Ginza: Glitz and Glamor

ginza_k_hattoriWe’re taking a look at another area of Tokyo today: Ginza. Ginza is part of Chuo, one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo. Ginza is an upscale area of Tokyo, famous for department stores, restaurants, and other high-end boutiques and shops. The Apple Store and the Sony Store are among the most often visited stores in the area.

Ginza is a great place for window shopping, as you’ll find high-end international brands like Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Dior, as well as high-end Japanese department stores like Wako, Seibu, Matsuzakaya, and Mitsukoshi. However, be careful when spending money and remember the exchange rate. (A basic rule of thumb is to remember 100 yen equals $1, but the amount can actually vary quite a bit. At present 100 yen equals $1.22.) Many of the items for sale are rather expensive, although you’re likely to find something that’s more affordable.

Restaurants are rather high-end as well. Be careful to peruse menus before you sit down and remember the old adage if there’s no price on the menu: “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” Sushi restaurants in Ginza can be especially expensive, with an average of a 20,000 to 70,000 yen bill ($243 to $850) per visit, depending on the number in your party. However, if you like the nightclub scene, you may be in paradise. Just be aware that the cover charge may be pricey. If you want to spend just a little less but still enjoy an elegant dining experience, try the coffee shops or tea houses in the area.

Don’t forget to take a look at the Kabuki-za in Ginza, one of the rare all-kabuki theaters in Japan. It was built in 1889.

Although this is largely true throughout Tokyo, most people who walk around in Ginza dress up in fashionable clothing. You’ll stand out in Japan as a foreigner, but you’ll especially turn heads if you wear typical comfortable tourist clothing.

Have you ever been to Ginza? Would you be interested in going to Ginza? Would you buy anything?

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Tags: cool japan, fashion, Ginza, japan, japanese culture, japanese entertainment