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)
20. Visit the Hamarikyu Gardens
The Hamarikyu Gardens get a lot of attention for being an oasis in the middle of the city. It uses salt water from Tokyo Bay, so when the lake is full you can enjoy the changing scenery, making it a rather unique garden. There is also a teahouse within the gardens where you can enjoy matcha, so it's perfect for a quick break from shopping.
21. Wander around the Ginza Haccho shrines
Ginza is a flourishing business district now, but actually in the past it was a neighborhood protecting many shrines that were beloved by the area's residents. There are 9 in total, quietly sitting on side streets just off the major roads, so you can enjoy taking a leisurely walk around Ginza's residential areas on your search for them. There is a particular shrine that is said to bless relationships and it's very popular with women.
22. Visit the Tsukiji Hongan-ji
A little ways away from the center of Ginza is the Tsukiji Hongan-ji, a building characterized by its overwhelming and imposing facade. This ancient and honorable shrine was opened originally in 1617, and the current building was built in 1934 using ancient Indian designs to create a new style of shrine. If you're already at Tsukiji Shiba, you can walk off your seafood lunch by heading over here for a visit.
23. See the Ginza Shusshe Jizoson
The jizo that sits on the roof of Ginza Mitsukoshi was discovered at a nearby river in the early Meiji period. It's had a mysterious existence where it keeps getting lost and then refound, so it was enshrined. Since it was promoted from sitting in the dirt to being on a roof, it's become a place where people who are praying for success in their jobs go to pray for promotions.
24. Go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Museum
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Museum is one of the places where people obsessed with uniformed people salivate at the mouth. Since you can learn all about the history and activities of Japanese police, it's especially popular with children. There are also fun contents such as the simulation game in which you can ride a police motorcycle.
25. Stop at Fancl Ginza Square
Fancl is a an effective cosmetics maker that supplies additive-free cosmetics and supplements. At the Ginza square you can of course buy products but you can also receive all sorts of skin diagnoses, experience an oxygen room, eat at a natural foods restaurant - Fancl offers a total experience of all their charms. You can spend a full, fun day here if you're into skincare.
26. Shop at the Gekkoso Art Supply Store
This art supply shop that has been selling Japanese art products since 1917 has won awards for its Cobalt Violet Pink (also known as Gekkoso Pink) paint in world championships. All of their items have their logo of a horn on it, called "the horn that calls friends." This store has many fans around the world.
While you're in the shopping mood, take a look at this list of variety stores in the Ginza area, selling high-class and stylish kitchenware, accessories, cosmetics, bags, and more!
27. Visit regional antenna shops
Because Ginza is an area where people from all over Japan gather, there are convenient stores that sell items from around the country so you can buy regional items without having to go very far. If you come to Japan but don't have time to go to a specific prefecture, this is the perfect place to look for things from there without feeling bitter about your lack of time. Each shop has specific regional items so you can feel like you've traveled the country without leaving Ginza.
28. Shop at men's fashion labels
The Yurakucho area, which is very close to Ginza, is home to many rare men's fashion stores. In the Hankyu Department store, there are 8 floors full of nothing but dometic and international fashion brands of all styles. Why not find something for yourself while the women in your group are off shopping?
29. Visit the National Film Center at the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art
At this, Japan's only national film organization, they keep films, steel photographs, posters, scripts, and other such film-related items on display. They also often hold international film screenings usually centered around a specific theme, so it's a place that film professionals hold in high regard.
30. Shop for evening gowns
Ginza is known as a neighborhood where rich people gather night after night. Because of that, there are many shops that have a vast collection of evening gowns made for the women who work in the high-class clubs. There are actually some reasonably priced pieces as well, so why not pick up one for a future party?
31. Transform yourself at the Transformation Photo Studio Monbebe
Monbebe is a photo studio filled with professional hair and makeup stylists who will help you take a "miraculous photo" depending on the situation. You can choose your favorite style and take a photo of the moment that you made your dreams become a reality! It's very popular to go here and take photos with friends.
*This studio has closed for business
32. Transform yourself into a maiko at Studio Yume Koubou
This maiko experience is recommended for people who want to wear a kimono since you've come all this way. While regular kimono are also beautiful, if you want to have a unique experience, why not transform yourself into a Kyoto-style maiko instead? You'll have a beautiful photo as a tangible reminder of your trip.
*This studio has closed for business
33. Shop at Albore Ginza
Albore Ginza is a building full of beauty spots aimed towards women. They have popular fashion brands, salons specializing in things such as taking care of the skin around one's eyes, and more. It's a paradise for women who pride themselves on their refined taste. If you want to experience the very latest in Japanese oral, skin, and hair care, this is definitely the place to stop by.
34. Eat at Ore no French
This reasonably priced Ginza restaurant was created by chefs who worked at high-class restaurants, and has become a hot topic throughout Japan. This lively restaurant offers food that is completely different from that offered in a regular izakaya and is a treat even just to look at.
If this restaurant left you wanting to do a bit more culinary exploring, check out this article, which features buffet lunches of all sorts of Asian and European cuisines.
35. Walk down Ginza Gasuto-doori
Gasuto-doori is one of Ginza's symbols and is a street that is always full of people. The soft, gentle light coming from the retro-style lanterns makes you feel like you're in a movie. It's an area full of hidden gems like bars and restaurants, so it's definitely a place where you can really feel the charms of Ginza.
36. Eat at 100% Chocolate Cafe.
This chocolate specialty store is produced by the famous Japanese candy maker, Meiji. It's always bustling with people thanks to its variety of chocolate drinks and 56 kinds of chocolate. The wide variety of chocolate on offer is due to the fact that they use a combination of cacao from different countries, different flavorings, and different sweeteners. It's perfect for a souvenir. Maybe you can find chocolate using cacao from your country.
*This place closed down in 12, 2017.
Tokyo has plenty of chocolate to offer as well. For a mouthwatering list of decadent, creative desserts from throughout the city, check out this article:
37. Visit the pharmacy cafe Vita
This cafe, the first of its kind in Japan, is known as a specialty store for preventative medicine and nutritional supplements. In the evening it becomes a bar, so you can easily come and get medical advice in a relaxed setting. If you order a drink, you also get a round of supplements with it.
*This cafe has closed for business
38. Stay at the Taiso Ryokan
Daisou Ryokan is a traditional Japanese-style home that has remained intact, something that is rare in the Ginza area. This ryokan is perfect for people who want to experience that nostalgic atmosphere in a traditional building. There are only 2 rooms, so if you're coming in a small group, you can rent out the entire establishment for yourselves.
For some more conventional places to stay in Ginza, this article offers 13 recommended business hotels:
39. Buy sweets at the cake shop in Wako
The building with the large clock that stands as the symbol of the intersection at Ginza Yonchome is the high-class department store Wako. They have a large selection of watches and jewelry, and it's famous as a place where celebrities gather. The sweets sold at Wako are very popular overseas as well. You can buy sweet potato pastries, chocolate-coated fruits, and many other products that you can only find here.
40. Shop at Labi Amenity and Tax-Free
One of Japan's largest electronic store chains, Yamada Denki, opened this brand new establishment in 2015. It's Japan's largest tax-free shop. Everything in the whole 8 floor building is tax-free, and it's not just the usual home appliances but also high-class brand items, cosmetics, beauty products, and more. There are corners dedicated to beauty items that are highly recommended on online stores as well as original collaboration goods.
*This shop has closed for business
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.