Tokyo Guide: Ginza Shopping 銀座 ショッピング
Tokyo Area Guide: Ginza Shopping
Ladies shopping in kimono, Ginza, Tokyo
Ginza has been Japan's pinnacle of shopping class and opulence since the early 1900s, typified in its grand, long-established department stores.
The recession has seen an influx of casual clothing brands in addition to the scores of top class iconic stores that line Ginza's streets. But the reason even the less exclusive brands target Ginza is for the gloss that having a store in Ginza adds to the brand image.
Ginza shopping is centered on a 1km stretch of Chuo-dori ("Central Avenue"), three streets running parallel west of Chuo-dori, and numerous elegant tree-lined little streets that connect them. Chuo-dori is pedestrian-only on Sundays.
The center of Ginza is the Ginza 4-Chome (yong-chomay) intersection on Chuo-dori and Harumi-dori. It is overlooked by the iconic old Wako Building with its clock tower on the north side, and the Mitsubishi Dream Center across from it on the south side.
Ginza draws thousands of tourists from other parts of Japan and Asia for its reputation of elegance and class and haute couture.
Mitsukoshi Department Store (Mitsukoshi Hyakkaten) is Ginza's landmark department store on the area's foremost intersection: Ginza 4-chome. It has 12 above-ground and 4 underground floors, with food on the B2 and B3 floors - by far the best floors to stop in on if you're sightseeing. Half the B2 floor is made up of stalls selling Japanese confectionery. The B3 floor features wines, delicatessens, seafood, meat and sake. "Ginza Terrace" on the 9F is also worth a visit: a green grassy park-like space for R&R. The store comprises the original building and a conjoined annex to the east on Harumi-dori. The store shares its plot with Ginza 4-Chome Post Office.
11F & 12F restaurants: 11am-11pm.
1F & 2F cafes, 9F Ginza Terrace: 10am-11pm.
Open 365 days.
4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8212.
Mitsukoshi Department Store Map
Matsuzakaya Department Store (Matsuzakaya Hyakkaten) consists of the main store plus an annex joined by a walkway on the B2 floor. Matsuzakaya is the dowdiest of Ginza's three main department stores despite its "Since 1611" vintage. Its B1 food floor is the smaller than the food floors of the other two. There is a tax refund on the 6F for overseas shoppers, as well as Japanese souvenirs. The Roof Floor (8F) has a summer beer garden and children's play area. There is an art gallery on the 4F of the Annex.
Hours: B2F-2F: 10:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Other floors: 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo 104-8166
Matsuzakaya Department Store Map
Matsuya Department Store (Matsuya Hyakkaten) has been a Ginza presence since 1925 and is now housed in a modern white structure covered in LEDs. Its 7 above-ground floors are mainly devoted to clothing, mostly women's. Being in a new building, it is Ginza's best department store in terms of spaciousness and navigability. Its two underground food floors - fresh food on B2 - are as well stocked as any Japanese department store, but somewhat cramped and generally unremarkable. For foreign shoppers there is a tax refund counter and overseas shipping service on 3F. There is art on 7F/8F and restaurants on 8F.
Hours: 10am-8pm. 8F restaurants: 10am-10pm. Closed 1 Jan only.
3-6-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8130.
Matsuya Department Store Map
Wako Department Store, dating from 1947, is a 6-floor, high-end department store selling clocks and watches, men's and women's clothing and accessories, jewelry, and interior decor. It does not sell any food, and is rather staid compared with the area's other department stores. It has a next-door annex with cakes, sweets, a tea salon and restaurant, a store on Namiki-dori Avenue (3 streets west of Chuo-dori) that offers considerably more merchandise than the Main Store, as well as individual specialty "salons" nearby. See the Ginza Wako website for details.
Main Store Hours: 10.30am-6pm. Closed 31 Dec & 1 Jan only.
4-5-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8105.
Ginza Wako Department Store Map
Apple Store Ginza is a fittingly chic metallic cube on the corner of the main Chuo-dori and Matsuya-dori (Ginza 3-chome intersection). Its five floors feature all the latest Apple products and a busy schedule of workshops and seminars.
Hours: 10am to 9pm, every day. (Genius Bar from 8am)
3-5-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Apple Store Map
Hakuhinkan Toy Park
Hakuhinkan is Japan's most venerable toy emporium, dating from 1899 and with 8 floors of almost everything related to toys, stuffed toys, dolls, games, hobbies, entertainment and more - including dining. Barbie and Japan's own Likka-chan on B1. Hakuhinkan Theater (i.e. performance venue) on 8F. Delightful browsing and shopping for kids and grown-ups alike.
Hours: 11am-8pm. 5/6F restaurants: 11.30am-10pm. Toy Park open 365 days.
8-8-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8132.
Hakuhinkan Toy Park Map
Pedestrian Chuo-Dori, Ginza, Tokyo on Sundays
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