Ginza Shopping Tour, Tokyo

Ginza Shopping Tour (Self Guided), Tokyo

Often compared with New York's Fifth Avenue, Ginza is the most luxurious shopping district in Tokyo. Its two main avenues, Chuo-dori Street and Harumi-dori Street, are lined with enormous department stores carrying a wealth of boutiques representing pretty much every major international retail brand. The smaller streets, stemming off the main road, abound with galleries exhibiting Japanese paintings and other artwork.

Ginza is also famous for its multitude of bars and restaurants fit to quench the thirst and quell the hunger of any visitor. Whether you are a shopaholic, an art lover, or simply looking for a nice meal or drink, this self-guided walking tour is what you need to find the right place to suit your interest.
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Ginza Shopping Tour Map

Guide Name: Ginza Shopping Tour
Guide Location: Japan » Tokyo (See other walking tours in Tokyo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Author: ann
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Chuo-dori Street
  • Ito-ya
  • Mikimoto
  • Ginza Wako
  • Harumi-dori Street
  • San-ai Building
  • Ginza Six
  • Hakuhinkan Toy Park
Chuo-dori Street

1) Chuo-dori Street

Along with Harumi-dori Street, Chuo-dori Street is one of two main shopping avenues that run through Ginza in central Tokyo. Visitors who want to shop, eat and experience metro Tokyo's very heartbeat should spend some time walking the pavements of Chuo-dori.

The street is lined with high-rises of all shapes and sizes. Pedestrians will find ultra-modern glass buildings, colonial-style brick structures and buildings made from (or designed to closely mimic) traditional wood.

Shops range from high-end luxury brands like Hermes, Gucci and Coach to low-cost souvenirs. Food offerings are similarly varied. One tourist might stop for a tasty slice of cheesecake while another might opt for sushi.

Any time is a good time to experience Chuo-dori. Most argue that the best option for tourists is the weekend. On weekends, the streets are closed to automobile traffic. Tourists can walk in the street rather than the crowded sidewalks. They will even find patio tables set up in the middle of what is a busy road on weekdays.

2) Ito-ya

This Ginza landmark is a delight if you are looking for stationary. From finely crafted greeting cards, pens, craft paper, to organizers and office stationary, this place has it all. All of nine floors, each floor has one specialty. The ground floor has an amazing collection of greeting cards and is a favorite during Christmas. The upper floors have pens, office stationary and the top floor has a tea lounge.
Operation Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm; Sundays and holidays: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

3) Mikimoto

Known for their cultured pearls, "Mikimoto" is a world leader in the jewel industry. Their store is located right next to the Ginza Wako. "Mikimoto" is famous for being the official jeweler of Miss Teen USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe.
Business Hours : 11:00-19:00.
Ginza Wako

4) Ginza Wako

The Ginza Wako is a landmark building in Tokyo that was once the headquarters of the Seiko Watch Company. It is now a retail store selling upscale merchandise.

The Ginza Wako was established in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori the founder of the Hattori Watch Company that later became the Seiko Holdings Corporation. The Hattori Clock Tower stood in the location at the time. It was damaged by the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. The present building with a neoclassical style and a curved granite façade was designed by architect, Jin Watanabe. It was completed in 1932 and renamed as the K. Hattori Building. A clock was fitted in honor of Kintaro Hattori. Today, the clock tower plays the Westminister Chimes. The Ginza Wako was one of the few structures in the city left intact after the World War II bombings. The Allied occupation forces used it as their headquarters after the war.

Today, the Wako retail store sells watches, porcelain, women apparel and accessories, furnishings, jewelry, children’s apparel and expensive foreign chocolates. There are two restaurants, a tea salon, a chocolate salon, a gourmet and cake shop and a cafe within the building. It also has a large space for exhibitions where ceramic art exhibitions and other temporary events are held.
Harumi-dori Street

5) Harumi-dori Street

Harumi-dori Street is one of the main shopping avenues in Ginza, Tokyo. With its sister street, Chuo-dori, Harumi-dori Street offers finest in luxury goods from brands like Dior and Armani. It also has more affordable options for tourists who simply want knick-knacks to take back home.

One of the shops that makes everyone talk is Sembikiya. This boutique has the appearance of a high-end jewelry shop but its wares are juicier in nature. Sembikiya is said to be the most expensive fruit shop in the world.

Indeed, it is not uncommon to pay 2,100 Yen (about $19.50 USD) for an apple. A specialty fruit, like a square watermelon, may cost 10 times that amount. That is nothing compared to the tennis ball-sized strawberries that sell for around 500,000 Yen ($4,400 USD) each.Tourists may not purchase the pricey fruit, but it is worth taking a look.

Those interested in Kabuki plays can find Kabukiza Theatre on Harum-dori Street. Tourists can take in one-act shows for about 1,000 Yen (about $9 USD) or they can simply enjoy the building's beautiful, traditional exterior.

There is something for everyone on Harumi-dori Street, except maybe those who don't enjoy the hustle and bustle of a busy metro environment.
San-ai Building

6) San-ai Building

Located the intersection of Chuo-dori and Harumi-dori, opposite to the Mitsukoshi department store and to the Ginza Wako, the San-ai Building is the icon of Ginza on postcards and travel magazines. It is also known as the San'ai Dream Center. The building is in the shape of a glass cylinder and is illuminated by neon lights during night.
Ginza Six

7) Ginza Six

Ginza Six is a luxury shopping complex located in the Ginza area of Tokyo. The name Ginza Six or G Six reflects the building address in Ginza 6-chome as well as the desire to provide an exceptional "six-star" shopping experience.

Ginza Six was built on the location of the former Matsuzakaya department store, which was Ginza's first ever department store. The complex was inaugurated on 17 April, 2017, in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike among others. It is the largest retail space in Ginza.

The building has space for up to 241 stores, including flagship facilities for Fendi, Kenzo, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent and Van Cleef & Arpels. It also contains six floors of office space (floors 7—12), 24 restaurants and cafes, a banquet hall, a 480-seater Noh theater and a 4,000 square-meter rooftop garden.

Ginza Six has an art program run by Fumio Nanjo of the Mori Art Museum. The complex focuses on contemporary Japanese art. Inaugural exhibits included works by Yayoi Kusama and Patrick Blanc, among others.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Hakuhinkan Toy Park

8) Hakuhinkan Toy Park

Dubbed as one of the largest toy stores in Japan, the Hakuhinkan Toy is also the oldest. The shop has four floors where in addition to the usual dolls, puzzles, games, and other items, there is a large assortment of gag gifts and strange toys. There is a game arcade on the fourth floor. The place also houses child-friendly restaurants and a theater.
Operation hours: 11:00am-8:00pm

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