Ginza Superguide

Name: Ginza

Kind: Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°40’19.54″ N 139°45’50.72″ E

Station: Yurakucho Station, JR Yamanote Line, Yurakucho Station/ | Tokyo Metro Line, Ginza Station – Ginza Line, Marunouchi Line, Hibiya Line

Worth it? A must-see.

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Updated 6/25/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

The name “Ginza” is synonymous the world over with luxury + wealth. The name itself means “Silver Mint” – because when the Tokugawa Shogunate moved Japan’s capital from Kyoto to Edo (now Tokyo) in the early 1600’s, the largest silver mint in Japan was relocated to Ginza as well. (The name Tokyo actually means “Eastern Capital“).

Ginza is an astonishing place – not just for its luxury stores, and upscale vibe, but there’s a feel to the place all its own – let’s just call it an air of positivity. It’s also centrally located on the east side of Tokyo which makes it a good jumping off point to other parts of the city. To the north is Tokyo Station and the Marunouchi area – the central finance district of Tokyo, to the west is the Imperial Palace and Hibiya, and to south is Shimbashi.

One can wander the backstreets of Ginza, especially at night, and be dazzled at every turn.

There is also a large-scale diorama of late 19th century Ginza at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

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A typical store in Ginza.

Access

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Be sure to first read our Yurakucho Superguide as it contains all the info you need on the main station near GinzaYurakucho, and the surrounding area to the west of Ginza. There are also smaller underground stations on the Ginza Line, Marunouchi Line, Hibiya Lines around Ginza at street level – but there is no central above-ground Ginza Station, surprisingly.

Tokyo Station is just to the north of Yurakucho and Ginza and is an easy walk in just a few minutes. Hibiya and the Imperial Palace are just to the west of the TIF and are also an easy walk. If you start early enough, you can see all 3 areas in one day – although that would be a very full day. Ginza alone can easily take 12-14 hours to fully explore and possibly a few days if you really want to see everything in-depth.

For ease of access, other than Yurakucho Station, the Ginza Metro Station is probably the best bet for most people – it also stops at many other interesting areas on the Ginza Line including Asakusa (its eastern terminus), Ueno, Kanda, Shimbashi, Toranomon, Akasaka-mitsuke, Omotesando, and Shibuya (its western terminus). It pops up onto the street in central Ginza with several different exits with the main one being around 35°40’19.54″ N 139°45’50.72″ E.

A few blocks east of the center of Ginza Crossing is Higashi-Ginza Station on the Hibiya Line (Higashi is the Japanese word for east, nishi means west).

Area Layout

Ginza lies to the southeast of Yurakucho in a roughly 5-block area. The 2 towns are right next to each other. Most of Ginza is laid out in a grid with a major central street running in both the north-south, and east-west directions. Just to the northwest of Yurakucho is the Tokyo International Forum – the elongated bldg. shown in the upper left of the photo above. Yurakucho Station is just south of that, and Ginza is the area in the lower center area of the frame. The Hibiya area is in the upper left corner.

First, Yurakucho + Hibiya

First, the Yurakucho area itself is worth a look. Adjacent to the Hibiya area, both can easily take a day to explore. Both are worth it. The north end of Yurakucho is the gateway to central Tokyo from the south – it’s well worth it to explore this area. See our Yurakucho Superguide for a comple guide to the area.

Tokyo International Forum to the North

Also a must-see is the Tokyo International Forum just to the north of Yurakucho. The TIF has a courtyard to the west with lots of cafés, restaurants, and shops. The buildings to the west are office + hotels. Definitely check the area out. North of that is Tokyo Station. The Forum also hosts the Oedo Antique Market on the 1st + 3rd weekend of every month right in the courtyard.

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Yurakucho facing east. Ginza is straight ahead, Yurakucho Station directly behind the camera. The tall square bldg. ahead is MARRIONER GATE – a large shopping complex. Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan is a small shopping center built in the 1970’s. OIOI (pronounced Marui) is a large depato (department store) on the right.

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Facing east crossing from Yurakucho into Ginza at MARRIONER GATE. Yurakucho is behind the camera.

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Ginza | Nz is between Yurakucho and MARRIONER GATE in Ginza. This photo is facing south at the MARRIONER GATE crossing. MARRIONER GATE is to the east (left).

Hibiya just to the southwest.

There is also Metro Hibiya Station nearby in Hibiya, shown on the left here.

