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 3/14/2021

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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 west.

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 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 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.

Across from Tokyu Plaza Ginza at night.

Tokyu Plaza Ginza entrance at night.

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The Hermes Building across from Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

Ginza Six

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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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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.

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 Shiodome 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.

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©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. There is also a tiny Japanese garden on the theater’s rooftop. Well worth a stop to check out some of traditional Japan. 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.

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Entrance to Matsuya Ginza.

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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

Shinkansen @ Yūrakuchō Station near Ginza

Hibiya – Tokyo’s Elegant Walk

Tokyo International Forum

Tokyo International Forum – Wikipedia

Wako Building

Matsuya Ginza

https://ginza6.tokyo/

Ginza Japanese Cuisine on the App Store

Kit-Kat Chocolatory

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.

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.

Glitch Coffee, Kanda-Jimbocho

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Name: Glitch Coffee

Kind: Café

Location: 35°41’37.16″ N 139°45’40.90″ E

Hours: 8 PM weekdays, 7 PM weekends

Email: brewed@glitchcoffee.com, press@glitchcoffee.com

Site: http://glitchcoffee.com/

Phone: 03-5244-5458

Just 2 blocks northeast of the Imperial Palace, in south Kanda/Jimbocho, in a bldg. without so much as a sign is the very cool Glitch Cofee & Roasters. This is a very hip little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop with some premium varieties of coffee. Well worth a stop-in. To get here, take the Tozai line to Takebashi Station (T08 – 35°41’21.44″ N 139°45’40.89″ E), and walk north on Rt. 301 for a few blocks. You will pass a small street on the left with a 7-11 on the corner. Just down this street to the left happens to be 9 Hours Otemachi – a small modern capsule hotel, which is quite inexpensive.

Tozai Line Takebashi Sta. (T08), Exit 4. Head north from here and stay on the right side of the street.

Inside the somewhat Soviet-feeling Takebashi Sta.

Rt. 301 facing north on the left side of the street. 9 Hours Otemachi is to the left, Glitch Coffee is up on the right 2 blocks. Further up on the left side of the street is a Yamato Transport luggage delivery service.

Inside 9 Hours Otemachi.

You can also get there by getting off at Jimbocho Station (Z07) which is about 10 mins to the northwest if you take the Hanzomon Line instead, although it’s a bit of a longer walk than from Takebashi Sta. The Hanzomon Line also has the advantage of being 1 stop from Otemachi Sta. which shoots you right in near Maronuchi and Tokyo Station. Hanzomon can also take you out to Sky Tree/Oshiagé to the east quickly as well.

If you continue up 301, 2 more blocks on the right is Glitch Coffee. This is just before the main cross-street of Rt. 401, which if you head west (left) leads to Tokyo Dome, and if you turn right (east), leads to the WATERAAS complex, and beyond that, Akihabara.

Glitch Coffee, in south Kanda/Jimbocho – 2 blocks northeast of the Imperial Palace. The shop is on the east side of the street. This is facing southeast towards Tokyo Sta. There is no sign, except on the doors.

9 Hours Otemachi also has a deal with Glitch for a free breakfast every morning you stay there. Glitch has a nice pastry selection as well.

There are also other Glitches in Akasaka and Nagoya.

Of interesting note is the the fact that if you continue north past Glitch, in a block or two you’ll come to Rt. 302 (Yasukuni Dori), which runs east to west. This is a major street which has lots of sporting goods stores. There is a SuperSports Xebio store right across the street, as well as lots of ski + snowboard shops along the street. If you continue east on 302 for several blocks, you’ll come to Rt. 405 (Sotobori Dori), which, if you turn north (left) onto, will take you the WATERRAS complex, which is worth checking out, and which has a very nice Olympic Grocery store + Mister Donut in it. You can enjoy a nice stroll up and down these streets for all kinds of shops and cafés.

Less than a mile east of that is Akihabara.

WATERRAS Complex northeast of Glitch.

As a footnote, Meiji University is nearby and has an excellent museum. John Daub of Only in Japan on YouTube has a video walk from Akihabara to Meiji below.

LINKS

5 MIN WALK FROM JINBOCHO STATION EXIT 7, 2 MIN WALK FROM JINBOCHO STATION EXIT 9

http://glitchcoffee.com/

https://coffeemecca.jp/coffeeshop/210

https://ninehours.co.jp/akasaka/

35°41’21.44″ N 139°45’40.89″ E

https://www.waterras-mall.com/shop/ex/en/#googtrans(en)

VIDS

Okamura Chair Museum Akasaka

Name: Okamura Chair Museum

Kind: Museum

Location: 35°40’30.53″ N 139°44’19.80″ E

In Akasaka – just behind Japan’s central gov’t area, along Sotobori-Dori is a chair museum by the company Okamura. This company has made office chairs in Japan for decades as well as some of the car seats for early Honda and Toyota cars.

To get there turn south at the intersections of Aoyama-Dori and Sotobori-Dori in Akasaka, head past the large Bic Camera, then about 2.5 blocks south, and it will be on your left.

It’s shown here with a reverse view looking north – it’s on the right with the red sign, and Bic Camera is up on the left with the red sign on top.

To get there by Metro subway, exit at Tameike-Sanno station (Ginza Line 06 and Namboku Line 06), turn left, head one block south, turn right (north) onto Sotobori-Dori, then head north 2 blocks. It will be on your right. It’s only 3 blocks from the station.

It closes early though 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM most days. There’s a helpful information desk on the 2nd floor. Enter through the automatic sliding glass doors, and head up the stairs.

There’s a fair amount of other things to do in the area – across the street are the TBS HQ, a nice shopping arcade called Akasaka Sacas, and to the south Akasaka Intercity Air, as well as Toranomon Hills futher south on Sotobori Dori. If you go far enough south on Sotobori Dori, you will end up in Shimbashi near the Shimbashi JR station. Tokyo Metro Ginza Line 08 also stops there.

There is also a very cool small backstreet lined with shopping, restaurants, and hotels one street west of the Bic Camera building which you can enter at 35°40’39.74″N 139°44’10.63″E. Well worth a look.

Roppongi Hills and Ark Hills are just a few miles further west.

A massive Family Mart at 35°40’24.39″N, 139°44’19.62″E, and a Japan Post office right across the street from that.

First Cabin Akasaka is also close by (35°40’22.56″N, 139°44’15.66″E).

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Sotobori-Dori west of central gov’t buildings shown above, to the south of the museum.

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LINKS

All eyes on Akasaka

TBS

Akasaka Sacas

Akasaka Sacas @ tripadvisor

First Cabin Akasaka

VIDS

This vid shows some of Okamurua’s cool stuff.