I bet that Ginza will be in your tick list when you visit and revisit Tokyo! It was in my list too – check my blog on 15 things to see in Tokyo 🙂
Scroll down to explore the highlights of Ginza and to read about out stay at Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo!
Ginza origins go back to Edo period when this area was the heart of local downtown. Silver coins were minted in there since 1612, and eventually it brought the name to this site (in Japanese, Ginza means silver mint). Now it hosts luxury brand stores, restaurants and cafes, Kabuki za and is a perfect place to stroll around.
Moreover, now Ginza’s main street – Chuo Dori – is open only to pedestrians (Hokōsha Tengoku) on weekends – just look how relaxing you day there can be!
Ginza Crossing is less busy than famous Shibuya crossing – but isn’t it actually a good thing? The surroundings will leave you jaw dropped, as you can see many iconic buildings of the area at the same time. This would be a perfect start to make you acquittance with Ginza.
Pop into the Ginza Six department store freshly opened in 2017 – you’ll find there everything from international brands to local skincare and fashion producers, cafes and a bookstore. But I suggest you to go downstairs to the foodcourt (and it applies to every huge Japanese department store) and to try all the cute and unknown food you can get!
For instance, there are several dozen citrus fruits that you can find in Japan – have you ever heard of amanatsu, iyokan, unshiu, haruka, or kiyomi? (just to name a few) They all are different in gradation of bitterness, sweetness and sourness. And you can try juice and jellies made from them and choose your favourite!
Other stores that might interest you are the Tokyu Plaza Ginza, the Mitsukoshi, Marronnier Gate and Matsuya department stores.
Ginza is extremely rich in gourmand delights. However, I’d like to share with you something special… If you follow me for a long time, you probably know that Dior is one of my favourite brands. And of course I could not help visiting Café Dior by Pierre Hermé at Ginza Six.
Just enter it from the Dior shop and take an elevator to the cafe! It’s a lovely place all in pink and grey colours, tableware has small ‘Dior’ signs, fashion illustrations decorate the walls and books with photos from Dior catwalks are present too.
But at this point everything related to Dior ends. I tried breakfasts and desserts there: first one was too carbs loaded for me, but desserts were really good and looked fantastic.
UNIQLO Flagship Store
There is no way you miss the UNIQLO Flagship Store right opposite to Ginza SIX – it’s huge and consists of 12 floors! Upon its opening in March 2012 it became the world’s Largest UNIQLO Store – so if you’d like to buy some stylish and comfy cloths of this Japanese brand, why not go ahead with it in Ginza?
If you happen to visit Ginzsa around Christmas, festive windows and installations will steel your heart!
Wako and its clock tower is one of the most recognisable symbols of Ginza – and, possibly, of the entire Tokyo. It was built in 1932 and survived the WWII without a scratch.
Pop in inside too – although the building is amazing (and filled me with Manhattan-like vibes), I was a bit disappointed with the range of shops inside. Maybe you’ll find it different for yourself 🙂
However, Ginza is not limited to shopping and restaurants. You can also like to pop into the Police Museum. Pop into the Shiseido Gallery for the splash of art. But the main destination is Kabuki-za Theatre. Kabuki is one of the main theatre styles of Japan (it’s often described in opposition to Noh theatre) where drama is combined with dancing.
Originally it was performed by women, but with time going by only men became allowed to participate in this type of performance: female roles were given to younger men. It is traditionally believed the first performance took place in Kyoto in 1603. Now Kabuki is listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The most famous Kabuki theatre is located in Ginza district: it was originally built in 1889, then destroyed and rebuilt several times, and, finally, reopened to public once fully renovated in 2013. You can order tickets online in advance and collect them at the theatre at the day of performance. Don’t forget to take an audioguide! Otherwise it would be quite challenging to understand what is going on on stage.
Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo
We were kindly hosted by Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo – it is at the very heart of Ginza on Namiki-dori Street (it goes parallel to the Chuo-dori, the main road of the area). It takes, for instance, just a few minutes to get to Ginza SIX and about 5 minutes to get to the Ginza Crossing.
The hotel looks incredibly stylish and modern – even the concept of reception is modernised. During our stay the walls there were covered with pieces of art: the thinest paper with koi drawings on it.
Just take a moment to see how cool our room looked too!
Breakfast area was elegant, and for breakfast you could take oriental or western dishes according to your taste.
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