50 Things to Do in Ginza, Tokyo
Ginza is a Tokyo neighborhood esteemed by everyone in Japan. It's a place where you can find the best shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. The famous Kabuki Theater and the former Tsukiji Fish Market are in the area. If you want to really get to know this fascinating area of Tokyo, read on for our picks of the best 50 things to do in Ginza!
Nov 09 2017 (Apr 15 2020)
1. See the intersection at Ginza Yon-chome
This area of Ginza is where the aura of wealth and luxury simply overflows. There's always a lot of people walking around no matter the hour, so it's a very energetic place. The streets are lined with all sorts of shops, including department stores, old-style beer halls, Japanese clothing shops, trendy cafes, and more. It's definitely a place to take photographs as well!
2. Shop on Ginza Chuo-doori
There are many shopping streets in Tokyo, but this is the place to go if you want the latest high-end fashions from internationally famous brands. Even just window shopping in Ginza is a lot of fun. On the weekends it becomes a pedestrian paradise, so you might want to spend some time in an outdoor cafe people-watching.
3. Shop at Shiseido the Ginza
This is a space where most women who are into cosmetics want to visit at least once. Each floor has a different concept. The first floor is "everlasting excitement. I want to continue updating myself." The second floor is "a little adventure. I want to discover my best self." The third floor is "exceed one's imagination. I want to broaden my potential." You can receive counseling and esthetician services. There are women who could be in here for a whole day and not get tired of it.
4. Shop at the Ginza Ito-ya
Ito-ya is a fashionable stationery shop made with the concept of "making your creative time more beautiful and pleasant." Ito-ya is renowned for the huge variety of items they have. Of course they have plenty of stationery items, but they also have wonderful objet d'art that you can use to decorate your home or office. They sometimes have events like art classes that people of all ages can enjoy.
For a more in-depth introduction to the various goods you can find in this Ginza shopping staple, check out our in-depth article!
5. Visit the Junkissa Lupin
This coffee shop has been in business since 1928. It was closed for a little bit after the war but reopened as a cafe. They started offering not just coffee but also alcohol. It's a space that beloved Japanese writers like Ango Sakaguchi, Osamu Dazai, Shinichi Hoshi, and others frequented. The highball created by Lupin's bartender has a mysterious warmth and depth to it that is completely unlike any other cocktail you've ever had before.
6. Visit the Kabuki-za
This composite building holds both an office building and the Kabuki-za, a kabuki theater that aims to combine the prosperity of kabuki and the bustling activity of the Ginza area. Even though it was built very quickly, the inside is extremely beautiful and you can enjoy the traditional Japanese theater art of kabuki to your heart's content. You can go through the Kabuki-za Gallery with a voice guide to learn all about the art. On the 5th floor, there is a rooftop garden, and on sunny days it's a very comfortable space to spend some time.
The building itself is a sight to behold, but you might have a better experience if you watch a kabuki performance! Here are some things to know about this traditional Japanese performing art:
7. Go to the Tsukiji Jougai
The area in Chuo-ku between Tsukiji Yonchome and Rokuchome is generally called "Tsukiji Jougai". More than anything, the seafood here is delicious! Many freshly caught seafood such as tuna, sea urchin, roe, and more is delivered here daily and you can get incredibly delicious sushi, seafood rice bowls, and tempura. Once lunchtime hits, the lines can get ridiculously long, so you should aim to line up early in the morning!
8. Visit the Japan National Tourism Organization Information Center
This information center was created to pleasantly help and support foreign travelers on their trip. They have English information guides, can offer sightseeing suggestions, and have free Wi-Fi on the premises. It would definitely be a good idea for anyone who is wondering what to do on their trip to stop by.
9. Shop at the Ginza Mitsukoshi
Ginza Mitsuokoshi, sitting at the intersection in Ginza Yonchome, is famous enough to be talked about in the same breath as Wako, another Ginza department store. Mitsukoshi handles high-end accessories and clothing, and is famous for catering to rich, older women. The lions decorating the front entrance are famous and make for a great photo spot.
