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 running through the area, Chuo-dori Street and Harumi-dori Street, are lined with high-end boutiques, enormous department stores, and flagship stores of renowned international brands carrying a wealth of merchandise, from fashion and jewelry to electronics and cosmetics.

One such retail giant, the impressive Mikimoto building, is an iconic establishment famous for its exquisite pearl jewelry, symbolizing elegance and luxury.

The smaller streets, stemming off the main road, abound with galleries exhibiting Japanese paintings and other artwork. Ito-ya is a well-known stationery store in Ginza, offering a wide range of high-quality writing instruments, paper products, and art supplies.

Mikimoto, another iconic establishment, is famous for its exquisite pearl jewelry, symbolizing elegance and luxury.

The historic Ginza Wako building is a prominent landmark with its iconic clock tower, housing a luxury department store.

Ginza Six is a modern shopping complex that features a diverse range of boutiques, restaurants, and a rooftop garden, providing visitors with a unique and immersive shopping experience.

For those interested in toys and collectibles, Hakuhinkan Toy Park is a must-visit destination in Ginza. It's a multi-story toy store filled with a wide selection of toys, games, and hobby items, catering to enthusiasts of all ages.

In addition to its premier shopping and entertainment, Ginza is also famous for its multitude of bars and restaurants fit to quench the thirst and quell the hunger of any visitor. So, ultimately, it has something for everyone. Whenever you're in Tokyo, consider visiting Ginza and experience the charm of this swanky and posh district firsthand!
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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: 7
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
  • 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

Ito-ya is Japan's renowned stationery specialty store, established in 1904. With eight locations across major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, Ito-ya has its main store in Ginza. Renewed in 2015, it features 12 themed floors, creating a unique stationery theme park experience.

The first floor, "GROUND," welcomes visitors with greeting cards, postcards, and a charming woodpecker clock. On this floor, you can also find an information counter and a lemonade bar. The second floor, "LETTER," offers everything needed for writing heartfelt letters, including paper, postcards, envelopes, stationery, and stamps. It even has a "Write & Post" corner where you can mail your letters directly from the shop.

The third floor, "DESK," is a paradise for pen enthusiasts, with around 2,000 pens, including fountain pens, available for testing. "SCHEDULE" on the fourth floor offers a wide selection of notebooks, diaries, and daily life management tools. The fifth floor, "TRAVEL," caters to travelers' needs with various accessories and a comfortable rest area.

The sixth floor, "HOME," focuses on interior design and features kitchen, dining room, living room, laundry room, and terrace items, including a diverse selection of picture frames and photo albums. The seventh floor, "FINE PAPER," offers over 1,000 types of colorful paper, collaborating with the Japanese paper trading company Takeo.

"CRAFT" on the eighth floor provides materials for craft projects, including Japanese paper, gift-wrapping paper, and origami supplies. The 10th floor offers a "BUSINESS LOUNGE" for meetings and events, while the 11th floor showcases hydroponic cultivation and a model of the original Ito-ya shop. Finally, the 12th floor houses "CAFÉ Stylo," an atmospheric café serving American-style dishes.

Ito-ya is a must-visit for stationery enthusiasts and those seeking unique Japanese souvenirs.

3) Mikimoto

Ever since Kokichi Mikimoto, founder of the Mikimoto company, successfully created the world's first cultured pearls in 1893, Mikimoto has been seeking to harness the allure of pearls, translating hopes and dreams into pearl necklaces.

Mikimoto main store in Ginza, a global jewelry giant, underwent a remarkable transformation in 2017, now symbolizing Ginza's essence. Adorned with 40,000 glass plates, its facade shimmers like a spring sea. Step inside to discover a fusion of opulent luxury and traditional Japanese craftsmanship, epitomizing Mikimoto's aesthetic legacy. Trust your heart and intuition to find something inspiring.

One floor houses special exhibitions, periodically showcasing new collections. Another hosts exclusive designer pieces priced at $10,000 and beyond, curated exclusively for Mikimoto. Shoppers can also indulge in precious gems like tanzanite, alexandrite, diamonds, and turquoise.

On the third floor, patrons can design their personalized "My Original" necklaces, choosing clasps, lengths, styles, sizes, and pearl colors. Knowledgeable consultants assist in the creative process, offering various styles and options. This floor also features debutant necklaces and mother-and-baby sets, making Mikimoto a treasure trove for pearl enthusiasts and jewelry connoisseurs alike.
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.
Ginza Six

6) Ginza Six

Ginza Six stands as a high-end shopping center situated in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Its name, "Ginza Six" or "G Six," is derived from its location at Ginza 6-chome and the aspiration to deliver an outstanding "six-star" shopping experience.

The complex was constructed on the site of the former Matsuzakaya department store, which marked the inception of department stores in Ginza. It was officially inaugurated on April 17, 2017, in a ceremony attended by notable figures such as Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike. It boasts the largest retail space in the Ginza area.

With room for up to 241 stores, including flagship outlets for renowned brands like Fendi, Kenzo, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, and Van Cleef & Arpels, Ginza Six caters to the discerning shopper. Additionally, the complex encompasses six floors of office space (floors 7 to 12), 24 restaurants and cafes, a banquet hall, a 480-seat Noh theater, and a 4,000 square-meter rooftop garden.

Ginza Six features an art program curated by Fumio Nanjo of the Mori Art Museum, with a strong focus on contemporary Japanese art. Inaugural exhibitions included works by prominent artists such as Yayoi Kusama and Patrick Blanc, among others.
Hakuhinkan Toy Park

7) Hakuhinkan Toy Park

Hakuhinkan Toy Park in Ginza is a colossal specialty toy store that has captivated visitors since its opening in 1986. Spanning from the basement to the fourth floor, this toy emporium boasts an astonishing inventory of approximately 200,000 items, including toys, stuffed animals, licensed-character merchandise, and various novelty goods. It has even earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as Japan's largest toy store.

Foreign tourists are drawn to Hakuhinkan for its diverse selection of Japanese-inspired items, souvenirs, intellectual toys, and figures of beloved anime characters. The fifth and sixth floors house restaurants, making it convenient for shoppers to enjoy a meal amidst their shopping spree.

Each floor offers a unique shopping experience. The first floor features party goods, stationery, and interior decor items, while the second floor is a plush paradise with a wide array of cuddly creatures. The third floor caters to infants and toddlers with a carefully curated selection of high-quality toys, including educational options.

The fourth floor is dedicated to gaming, offering card games, board games, video games, and an expansive collection of jigsaw puzzles. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the Hakuhinkan Racing Park, a thrilling slot car circuit.

In the basement, the Fashion Doll Park showcases fashion dolls like Licca-chan, along with doll-related accessories. The DOOB 3D Ginza shop on the same floor allows you to create personalized 3D figurines of yourself and your family.

Hakuhinkan Toy Park is not just a store; it's a magical wonderland that appeals to all ages and is a must-visit destination for toy enthusiasts and families alike.

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