America, Big & Tall 大きいサイズの服

Updated March 7, 2023: the Grand Back store in Kobe no longer occupies the former US Consulate, and the chain no longer appears to have any physical stores in Japan, from what I can tell.

Near the Kobe 神戸 waterfront is a grand stone building. A weathered plaque bears the following inscription:

On this site in July 1868
was established the first
American consulate in Kobe

Known as the 神戸メリケンビル (Kobe Meriken Building), this former American consulate can be seen in this map of Kobe from 1929:

And in detail:

It is no longer an American consulate. The yellow awnings above the windows read “Grand-Back 大きいサイズの紳士服専門店”. It is a clothing store for large people:

  • Grand-Back Big & Tall グランバック *
  • グランバック神戸元町 / Grand-back Motomachi Kobe **
  • 兵庫県神戸市中央区海岸通り1-1-1, 〒650-0024
  • TEL.078-393-3344
  • Google map

* (broken link: grand-back jp/index html)

** (broke link: grand-back jp/contents/shopdetail php?id=33)

Am I alone in finding this amusing?

For a list of all of Grand-Back’s store locations, see their website. For stores in Tokyo, 東京大きいサイズの店, two of the more popular Tokyo locations are:

Yurakucho Grand-Back

  • 1-7-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 〒 100-0006
  • グランバック有楽町店
  • 東京〒100-0006都千代田区有楽町1-7-1
  • Google map
  • TEL.03-5222-5700

Aoyama Grand-Back

  • 1-2-3 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 〒 107-0061
  • グランバック青山店
  • 東京〒107-0061都港区北青山1-2-3
  • Google map
  • TEL.03-3478-6941

Links and Glossary:



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