10. Shop at Uniqlo
This flagship store was opened in 2012. There are 12 floors with a sales floor of around 53375 square feet, making it Uniqlo's largest store in the world. All of Uniqlo's design lines, including those for women, men, kids, and babies, can be found here. If you want reasonably priced, easy to wear clothing, you have to go here!
11. Eat at Bulgari Afternoon Tea
If you're going to go all the way to Ginza, why not have slightly luxurious time at a cafe? You can get this lunch box at Bulgari Afternoon Tea! There are 14 different items in this 3-layered box, from sweets to savory foods, to scones, making it just like a precious treasure box. Please spend a lovely time at this cafe with your family or significant other.
12. Shop duty-free at Laox
A highlight of Ginza shopping, Laox is Japan's biggest flagship store. It's a duty-free store where you can find the best Japanese products, so it's extremely popular with foreign tourists. Cosmetics, medicine, daily necessities, miscellaneous souvenirs, etc. - if you come here, you'll be able to find a huge collection of them all. You must bring your passport in order to take advantage of the duty-free!
For a list of some of the most popular products sold at Laox, including cosmetics, appliances, and chocolates, check out this article!
13. Shop for miscellaneous items at Tokyu Hands in Marronnier Gate
Do you have an image of Japan having an abundance of high-quality miscellaneous items? If you're going to look for some of them in Ginza, you should make your way to the Tokyu Hands in Marronnier Gate. You can get all sorts of items there, from beauty items to stationery and even items for DIY.
14. Shop at the Ginza Hakuhinkan Toy Park
Ginza Hakuhinkan is Japan's biggest toy store. Of course they have toys for kids, but they're also overflowing with dolls and figures that adults collect. For people who don't have time to linger in anime shops in Akihabara and Ikebukuro, you might be able to find something you're looking for here instead.
15. Buy senjafuda phone straps
What about picking up a wooden name tag as a memoir of attending a show at the Kabuki-za? Senjafuda were originally slips of paper posted on shrine pillars as a memoir of their pilgrimate there, but now it's an item that comedians and geisha walk around with. You can get your name in kanji carved into one of these as a unique souvenir.
16. Eat anpan at Kimuraya
"Anpan," bread filled with red bean paste, is a snack created through the fusion of Japanese food culture and bread being brought to Japan from Western countries. The simple taste that Kimuraya's anpan has been firmly rooted in Japan's consciousness since it was opened in 1874 and is very popular to the point that there are branches nationwide. They also sell seasonal flavors, so you'll want to keep eating there as much as possible.
17. Eat at Ginza Asami
Ginza Asami is a Ginza restaurant with a calm atmosphere. There are three private rooms, so you can spend a leisurely time there. Their best dish is sea bream ochazuke made with fresh fish. It has very high reviews on gourmet sites, and is very famous.
For a list of excellent Ginza restaurants in the area offering the popular tempura, check out our roundup:
18. Eat at Sushi no Midori
This famous sushi restaurant, Sushi no Midori, always has a never-ending line from the early evening. You can enjoy incredibly fresh sushi at a reasonable price. Their most famous sushi is the daianago eel nigiri. The tender eel, so long it isn't possible to eat in one bite, sits on top of the rice to create a masterpiece nigiri.
19. Visit Tsukiji Shijo
Tsukiji Shijo is famous for being the center of Japan's wholesale markets. It's where fishermen gather before daybreak and have a lively auction. If you make a reservation, you can actually go see the auction, so it's recommended that you check first if you'd like to attend. Many shops close right after lunch, so you should go very early in the morning.
Tsukiji Food Walking Tour
You can also take in the local feel of Tsukiji and the excellent seafood with a local guide in Tsukiji Fish Market Tour with Magical Trip. This allows you to visit the Japanese Buddhism Temple and Shinto Shrine and have a feel for Japanese religious culture. While you're at it, grab a nice meal at the seafood DONBURI (bowl) restaurant.
If you're really looking forward to sushi in Japan and want to know more, check out this article where we delve deeper into Ginza's sushi scene:
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.