Photo of Yurakucho by Austin Rea
Ginza is Tokyo’s luxury shopping district. Much like New York City’s 5th Avenue, Ginza’s streets are lined with glistening designer brand towers luring shoppers to open their purses and enjoy the supple fabric and expert stitching of haute couture.
Blaine and I don’t buy designer clothes and accessories often, but we do love luxury window shopping. The stores of Ginza are fun to wander through for both their elegant and often ornate architecture and high quality products. Ginza is a very walkable district with wide streets and sidewalks lined with prim evergreens and shops on every corner.
Many of Ginza’s stores are impressive designer flagship towers including Mont Blanc, Chanel, Dior, and more. Ginza’s main street, Chuo Dori, is not only filled with high end brands, but also holds popular more affordable names like Zara and Uniqlo.
Closed to traffic on weekends, Ginza’s Chuo Dori is filled with café tables and benches for tired shoppers to take a rest and enjoy watching the seemingly endless stream of people cruise in and out of Tokyo’s grand temples of fashion.
Our favorite Ginza Shops: Uniqlo’s 12 story flagship store + Hankyu Men’s (a designer men’s clothing complex)
Japan’s department stores are impressive and Ginza’s Matsuzakaya and Mitsukoshi are no exception. At Matsuzakaya the basement and 7th floor are packed with restaurants and on the rooftop are a Shinto shrine, a playground, and a summer beer garden. Mitsukoshi is the oldest department store in Japan and on the second floor is Laduree, the famous French macaron bakery.
After you’re done shopping, you’ll need to replenish your energy with a good meal. Ginza has plenty of food selection including traditional Japanese cuisine and foreign foods.
Beneath the tracks at Yurakucho Station is a world of interesting izakaya (Japanese pubs). Stop by Yurakucho for an authentic izakaya experience, which usually includes beer or sake plus lots of Japanese finger foods like yakitori (skewered meats), gyoza (dumplings), and edamame.
Yurakucho is also home to two of our favorite Japanese stores Muji and Loft. Muji is renowned worldwide for their clean and simple aesthetic. We love Muji’s notebooks, clothing, and furniture. The flagship Muji even has a Muji house you can walk through (pretty much our ideal home, as long as we could park it near the beach). Loft is a bit like the Target of Japan. They sell almost everything you need and lots of things you didn’t know you always wanted. We bought some of our favorite Japanese fans from Loft. I also bought some Japanese blotting papers (which I still haven’t used, but Japan is so well known for them I just had to have them).