The name Ginza is synonymous with high end fashion; this may have something to do with the price of real estate in the area that attracts shops like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Chanel. Ginza is also home to a great range of department stores as well as electronics displays by the likes of Sony and Apple.
The San’ai Building
The San’ai Building is one of Ginza’s most recognisable landmarks. Its glass cylinder like building sits on the intersection of Chuo Dori and Harumi Dori; this is some of Asia’s most expensive pieces of real estate. Opened in 1962, this Nikken Sekkei designed building is the essence of Ginza glitz and glamour. At night, the building is spectacular, laden with neon LED and video screens, advertising the world’s biggest brands. Inside the building houses the boutiques of Tokyo’s best brands as well as some famous name cafe’s.
Wako Department Store
Dating back to 1894 the Wako Department store has been an icon on the Chuo Dori and Harumi Dori intersection. Its clock tower is a popular landmark of the area, but the highlight of the building are the spectacular and creative window displays which amaze and entertain passers-by. The Wako Department Store is renowned for its exquisite watches, jewellery, porcelain and other luxury goods. The centre also houses a magnificent art gallery. The building dates back to 1932 and is one of the very few pre WW2 buildings left in Tokyo.
Mikimoto Ginza 2
The Mikimoto 2 Store is one of the most striking architectural sights in Ginza, the intriguing shaped building with was designed by Toyo Ito and is the second Mikimoto store in Ginza. The Mikimoto flagship store has operated a few blocks away at Ginza 4 chome for over 100 years. Mikimoto now has stores around the world and is famous for its exclusive jewellery and its beautiful, cultured pearls.
Matsuya Department Store
The Matsuya Department stores are a large store selling just about anything, with a major influence on fashion and furnishings. The Ginza store is well worth a visit for its dining as there are two fantastic choices. The restaurant city on the top floors offer dozens of Japanese and western cafes and restaurants, while the basement has an incredible assortment of takeaway, hot, fresh and cold foods. Even if you are not hungry, the basement is a wondrous place to visit.
Mitsukoshi Department Store
Mitsukoshi ’s Ginza store is one of the world’s most glamorous stores. At 12 floors above ground and 3 below, it stocks some of the best fashions and leading brands from Japan and around the world. If you are hungry, be sure to check out the Ginza Food Garden in the basement or one of the many restaurants in the upper levels. Mitsukoshi was founded in 1673 selling kimonos, today their kimono department is a must for anyone wanting to try on and purchase this famous Japanese costume.
The Japanese love anything to do with France and Printemps Department Store brings a bit of France to Ginza, located on Sootobori-Dori and opening in 1984, the store has ten floors of fashion and accessories, French wine and food and many other luxury goods plus a cinema and its hugely popular bridal department. The store is surrounded by quite a few French Cafe’s and boutiques making the area feel decidedly French, in a Japanese sort of way.