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Ginza | Yurakucho
Area Guide

︎Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, Marunouchi Line), Ginza Itchome Station (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line), Yurakucho Station (JR Yamanote Line, Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line)
︎Ginza | Yurakucho Google Maps
︎Best days to visit: Sunny or cloudy days
︎Time needed: full day


        With some of the world’s most spectacular modern architecture, shopping malls with breathtaking rooftop gardens, beautiful design boutiques, art galleries, fine dining and even some gritty backstreet alleys - Ginza will make sure to leave your credit card glowing and your mind inspired forever. 

Start your day at Ginza Six, the fashion and design empire opened in 2018, which takes up a whole block on Ginza’s main street and boasts one of Tokyo’s best (and free) rooftop gardens, an outstanding art and design bookstore on the 6th floor, an art gallery, and even a Noh Theatre for traditional Japanese entertainment.  

On a sunny day, get yourself some of the culinary creations from Ginza Six’s chic food court on the basement level and make your way up to the rooftop garden where you can get a 360 degree view of the surrounding area, at perhaps Tokyo’s most exclusive picnic spot.

         Next, head down the world-famous main street of Ginza which is lined with flagship stores of some of the world’s biggest names in fashion and stunning architectural gems built by the world’s who-is-who in architecture. Look out for Ginza Place, Louis Vuitton Ginza, Mikimoto 2 and, if you go further north or south, the enormous Tokyo International Forum

On Ginza’s main street you will also find Itoya (with the signature red paper clip above its entrance), perhaps Japan’s most famous shop for all things stationary. Spanning over two buildings and 18 floors in total, Itoya stocks anything from pens, paints, craft materials, canvases, paper, postcards, travel gear and has two cafes and even a greenhouse.

Especially worth mentioning is the selection of fine papers by TAKEO on the 7th floor, a branch of one of Japan’s most famous paper distributers boasting a range of 1000 papers in almost any colour or texture imagineable which can be cut to size in store.

        Grab yourself a stylish lunch and cocktail at bills, which will win over anyone’s heart with its eye-poppingly gorgeous interior design, a beautiful view over Ginza and some of Tokyo’s best fluffy pancakes. 

For some more casual food, head over to Ginza Kagari and indulge in its famously creamy chicken-broth ramen (expect to queue), enjoy Tokyo’s best vegan pancakes at Ain Soph., or check out METoA, a sleek cafe&restaurant with a second-floor art space run by Mitsubishi Electric with outstanding detox waters, house sodas and fruit smoothies.

For an afternoon tea Japanese-style, make your way to HIGASHIYA, an exclusive tea salon in the heart of Ginza which fuses the ancient tradition of Japanese tea ceremony with beautiful modern interior design. Select your desired tea creation from seasonal fruit teas, artisinal iced green teas or more traditional matcha, which come paired with one of HIGASHIYA’s seasonal, handmade Japanese sweets, known in Japanese as ‘wagashi’. 

        For more design inspiration, check out Ginza Graphic Gallery, which features free monthly exhibitions showing some of Japan’s best graphic artists and international talents. It also hosts the yearly Tokyo Art Directors Club and Tokyo Type Directors Club competition exhibition, including winners of type, poster and book design categories.

Over on the top floor of Hermès you can find Le Forum, another free gallery space in Ginza run by the French fashion giant, featuring exciting contemporary art and crafts exhibitions in a beautiful glass cube and also hosts occasional film screenings in its own cinema.

        Continue your shopping spree over at MUJI Ginza’s global flagship store, a 7-floor, all-things-MUJI empire, featuring not only our beloved storage, living, household, stationary and skincare sections, but also a MUJI Diner, a fruits&vegetable market, juice stand, bakery, restaurant, library and MUJI Hotel, amongst other things. Known for its no-fuzz, non-brand, minimalist style (which has again become “the MUJI style”), this Japanese-favourite has won over the hearts of people well beyond the borders of Japan.

At Dover Street Market Ginza, get inspired by the avant-garde creations of international fashion giants such as Comme des Garçons, sacai, OFF-WHITE, Prada and Balenciaga, as well as up-and-coming designers whose in-shop displays have been carefully curated by the Dover Street Market team. 

On top of Dover Street Market is also one of the city’s most serene, hidden rooftop gardens, complete with a beautiful shrine, which makes for perhaps the best spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Ginza.

        For another free view of Ginza, head to Kiriko Terrace on top of Tokyu Plaza, where you can find a vertical rooftop garden with a pool, as well as chic fashion boutiques and a moderately-priced basement-level food court on the lower floors. The restaurants on the Ginmachi dining floors at the top of Tokyu Plaza Ginza offer stellar views of the surrounding area and a perfect break from a busy shopping tour of Ginza.

If you are looking for an authentic local food experience and a gritty street food feel, head over to Sanchoku Inshokugai. This backstreet alley located beneath the JR railways between Yurakucho and Shimbashi stations, is a real hidden gem for those seeking a different dining experience. Boasting seven small eateries each serving food from a different Japanese region, catch one of the tiny tables and surround yourself with local workers for whom this is a popular spot for after-work drinks and snacks.

Bonus: The Four Hidden Shrines of Ginza

While Ginza is mostly known for its shopping temples, world-famous architecture and expensive fine-dining, here at WHEN IN TOKYO we also appreciate the small, more mundane pleasures that Tokyo has to offer. Whether its on a rooftop, in a cramped alleyway or on top of a shopping mall, tiny shrines can sometimes be found in the most curious of locations and a great way to discover another side of Ginza. 

The most interesting of them all is perhaps Toyoiwa Inari Shrine, which is located in a dark alleyway, so tiny, one person can barely walk through. If you can manage to find the entrance on either the North or West side of the block, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most unique shrines in Tokyo, and a side of Ginza so different, you’ll almost forget that you are actually in Tokyo’s most glitzy neighborhood. 

Miwa Shrine on the rooftop of nearby Dover Street Market is slightly bigger shrine, yet equally unknown by most locals, and a perfect spot to take a break from busy Tokyo.

Two more hidden rooftop shrines await, one in a corner on top of Ginza Six’s enormous rooftop garden, and a second, on top of the smaller Daiko Asahi Building on the Northeast of Ginza.

To reach the Asashi-Inari Shrine, take the elevator on the side of the Daiko Asahi Building up to the top floor and climb up a flight of stairs where you’ll find yet another, so curious side of Tokyo culture, complete with more views over Ginza.

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