Ginza = Luxury. That was how I looked at Ginza before I got to know but it was a lot more than that. I had a few year commuting to Ginza for my weekly round when I was working for an apparel company and then it changed my biased image of Ginza. Between shiny flagship stores of Gucci, Prada, and Chanel, you'll find cute old coffee shops that has been in business for 100 years, and family owned Tempra house that's been around for over 3 generations. Breaking bank Michelin restaurants are no doubt great but I want you to discover the good old Japanese.
You will definitely see a lot older people compare to Shibuya and Shinjuku area, and less crowded. Lately, Chinese tourists are coming to Ginza for Luxury brand and electronic store shopping.
Ginza is in a walking distance to Tsukiji Fish Market, Shinbashi and Yurakucho - Foodie spots. If you hop in the train, any sightseeing places are within 30 minutes. And what's more? There is a direct limousine bus to Narita and Haneda airport!
Ginza Station basks with a good Metro access - Ginza, Marunouchi and Hibiya Line. If you walk 7 minutes, JR Yamanote Line from Yurakucho Station is your option also.
10 THINGS TO DO IN GINZA AREA
Ginza is known for high fashion stores and luxury department stores. You won't find anything cheap here in terms of fashion unless you go to Uniqlo or other global fast fashion stores.
Shopping spot you should check out...
- Ginza Six - Probably the newest shopping spot in Ginza just opened in April 2017
- Ginza Matsuya - I love its futuristic building and great selection on high brand leather goods.
- Barneys New York Ginza - It's not a Japanese store but the window is alway cool and product selection is great.
- Dover Street Market Ginza - Go if you are very fashion forward.
- Hankyu Men's - All 8 floors are men's products!
- Ginza Mitsukoshi - It's quote similar to Matsuya, but just older (to me).
- Uniqlo - the biggest Uniqlo in Japan.
For techies, here is your store list...
2. My secret lunch spots
Ginza has lots of luxury Japanese restaurants and some of them offer reasonable lunch menu or simply visit 'sister' restaurants. I really don't want to share but it's your lucky day.
- Isomura - Kushiage (deep-fried skewers) restaurant. It's 'omakase' style and lunch course start from ¥930 ($8.18). Enjoying fresh kushikatsu for each one is just too luxury!
- Shabusen - Shabushabu restaurant. lunch course start from ¥1,200 ($10.56). It's a big restaurant with a unique setting - all counter seats in a big circle. You get your own hot pot so you don't have to compromise with what your friends want.
- Rangetsu - Sukiyaki/Shabushabu restaurant. Their beef is amazing. My favorite menu is 'Hanba-gu'.
- Sushi Marui - Definitely a fancy sushi restaurant but lunch time is affordable and... SUPER GOOD! You can check out lunch menu at their website. I like Zukeana Chirasi on the very left top on the menu.
Toy Park has all kinds of weird toys which can entertain both kids and adults. They even got theater inside.
4. Enjoy the view of side street
Side streets like Gasto-Dori or Suzuran-Dori has great views of street signs lining up.
5. Relax in Hamarikyu Garden
Hamarikyu Garden is known for its beautiful view with 2 ponds which is connected to Tokyo bay (so it's sea water!). It has been an oasis since the Edo period.
6. Christmas Illuminations
7. Visit Retro Cafes
Ginza used to be the hottest town back in the days when glitzy cafes were in style. A lot of them are still in business and perfect for a coffee break during your shopping stroll. Here are some of them you can visit.
Kabuki Theater (A.K.A. Kabuki-za) is the main Kabuki theater in Tokyo with 6,790㎡. A single act ticket is under ¥2,000 ($17.60) so you should definitely try!
9. Sukiyabashi Crossing
It is just one giant crossing but the neon and surrounding architectures at night is photogenic.
10. Lion Beer Hall
When you enter this 1930s beer hall, you will love the interior at the first sight - wood paneled interior and cool tiles. Also Lion Beer Hall is managed under Sapporo Holdings, so their beer is amazing.