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Inside the Ginza Metro Station.

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On the Metro Ginza Line.

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West side of Yurakucho Station facing east. Pass through the tunnel at the bottom of the frame to get to the east side. Ginza is just on the other side of the tall building.

Ginza

To get to Ginza from Yurakucho cross Sotobori-Dori from any of the side streets to the east. You may want to start at either the north or south end, and criss-cross the Ginza streets in a pattern since they are laid out in a grid. The main center of GinzaGinza Crossing and its world-famous Wako Building is down about 3 blocks east at 35°40’17.12″ N 139°45’53.76″ E. If you cross at the south end of Yurakucho near the new Tokyu Plaza around 35°40’20.09″ N 139°45’49.73″ E, you will be at the Wako Bldg. in 3 blocks. A famous corner Nikon (pronounced nee-kon, not nigh-kon) camera store and the Hermes building are on this corner as you cross. 2 blocks to the east is the SEIKO Watch Museum on the left.

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The famous Wako Bldg. facing north. Yurakucho and Tokyu Plaza are off to the left out of view. So is the SEIKO Watch Museum. Sony Showcase is on the right out of view. If you turn right here and go to the Mitsukoshi building’s roof there is an open-air garden, shops, and several cafés. Matsuya Ginza, which has one of the best food basements in Tokyo is straight ahead on the right. The Ginza Apple Store is down on the left.

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Mitsukoshi‘s rooftop garden. Check it out. World-famous jeweler Mikimoto is across the street.

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Matsuya Ginza Depachika (food basement). Don’t miss it. (“Depachika” is a Japanese contraction for “Department Store Basement”).

Tokyu Plaza

Tokyu Plaza is well worth a stop in and of itself – it has a lot of great restuarants on the top floor + a very nice open-air rooftop garden. There is also a huge indoor café on one of the upper floors with floor-to-ceiling windows which provide a spectacular view of Ginza at night. It’s just to the south of the Yurakucho area.

Across from Tokyu Plaza Ginza at night.

Inside Tokyu Plaza there is a café with soaring ceilings and this awesome view.

Tokyu Plaza Ginza entrance at night.

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The Hermes Building across from Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

Milky 70 Ice cream shop around 35°40’21.43″ N 139°45’48.96″ E.

Ginza Six

About 3 blocks southeast of Matsuya Ginza around 35°40’10.59″ N 139°45’53.82″ E is the spectacular new Ginza Six complex. A multi-use mall with shops, restaurants, and other attractions, Ginza Six is worth a stop. It also features a very nice open-air terrace shown below:

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©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Tokyo Square Garden

Just 1 block east of the Yurakucho crossing around 35°40’34.43″ N 139°46’09.47″ E is a bright new complex called Tokyo Square Garden. If you’re in Ginza it’s a must-see. Loaded with new shops, malls, restuarants, and offices, it’s one of Ginza’s up and coming addresses. There is also a WeWork co-working space inside. Check it out.

Food

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Food options are endless in Ginza, and much of the fare is ultra-luxury high end restuarants + confectionary stores. There are also wineries, delicacy shops, and even upscale ramen places. Great Sushi places abound. You may want to do some web research before you go to determine which places you want to eat at since there are so many it’s impossible to catalog them all here. There are plenty of good places in Yurakucho as well including the Miami Café, OIOI and LUMINE food floors, and the Matsuya Ginza food basement, which is one of the best in Tokyo. Many of the large depato have great food on their upper floors, which is a common trend in modern Tokyo.

If you explore the backstreets you will find plenty of smaller ramen and other food shops – authentic local Japanese cuisine. This area is called Yurakucho Concourse and is directly under the train tracks to the east side of the station.

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Yurakucho Concourse.

Ginza Sky Lounge

On top of Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan is the Ginza Sky Lounge restaurant – a laid back understated restaurant with a great view overlooking Ginza.

Kit-Kat Chocolatory

2 blocks east of Yurakucho around 35°40’20.59″ N 139°46’03.08″ E is the deluxe Kit-Kat Chocolatory. For some reason Kit-Kat is deemed a western luxury delicacy all over Japan – not the commodity candy bar it is considered in US supermarkets. There are endless flavors + styles of Kit-Kat in Japan, unlike in the west. If you like chocolate, this shop is a must-see in Ginza. There is also a new monster Kit-Kat store over in Shinjuku across the city. You can buy some of the Japan-themed Kit-Kats online over at yummy bazaar.

