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Ginza Area Guide

by Deron Yoshimura
Ginza

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Looking for a Tokyo neighborhood that has every fashion brand you could think of? How about spending the day at the luxurious Ginza? Popular to locals and foreigners, Ginza doesn’t joke around when it comes to providing quality shopping and entertainment. It’s a neighborhood that’ll please both your shopping and food urges!

Ginza Station

Ginza

Ginza Station lies underground the bustling district. The station has 31 exits with each one leading to a busy part of Ginza. The station itself stretches quite far and has exits close by no matter what line you ride on. Exits with the label “A” are the most used and take you to the center of all the action. The station does offer some shops and restaurants in case you want to buy omiyage or decide to eat before or after a train ride.

The Area

Ginza

Photo by torsakarin via stock.adobe.com

Ginza is always referred to as Tokyo’s high end shopping and entertainment district. To put things into perspective, one square foot of land can cost up to ten million yen. It’s understandable to see many famous international brands with an interest in placing a store or two here. Whether you come during the day or at night, you’re guaranteed to leave satisfied.

Chuo Dori

Ginza

Chuo Dori is one of the popular streets in Ginza and offers a plethora of department stores, cafes and boutiques. Here you’ll find the towering 12-floor Uniqlo (Website via Google Translate || Instagram), Abercrombie & Fitch (Website || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram), Nissan Crossing (Website) and many more. On weekends, the road closes itself to vehicles and becomes a pedestrian-friendly shopping street from 12:00 to 17:00.  If you want to maximize your shopping, this is the best time to come! Intersecting with Chuo Dori, Harumi Dori is where you’ll find luxurious fashion and cosmetic brands like Armani (Website, Facebook || Twitter), Gucci (Website || Twitter via Google Translate || Facebook || Instagram) and Hermes (Website || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram). Though Harumi Dori doesn’t close down its road like Chuo Dori does during weekends, it is still easy to walk through and find places to shop at.

Wako Department Store

Ginza

Seen as the face of the district, Wako Department Store lies on the intersection between Chuo Dori and Harumi Dori. The store used to be a watch and jewelry retailer but has now evolved to include other markets like fashion and interior design. The building contains six floors for shopping and also houses a tea salon, cake shop and a gourmet salon. People identify Wako with its large Hattori Clock Tower and neoclassical building design. For more information, visit the store’s official website (English available).

Mitsukoshi Department Store

Ginza

Known as Japan’s first department store, Mitsukoshi is a favorite among locals and has been around for decades. It’s also a go-to shop for tourists as well and offers services in English and Chinese. The building provides 15 floors for customers to explore and sits across the Wako Department Store. Visit their website (English available) and Instagram for more information!

Matsuya Ginza

Ginza

Like Ginza’s iconic line of department stores, Matsuya Ginza is also found on Chuo Dori. The department stores offers ten floors of shopping. There is also an exhibition hall, art gallery and currency exchange center. For more information, visit their website (English available) and Instagram!

Kabukiza Theatre

Ginza

Looking for a cultural experience in Ginza? Take a look at the Kabukiza Theatre where the traditional performing art known as kabuki plays outKabuki is 400 years old and has survived through the few official kabuki theaters that remain. The Kabukiza Theatre is one of the largest theaters in Tokyo and is great for experiencing the art whether you’re a die-hard fan or completely new to the idea. You can visit the official website (English available) and Facebook (English available) pages for event dates and more information!

Hodo Inari Shrine

Ginza

Who would’ve believed that there would be shrines in the heart of Ginza? There are several shrines placed throughout Ginza, and they are tricky to find because of their locations. Hodo Inari Shrine is one of them. It’s hidden in a back alley behind the wedding hall, Brilliant the Ginza. Locals say the shrine brought protection to the shogun’s children back in the past.

Toyoiwa Inari Shrine

Ginza

Another hidden shrine in Ginza is the Toyoiwa Inari Shrine. It is well hidden between several buildings and is only accessible through a narrow alley. The locals refer to the deity that resides in this shrine as Ukemochi no Kami. People usually pray here for good luck with finding a lover. But, kabuki actors have a tendency to pray here for an enhancement in their performances as well.

Ginza Six

Ginza

Ginza Six is one of the largest malls in the district aside from the Tokyu Plaza, Hankyu and Lumine department stores. With 240 stores, we recommend you spend a whole day or two exploring each floor for a full experience. This is the grand haven for all groups of shopaholics! For more information, visit the mall’s official website (English available) and Instagram page!

Tokyu Plaza Ginza

Ginza

A 14-floor shopping complex with its own rooftop terrace and plenty of shops, Tokyu Plaza Ginza knows how to attract every type of customer. The mall sits on the border between Ginza and Yurakucho and is recognizable by its large outer glass design. Appreciating the architecture of the building is one thing. Trying to find time to shop in here is whole other task on its own. Visit their website (English available), Facebook (via Google Translate) and Instagram (via Google Translate) pages for more information!

Sukiyabashi Park

Ginza

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Parks are great for taking breaks from the urban jungles of Tokyo. However, this park is special in particular. Within the middle of the park, there’s a mysterious sculpture that stands guard. The head of the figure is in the shape of a watch and has the label “Citizen.” Few know about the design of the statue but recognize that it has ties with Citizen Watch, a watch company based in Japan. Located right next to the Tokyu Plaza complex, the park is easy to access.

Wakayama Art Museum

Ginza

People know that museums offer a variety of pieces and each focus on a special concept of art. The Wakayama Art Museum is a hidden gem in Ginza that showcases children’s culture dating back to the Showa Period. There’s a large collection of magazines, picture books and even manga. Mass media held a strong connection to children since the 1920s and continues to do so to the current day. This museum wants to preserve that concept and give people a glimpse of how children experienced their culture in the past. For more information, you can visit their website (via Google Translate)!

Hankyu Men’s and Lumine Yurakucho Department Stores

Ginza

Across from the Tokyu Plaza, you’ll find the Hankyu Men’s and the Lumine department stores. Though the two share the same building, Hankyu Men’s sells what their name implies. Here, you’ll find nine floors dedicated to all kinds of men’s fashion. From international brands to local designers, there’s a large selection to choose from and there’s even a nail salon for men on the ninth floor! Next door lies the Lumine department store. Lumine is a famous for providing fashion products, lifestyle goods, and great food all while being close to or inside train stations. You can visit the Hankyu Men’s website (English available) and the Lumine Yurakucho website (English available) for more information.

Suzuran Dori

Ginza

If you visit Ginza, make sure to explore to your heart’s content. For example, take a stroll down Ginza’s Suzuran Dori and check out the many old fashioned shops and restaurants that give off a classical feeling. Like many other shopping streets in Ginza, it is pedestrian-friendly but has the occasional delivery truck passing through. Always remember to look both ways and shop till you drop!

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