Wondering what are the things to do in Ginza? Shopping in Ginza is an indulging experience and one of the best things to do in Tokyo. As fun and decadent it may be to meander around high-end shops, it’s also seriously damaging to your bank account. I learned (the hard way) that Ginza should definitely not be approached if you own credit cards. I went to Ginza to window shop and soak up the atmosphere, but in the reality, the sheer amount of clothes, accessories, jewellery and goodies won me over. Think of Ginza as the 5th Avenue of Tokyo.
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Things to do in Ginza
Giza is fabulous, exciting, mesmerising and expensive! Although you find the ordinary mall shops (such as H&M and Gap), you will also find the coolest Tiffany's, the most amazing Bulgari store I’ve ever seen and a drop dead gorgeous Chanel paradise.
Shopping in Ginza is an experience which no traveller to Tokyo should miss. The only catch? Try and carry only a small amount of cash with you, or will you end up binge shopping. Like I did. That was bad of me but I don’t regret it. Ok, maybe I feel a little bad, but let’s face it, the benefits of shopping in such cool place totally outweighs the financial damage. I know deep down you understand me.
Walk around Ginza on the weekend
During the weekend, some parts of Ginza transform into pedestrian-only avenues. Ginza becomes relaxed and many come to promenade on the main boulevard. During nice weather, there are table and chairs strategically put on the street so people can enjoy a fresh beverage.
Shop at Uniqlo
The Uniqlo in Ginza is the largest Uniqlo in the world. You can enjoy tax-free shopping here which makes it even more fun to shop around. This particular Uniqlo is huge, with myriad levels for men, women and kids. You won't be disappointed.
Ginza is one of the most expensive areas in Tokyo so it naturally attracts some of the elite. It's a great place to sit by the window in a coffee shop and people watch. The main avenue in Ginza is home to some of the most renowned and expensive brands in the world.
Get high in Ginza
Who said you can't admire Ginza from above? With so many department stores, most offer incredible views over Tokyo from their top floor. Simply take the elevator to the food courts which are usually located at the top, and admire this beautiful city through the glass windows. No city looks as amazing as Tokyo from above.
Shop in Ginza
When it comes to Ginza, there is one thing which needs to be done: shop till you drop. Ginza is home to a tremendous amount of brands, some very expensive, whilst other more budget-friendly (Uniqlo or Gu). Either way, shopping is one of the best things to do in Ginza.
Wander around the Ginza Shrines
Have you ever heard of Toyoiwa Inari Shrine? This is a hidden little shrine in Ginza. Although cosmopolitan, modern and high class, Ginza also has its own, unique spiritual side.
Ginza Chuo-dori at sunset
No better way to end the day than by admiring the main Ginza Street during sunset. Chuo-dori is the main shopping street and it's like a gorgeous sea of lights flooded with colours during sunset.
Stay in a ryokan in Ginza
Wondering where to stay in Tokyo? Ginza may be an expensive area, but also one of the most luxurious. Stay in a ryokan in Ginza and experience an exquisite side of Tokyo.
Konparu-yu is an old school public path located in Tokyo. Familiarise yourself with a Japanese onsen before making your way to the public bath.
Hours:15:00 - 23:00
Ginza Natsuno is one of my favourite shops. They specialise in beautiful and sophisticated chopsticks. If you ever wanted to own your own pair of chopsticks which you can carry with you, then this is the shop to visit. I bought my very first chopsticks from here and I still have / use them.
Enjoy the night illuminations
During the evening, Ginza becomes an oasis of colours, just like the rest of Tokyo. Jumbo ads, beautiful illuminations and vibrant hues. Ginza is especially beautiful during winter the illuminations are festive as well.
How to get to Ginza
Ginza is not just one street full of shops and boutiques, it’s an actual district in itself. This means several metro stations and countless streets upon streets all dotted with the latest fashion and trends. Ginza essentially is a (rich) shopper’s paradise.
As always, getting around in Tokyo is easiest (and cheapest) if you take the tube.
Depending on which subway line you are on, you have the following metro stations which will essentially lead you right into the heart of Ginza: the Ginza Station (connects the red, silver and orange subway lines), Ginza itchome (gold line), Higashi-Ginza (rose and silver lines) and Shimbashi (orange and rose lines). Please see the metro map below to help you further understand how the subway lines work.
When to visit Ginza
Ginza looks more spectacular when it gets dark because all the shops really lit up and come to life. I visited Tokyo in December, hence it got dark early, just after 5 pm. It was relatively easy to arrive in Ginza in the afternoon and stroll around whilst enjoying the magnificent light show. The only thing which would have made my experience even more amazing is if it would have snowed that evening.
Another recommendation is to visit Ginza during the weekend as the main road gets closed for cars and opened for pedestrians only. This is a great time to capture the soul in Ginza through photography.
I loved Ginza so much, I ended up spending a couple of evenings strolling around, shopping and people watching. This is the place for notoriously expensive coffees, ridiculously luxurious cars and celebrity spotting. But even if shopping is not your main goal, Ginza really should be on your list, as it's one of the most vibrant, colourful and sensational places to visit in Tokyo.
Do you love shopping? What would be the first store you will check out during your visit to Ginza? Tell me all about it in the comments section below.