Le Chocolate De H Ginza

Also be sure to check out Le Chocolate De H Ginza.

Last But Not Least – Don Quijote Ginza

Just on the border of Ginza on the west side and Shiodomé on the east, there is this little Don Quijote 100¥ shop (known to locals simply as Donki). Like most Don Quijotes in Tokyo, they have a wide variety of goods packed into tiny aisles. They also have cheap snacks + cheap coffee. You can get a non-perishable 1 liter bottle of UCC Coffee for $.88 cents. Oddly, this Don Quijote has a wide variety of cheap but good bicycles for sale out front. They even have one made by GM’s Hummer brand. Definitely worth a stop.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Cheap culinary snack delights await you @ Don Quijote Ginza.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com
©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Kabukiza Theatre

Around 35°40’09.81″ N 139°46’03.64″ E, about a block or 2 east of Ginza Crossing is the Kabukiza Theater – one of Japan’s largest, and oldest Kabuki theaters. Kabuki is an ancient form of morality play and has survived to the modern day. The theater was destroyed by World War 2 Allied bombing but was rebuilt. There is also a tiny Japanese garden on the theater’s rooftop. Well worth a stop to check out some of traditional Japan. Shows are expensive – expect to pay a few hundred dollars. If you want quick, direct access to the theater by subway, take the Metro Hibiya Line to Higash-Ginza Station and exit to the street.

https://www.kabukiweb.net/theatres/kabukiza/

Conclusion

Well that’s it for now. There are endless things to do in Ginza and you can easily spend a few days here. It’s an absolute must-see if you’re in Tokyo.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

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Facing south on Sotobori-Dori – crossing into Ginza on the left from Yurakucho on the right. Tokyu Plaza Ginza is the tall black building in the distance. The shopping complex on the right is called Ginza | Nz.

Under Yurakucho Station.

Facing north on Sotobori Dori. Turning right here leads into Ginza. Yurakucho is on the left.

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Another view of Hermes across from Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

Ginza Sony Park + Design Museum Box

Near the Hermes Bldg. shown above is the interesting Ginza Sony Park. There’s a cool little underground museum called Design Museum Box down a staircase at street level right next to the Hermes Bldg. Worth a quick look. There’s also a newly opened PlayStation museum in the basement.

Head down this starwell for the Design Museum Box.

Courtesy Totally Drew

Matsuya Ginza Depato

Just down the street from the Wako Bldg. is the great Matsuya Ginza department store (depato in Japanese). The food basement (Depachika) is really awesome and has lots of nice gifts + stuff to eat.

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Entrance to Matsuya Ginza.

Another view of the Tokyu Plaza entrance.

At the Wako Bldg (right) facing south.

On a Ginza street at dusk. The Oslo Coffee shop is just on the left.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com
©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Endless adventures await you on the backstreets of Ginza.

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Another view of Matsuya Ginza.

LINKS

Yurakucho Station/ | Tokyo Metro Line

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamanote_Line

Yūrakuchō Station – Wikipedia

Yurakucho Station | JapanVisitor Japan Travel Guide

Yurakucho Station, Chiyoda, Japan Tourist Information

Ginza Station

Higashi Ginza Station, Hibiya Line

GINZA OFFICIAL

Yurakucho : Best Things to Do in 2021

Yurakucho Superguide

SEIKO Museum Ginza

https://www.ginzasonypark.jp/e/

Shinkansen @ Yūrakuchō Station near Ginza

Hibiya – Tokyo’s Elegant Walk

Tokyo International Forum

Tokyo International Forum – Wikipedia

Wako Building

Matsuya Ginza

https://ginza6.tokyo/

Tokyu Plaza Ginza has a rooftop co-working space – and it’s free

Ginza Japanese Cuisine on the App Store

Kit-Kat Chocolatory

A Must-Visit Hidden Gem in Ginza: The Showa Retro Café Ginza

Cafe Paulista in Ginza: Japan’s oldest existing kissaten is model for coffee shops across the country

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=kit+kat+chocolatory&hvadid=78683806185431&hvbmt=bb&hvdev=c&hvqmt=p&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_8impajdfw8_b

kabuki-za.co.jp

VIDS

Yurakucho Station is one of the best Shinkansen-spotting places in Tokyo. Ginza is directly behind the camera to the east.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbg_HgQKxd0

This video shows other views of the area around Yurakucho Station. Bic Camera and Tokyo International Forum are shown behind the tracks in this thumbnail.

