Ginza Shopping District

World renowned shopping district in Tokyo.

The name Ginza comes after the establishment of a silver-coin mint that existed there in 1612, now it’s the home of some of the world’s best department stores including two that dominate the world famous intersection, the Wako building with it’s famous clock tower & Mitsukoshi department store on the opposite corner.

It’s hard to believe Ginza was built upon a swamp that was filled in during the 16th century.  “One square meter of land in the district’s centre is now worth over ten million yen, making it some of the most expensive real estate in Japan.”

I fell in love with the food court in the basement of Mitsukoshi, here are some of the reasons why.

I assure you a guy like me can put on an extra two kilos in one hour in this fabulous food court. ​​

Only a very short walk from the main intersection is the Kabukiza theatre which is one of the best places in the city to see Kabuki. There are plays almost every day, tickets for single acts start at 2000 Yen or 10 Quid, however an entire play can cost between 4,000 and 22,000 Yen.

If you continue walking you will find the world famous Tsukiji fish market. Put it on your bucket list because it won’t be there for much longer as they are moving to a new area. The best time to visit is around 5am the see them auctioning the produce.

Ginza (10) Ginza (12)

Here are some ladies in traditional Japanese Kimonos strolling through the Ginza.

kimono are most often worn by women, and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode, with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in the kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.

Ginza In Tokyo Saturday 14th 001 (6)Ginza AT Tokyo with the Thomsons (51)

Walk 20 minutes the opposite way from the main intersection and you will arrive at the Imperial Palace surrounded by beautiful park-lands and a moat. Here is an interesting piece of trivia; The total area including the gardens is 3.41 square kilometres (1.32 sq mi). During the height of the 1980s Japanese property bubble, the palace grounds were valued by some to be more than the value of all of the real estate in the state of California. The photo below on the left is the Seimon Ishibashi Bridge which leads to the main gate.

Ok, you can probably see why I think the Ginza is really the heart and soul of Tokyo, ​but you must also see it at night.
More trivia for you, way back in 1963 the Drifters had a hit song called “On Broadway” The first line of the song was “they say the neon lights are bright on Broadway”, well folks I promise you they are just as bright in the Ginza, check it out.

The Ginza is certainly on most Tokyo bucket lists, however in my opinion staying in Shibuya is a lot more fun and certainly more action.

Here is the link to book Hotel Granbell just 200 meters from the station.

Here is my photo blog link to give you an idea on what to expect at ths fish market.

Here is a link to my September 2015 Tokyo photo blog.

Review by David Herd –