Tokyo/Ginza

thumb|240px|Wako Department Store

31 things to do

All Places Japan



Sukiyabashi Jiro

This three Michelin star restaurant and its owner/chef, Jiro Ono, were immortalized in the 2011 documentary ''Jiro Dreams of Sushi''. The highly expensive course is ''omakase'' only - Jiro himself selects 20 nigiri pieces daily based on that day's catch from the Tsukiji fish market. You are not expected to use soy sauce, as many pieces are already brushed with it. The restaurant only has ten counter seats, and due to its popularity, advance reservations are required by telephone in Japanese. While reservations open on the first day of every month for the following month's seating, they almost always sell out the same day. Reservations via a concierge (hotel, American Express, etc.) may be the best way for foreign visitors to secure a seat.


Kabukiza Theater

The best way to see traditional Japanese theater is to go to Kabuki-za for a single act, or ''hitomaku-mi'', which lasts between one and two hours. This costs around ¥800, depending on the length, and seating is on the fourth floor. An English audio guide describes the play while you watch, it is worthwhile at ¥700. You can also see the complete kabuki play, but this is a lengthy affair, and ticket prices can range from ¥4000 to ¥20,000. If it's around mealtime, pick up a ''bento'' at one of the local shops and take it in. The current Kabukiza Theater opened its doors in 2013, replacing the previous building which stood from 1950 to 2010.



Sushi Kanesaka

The main branch of one of Japan's premier sushi restaurants with two Michelin stars, with another branch at the Palace Hotel, as well as two outposts in Singapore. Sushi is prepared fresh for you at the counter while you watch. Ordering dishes individually is not allowed, and the chef would select what he thinks are the best seasonal ingredients for customers. The restaurant is very small with limited seating, so reservations are essential well in advance. Limited English is spoken by the head chef.


San-ai Building

The heart of Ginza is the intersection of Chuo-dori and Harumi-dori, dominated by the glass cylinder of this building. With its huge neon sign, it's been ''the'' image of Ginza on postcards and travel books for decades now. The other corners are occupied by '''Wako''' and '''Mitsukoshi''', two of the most prestigious department stores (the former being a cut above), and the '''[http://www.nissan.co.jp/cgi-bin/GALLERY/gallery.cgi Nissan Gallery]''', which shows off new and classic automobiles.

SEE   —  Map


Cafe Doutor

Located in the famous San-ai building, this expensive coffee shop is very popular for "people watching". Unfortunately, the view from the patio is blocked by the police box, but it is still great. Or climb up to the second floor and seek out a window seat. Doutor also has various shops along Chuo-dori and it's one of the biggest chains in Tokyo. Mind you, the price of coffee at this particular one is somewhat inflated compared to the Doutor outlets at other places.


Itōya

Beside the huge Matsuya department store, which is beside the huge Mitsukoshi department store (both being prestigious and expensive), which in turn is across the street from Wako. A 9-floor building packed with all things stationery, from pencils to paintbrushes, you name it. Not exactly discount price considering its location and prestige, but a stationery shop with a collection of this size is hard to come by in Japan.

BUY   —  +81 3-3216-0041 —  Map


Mitsukoshi and Matsuya Ginza's

Basement floors offer a variety of foods at a reasonable price. Food ranges from pre-made bentos to bakeries to sandwich shops. You can also get a quick snack at no cost by trying the various samples that are offered. There are no areas to sit and eat and unless you can get a table on Chuo-dori on the weekend, you may have trouble eating your recently purchased meals.

EAT   —  Map

Royal Park Hotel in Tokyo

Five star accommodation conveniently located in central Tokyo, ideal for business travelers and holiday makers. Easy accessible from Tokyo's Airport, Royal Park Hotel in Tokyo stands next door to the TCAT (Tokyo City Air Terminal) from where buses leave and arrive several times every hour to Narita International Airport.



Tōkyō Kyūkyodō

Located right across the street from Wako and its landmark clock tower on Ginza's main intersection, this two-floor shop specializes in the traditional Japanese paraphernalia (papers, fans, calligraphy brushes, votive scents etc.). A popular stop for foreigners in search for something exotic and genuine.

BUY   —  +81 3-3571-4429 —  Map

Hotel Monterey Ginza

This hotel, owned by a Japanese businesswoman, caters to women. Located in the heart of the Ginza district, the Monterey offers comfortable rooms and has a friendly front desk staff. Across the street is one of the many AM/PM convenience stores where a traveler may purchase needed items 24 hrs a day.

