Ginza (銀座) is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, located south of Yaesu
and Kyōbashi, west of Tsukiji, east of
Uchisaiwaichō, and north of Shinbashi. It is part of Shitamachi,
Tokyo's original city center, as opposed to the newer secondary
centers, such as
Shibuya and Shinjuku.
It is a popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with numerous
internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, restaurants and
coffeehouses located in its vicinity.
It is considered one of the most expensive, elegant, and luxurious
streets in the world.
4 Subway stations
5 See also
7 External links
Ginza as it appeared in the late 1870s-1880s (Miniature model at the
Ginza in the early 1900s, photographed by William H. Rau
Ginza was built upon a former swamp that was filled in during the 16th
century. The name
Ginza comes after the establishment of a silver-coin
mint established there in 1612, during the Edo period.
After a devastating fire in 1872 burned down most of the area, the
Meiji government designated the
Ginza area as a "model of
modernization." The government planned the construction of fireproof
brick buildings and larger, better streets connecting Shimbashi
Station all the way to the foreign concession in Tsukiji.
Designs for the area were provided by the Irish-born architect Thomas
Waters; the Bureau of Construction of the Ministry of Finance was
in charge of construction. In the following year, a Western-style
shopping promenade on the street from the
Shinbashi bridge to the
Kyōbashi bridge in the southwestern part of Chūō with two- and
three-story Georgian brick buildings was completed.
These "bricktown" buildings were initially offered for sale and later
were leased, but the high rent prevented many of them from being
permanently occupied. Moreover, the construction was not adapted to
the climate, and the bold design contrasted the traditional Japanese
notion of home construction. Ironically, the new
Ginza was not popular
with visiting foreigners, who were looking for a more Edo-styled city.
Isabella Bird visited in 1878 and in 1880 implied that
Ginza was less
like an Oriental city than like the outskirts of Chicago or Melbourne.
Philip Terry, the English writer of tour guides, likened it to
Broadway, not in a positive sense.
Nevertheless, the area flourished as a symbol of "civilization and
enlightenment" thanks to the presence of newspapers and magazine
companies, which helped spread the latest trends of the day. The area
was also known for its window displays, an example of modern marketing
techniques. Everyone visited so the custom of "killing time in Ginza"
developed strongly between the two world wars.
Most of these European-style buildings disappeared, but some older
buildings still remain, most famously the Wakō building with the
now-iconic Hattori Clock Tower. The building and the clock tower were
originally built by Kintarō Hattori, the founder of Seiko.
Its recent history has seen it as a prominent outpost of Western
Ginza is a popular destination on weekends, when the
main north-south artery is closed to traffic since the 1960s, under
governor Ryokichi Minobe.
Many leading fashion houses' flagship stores are located here, in the
area with the highest concentration of Western shops in Tokyo. It is
one of two locations in
Tokyo considered by Chevalier and Mazzalovo to
be the best locations for a luxury goods store. Prominent high-end
retailers include the American company Carolina Herrera New York,
French companies Chanel, Dior and
Louis Vuitton and Italian company
Gucci. Flagship electronic retail stores like the
Sony showroom and
Apple Store are also here. The electronics company,
headquartered in the
Ricoh Building in Ginza. The neighborhood is a
major shopping district. It is home to Wako department store, which is
located in a building dating from 1894. The building has a clock
tower. There are many department stores in the area, including Hankyu,
Seibu, and Matsuya. There are also art galleries.
Mitsukoshi department store at Ginza.
Sony Building and intersection at dusk
Tokyu Plaza Ginza
Ginza Six shopping complex
Ginza at night
Ginza in the rain
Ginza in afternoon
Pedestrianized main street
Each Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 noon until 5:00 pm, the main
Ginza is closed off to road traffic, allowing people to
walk freely. This is called Hokōsha Tengoku (歩行者天国) or
Hokoten for short, literally meaning "pedestrian heaven".
Ginza Station (
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line,
Ginza Line, Tokyo
Metro Marunouchi Line)
Ginza-itchōme Station (
Ginza Station (
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Toei
List of upscale shopping districts
Tourism in Japan
^ a b c d Dk eyewitness travel guide japan. [S.l.]: Dk Publishing.
pp. 66–67. ISBN 9780756694739.
^ a b
Tokyo from Edo to Showa. Tuttle Publishing. p. 75.
^ Chevalier, Michel; Mazzalovo, Gerald (2012). Luxury Brand
Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. p. 2.
ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9. The other prime location is
^ Abercrombie & Fitch, Ginza: Tokyo, Japan Archived 2010-07-27 at
the Wayback Machine.
^ "Company Data Archived 2009-02-05 at the Wayback Machine.." Ricoh.
Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ginza.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ginza.
Tokyo Essentials: Ginza
Ginza Architecture and Map
Coordinates: 35°40′16″N 139°45′54″E / 35.671217°N
139.765007°E / 35.671217; 139.765007