a relaxing time in the shop surrounded by plants and fashionable miscellaneous goods?
5. A space to create a new you
◆SOU [Beauty Room]
SOU, which just opened on October 3, is a hair salon with the meaning of creation, production, imagination, and closeness.
It is a stylish space where you can feel the attention to detail in each interior.
The space for haircuts is spacious, so you can spend a relaxing time just for yourself without worrying about your surroundings.
“SOU is a space where we want you to feel a ‘change’ that is different from your daily life.
That’s what the owner, Takahi Dairaku, says.
Mr. Dairaku has been running the hair salon HAKU in Yamagata City since 2019, and SOU is his second shop.
The head spa, which is also offered at HAKU, can be expected not only to have a refreshing effect, but also to lift your face.
In principle, a reservation is required, but depending on the schedule, there may be cases where you can get one without a reservation.
After experiencing a lot of creativity in Q1, how about designing a new version of yourself at SOU?
6. A bridge between creativity and industry
◆ Ricoh Japan Co., Ltd. [Satellite Office]
This is a satellite office of Ricoh Japan Co., Ltd.’s Yamagata branch, which was born as a place to realize diverse work styles for employees.
It is also expected to play a role in creating new business opportunities by supporting the innovative ideas of creators in Q1 with the latest digital technology.
Normally, the general public is not allowed to enter, but this time I was given a special tour of the inside.
The first thing that comes to my mind is a web conference space with a sound absorbing function.
You can concentrate on the meeting without worrying about the surrounding sounds.
Perhaps because it is unified with wood grain, it is difficult to feel a sense of pressure even when you enter.
The electronic whiteboard embedded in the meeting table is an excellent one that instantly converts handwritten characters into text.
The office, which is lined with the latest digital equipment, also serves as a showroom.
A screen installed in an office window (pictured below).
A projector that can project images even if it is not placed in front of the screen is used, so even if people pass by, their shadows will not appear in the image.
I realized that the weaknesses of digital devices, which I had taken for granted until now, are steadily disappearing due to the evolution of technology.
Ricoh Japan has branch offices in all prefectures and has connections with many companies.
In the future, it will attract attention as a hub that creates new connections between Q1 creators and students and companies.
7. Keep an eye on the ever-evolving Q1!
Another meaning of Q1 is to “keep asking”.
The diversity of arts, culture, and industry coexist, and because it is a complex facility that continues to question without fear of change, it is a place full of anticipation where further chemical reactions will be born and evolve in the future.
Q1 is filled with the charm of Yamagata, from traditional crafts with a long history to innovative ideas by young artists, to delicious food and sweets.
If you come here, you can touch the heart of Yamagata’s creativity.
Please visit and experience the charm and potential of Yamagata, which is still unknown.
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