SLEEP   —  +81 3-3544-7111 —  2-10-2 Ginza

Chikuyōtei

The original store of Japan's best known ''unagi'' (eel) restaurant chain, serving up luscious ''kabayaki'' (grilled eel with sauce) since 1876. Full courses start from ¥7350 and climb up to twice that (reservations required), but a basic ''unadon'' with soup is an almost reasonable ¥2,625.

EAT   —  +81 3-3542-0789 —  Ginza 8-14-7

Happy Plaza

Located on the 9th floor in the cylinder of San-ai building. The location complete with floor to ceiling windows provides a stunning view of Chuo-dori and the Wako and Mitsukoshi stores opposite. In addition to the usual cakes and drinks a light meal is available during lunch hours.


Ginza Shiseido Parlour

Operated by the cosmetics giant Shiseido, the Parlour (founded 1902) is one of the swankiest places to dine. Lunch specials go for ¥4,000, but the most famous item on the menu is the lobster and abalone curry for ¥10,000.


Mandarin Oriental

This exclusive hotel has fabulous rooms, a world class spa and a Michelin 1 Star Signature Restaurant. The hotel also has fitness facilities that rival anything in Tokyo with views to match.

SLEEP   —  Map

Sabaku no Bara (Desert Rose)

Upscale club with an expensive cover charge and no dress code, but after all it is Ginza. The clientele is older and more affluent, and not as rowdy as the crowd you will find in Roppongi.


Morioka Shoten

A tiny bookstore in a quiet street, it is unique and strange since it sells only one book that changes every week. Authors of the featured book sometimes come in to discuss about it.

BUY   —  Map

Mercure Hotel Ginza

Modern 4-star hotel by the Mercure chain. Though the rooms are quite small, the price in this area can't be beaten. 3min walk to the famous Luis Vuitton boutique on Ginza street.

SLEEP   —  +81 3-43351111 —  2-9-4 Ginza

Toshiba Building

In the basement are reasonable restaurants. You can start your day shopping in Yurakucho and stop at this building for lunch before heading to Ginza, or do the opposite.


Apple Store Ginza

The ultimate in high-tech hipness, where ''de rigueur'' neckwear means an iPod, not a black tie. Easily recognized by its ultra-modern stainless steel paneled exterior.


Nair's

One of the oldest Indian restaurants in Japan, founded in 1949. The Murghee lunch is a favorite - sit back and let the waiter cut up the chicken for you on your plate.

EAT   —  +81 3 3541-8246 —  Ginza 4-10-7

Ginza Cafe Paulista

One of the oldest cafes in Japan and a favorite of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the Paulista opened in 1909 with beans imported directly from Santos, Brazil.


Tenshōdō

Jeweler and maker of luxury watches. The upper floors, however, are devoted to model trains, many of which match the watches in intricacy and price.

BUY   —  +81 3-3562-0025 —  Ginza 4-3-9

Hakuhinkan Toy Park

One of the oldest and largest toy stores in Japan (it first opened in 1899), this is the place to go for all the latest cute and strange toys.

BUY   —  +81 3-3571-8008 —  Ginza 8-8-11

Nataraj

A terrific Indian vegetarian restaurant in the midst of Ginza, offering an excellent lunch buffet for ¥1050, and beautiful decor as well.

EAT   —  +81 3-5537-1515 —  7F,8F,9F

Sony Building

The Sony Showroom has four floors of the latest Sony products, with a small shop on the 3rd floor. The building also houses a BMW showroom.

SEE   —  5-3-1 Ginza

Yoshinoya

One of a nationwide chain of rice bowl restaurants, the Ginza location is just north of the Apple Store on Chuo-dori.

EAT   —  Map

Duffy's

An Irish pub with an authentic look and feel, as well as ¥500 Guinness during happy hour.


Ginza Blossom

This theater hosts a variety of different events. See the website for a partial listing.

SEE   —  +81 3-3542-8585 —  Ginza 2-15-6

Mikimoto

The inventors of cultured pearls, has their inaugural shop located right next to Wako.

BUY   —  +81 3-3535-4611 —  Map

Three Hundred Bar

Both bars have a mixed foreign and Japanese clientele.



Source: wikivoyage