The Great Tokyo Donut Post

©2020-21 tenmintokyo.com

Updated 3/12/21

Like the current pancake craze in Tokyo at the moment, Japan is crazy for donuts. There are so many cool donuts in Japan it’s hard to know where to start.

The real donut crazes hit around Halloween + Christmas – 2 major holdays in Japan. Halloween especially is huge. Spring is also a big donut time in Japan – mostly with all kinds of Sakura donuts everywhere.

The biggest donut chain in Japan is Mr. Donut – a US chain that went bankrupt in the US, but was bought by a Japanese company. There are 1000s of Mr. Donut stores all over Tokyo and Japan. We have some more info on Mr. Donut on our other post Inside a Japanese Post Office.

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Mr. Donut right next to Akabane Station in Akabane.

Another Mr. Donut.

©2001 tenmintokyo.com

A Mister Donut “set” from back in 2001. Today’s donuts are a bit more colorful + themed.

Donuts @ Tokyo Station

Tokyo Station and it’s underground shopping area, Tokyo Station City are vast and there are lot of doughnut options here:

Angelique New York

Dunkin

Siretoco Factory in Keiyo Street area

Yurakucho

The Doughnut Plant: There’s a great little donut shop in Yurakucho called The Doughnut Plant. Well worth a stop. It’s 1 block to the north and west of Yurakucho Station and 1 block west of the Tokyo International Forum around 35°40’35.99″ N 139°45’47.31″ E. They close nightly @ 7PM. Yurakucho is just south of Tokyo Station.

Krispy Kreme: Just to the south of Tokyo Station is Yurakucho Station and right next to its east exit is the ITOCIA dept. store. There’s a Krispy Kreme shop inside.

Yurakucho Station ahead, and ITOCIA dept. store, left.

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Another view of Yurakucho Station right, and ITOCIA dept. store, left, out of view.

ITOCIA dept. store, right.

AkihabaraJack In The Donuts, Mr. Donut + More

Jack In The Donuts: Just outside Yodobashi Akihabara is a small donut shop called Jack In The Donuts. You can watch workers prepare donuts live + they have a great variety of donuts including matcha donuts. The shop is hidden in a small shopping tunnel just on the south side of Yodobashi Camera. Well worth a stop.

There is also a Mr. Donut about 5 blocks northwest of the JR Akihabara Station.

Fukushima Tasting Market: 2 blocks to the east of the Mr. Donut here is the Fukushima Tasting Market which also has a pastry shop with lots of donuts. Well worth a stop and nearby.

Mont-Thabor Tōkyō: A little to the west just across the Kanda River is a shop called Mont-Thabor Tōkyō Waterras Mall Shop. It’s actually in Ochinamizu in the Waterras complex. There is also a Mr. Donut on the north side of Waterras.

Akasaka/Nagatcho

To the east of Akasaka near Nagatcho is a small donut shop called Hocus Pocus which is well worth a stop.

Donuts in Ikebukuro

There are no less than three Mr. Donuts‘ in Ikebukuro in western Tokyo. All of them are great. There is also the Roasted Coffee Lab in the Esola complex just across from one of the Mr. Donuts.

There is also a Krispy Kreme shop 2 blocks west of Ikebukuro Station on Mizuki Dori.

Donuts @ Tokyo Sky Tree

At Tokyo Sky Tree there are lots of places to find great donuts. Head into the Solamachi Bldg. next to Sky Tree to discover its food arcade:

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Right out front near the door is this pastry shop with donuts.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

There is also a western-style Krispy Kreme on the Food Marché floor – as well as other donuteries.

Just to the south of Sky Tree is this Mister Donut. There are also a few more to the west on the way to Asakusa.

Halloween

Halloween is huge in Japan and most cafés go nuts trying to out-do each other in the madness of the Halloween donuts they can come up with. This selection is from Mr. Donut:

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Halloween donuts @ Mr. Donut.

Even chain cafés such as Tully’s gets into the act. There are others in smaller privately owned cafes and smaller places such as Peace and Lamb in Q Plaza in Ikebukuro. There is also a CAPCOM Café in Q Plaza.

Halloween treat coming from Krispy Kreme - Japan Today
Mister Donut - Wikipedia
Mmmm...Donuts... - Mister Donut, Japan. | Mister donuts, Food humor,  Japanese dessert
nekotaro on Instagram: “Halloween Donut :D” | Halloween donuts, Holiday  donuts, Fall donuts

Arnold’s

In Kichijoji is a nice donut shop called Arnold’s. They have some very unusual and interesting doughnuts and it’s worth a look.

Courtesy Arnold’s

Floresta nature doughnuts

To the west in Koenji around is Floresta Nature Donuts. Well worth a stop.

Ginza

For a more upscale doughnut experience, try Antique Ginza 2 blocks east of Yurakucho Station. There’s also a Mr. Donut in Ginza: Mister Donut Ginza Nine.

Dumbo Donuts + Coffee

In Azabujuban is a small donut shop called Dumbo’s. Also worth a stop. Also in Azabujuban is Bryant Coffee.

Harajuku + Omotosando

Higuma Doughnuts + Coffee Wrights

There’s a great little donute shop around 35°40’01.62″ N 139°42’35.34″ E in Omotosando called Higuma Doughnuts along with a coffee shop called Coffee Wrights.

Good Town Donuts Shibuya

In Shibuya there’s a nice spot called Good Town Donuts. They have some very interesting low-sugar Vegan donuts. There’s a good post on the place over at grapejapan.com

Yoyogi

If you’re near Yoyogi Station, check out Harrits Donuts & Coffee just to the northeast a few blocks around 35°40’09.07″ N 139°40’56.20″ E. Unfortunately their site is in Japanese only.

Conclusion

Well that’s about it for now. Tokyo is a donut-lover’s paradise and there’s no end to the funny + delicious donuts you can find here. Enjoy!

LINKS

All About Mr. Donut Japan + Its Awesome Menu

Sakura and matcha star in new Mister Donut collection

Mr. Donut preps more Pokémon donuts

Start summer early with these fruity donuts from Krispy Kreme

Mister Donut creates Uji matcha chocolat doughnut line with green tea specialists Gion Tsujiri

“Glossy green tea donuts” sound weird, look amazing in Mr. Donut team-up w/Kyoto matcha master

Japan Gourmet Guide: Recommended Doughnut shops in Tokyo

http://www.jack-donuts.jp/#

http://www.noacafe.jp/en/harajuku/

https://www.higuma.co/

https://www.misterdonut.jp/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mister_Donut

Ikumimama Comes up with Kawaii Animal Doughnuts for the Easter Season

Japan’s Mister Donut revamps introduces new sweet potato doughnut lineup

Best doughnuts in Tokyo? Sweet floral creations cause a stir on social media

Savor some Sanrio chocolate costume cuteness with organic Halloween Cinnamoroll donuts

Mister Donut rolls out new collab sweets with Belgian chocolatier for Valentine’s

Pokémon doughnuts from Mister Donut are bigger and better than ever this year

Gudetama makes doughnut debut at Floresta with adorable organic New Year greetings doughnuts

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/restaurants/tokyos-best-doughnuts

Sakura Flavour Cherry Blossom Doughnuts from Japan’s Mister Donut

Doughnuts in Tokyo – Floresta, Krispy Kreme and Mister Donut

Get A Bite Of Spring At Krispy Kreme Japan With New Doughnut Flavors Including Matcha, Sakura, And More

Krispy Kreme Japan’s cherry blossom season 2021 creation is an adorable sakura rabbit doughnut

Krispy Kreme’s new line of doughnuts offers plenty of Japanese tea goodness

https://www.tokyo-solamachi.jp/en/shop/887/

https://www.tokyo-solamachi.jp/en/shop/?m_category=27&page=7

https://gigazine.net/gsc_news/en/20130911-krispykreme-halloween/

Mister Donut Releases “Ronuts”–Doughnuts Served With A Slice Of Creamy Roll Cake On Top

Rainbow mille crepes brighten up the food scene in Tokyo

https://www.roadarch.com/sca/donutsmr.html

https://www.fukushimaya.net/

https://mont-thabor.jp

https://www.waterras.com/

Cute bear doughnut from Hokkaido available at Tokyo station

https://rb.gy/qtl7je

http://www.dumbodc.com/

https://siretoco23.com/free/shop

https://gigazine.net/gsc_news/en/20170925-misterdonut-halloween-my-melody

The Mister Donut Ice Bar: “When donuts become ice cream”

VIDS