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Eating Out


Deriving from the word gin, or silver, Ginza took its name from the fact that it had become the site of the official mint in 1612. In spite of the fact that the mint was again relocated 200 years later, the name Ginza was retained.

For more than 100 years Ginza has stood for luxury, high society and shopping. The whole of Ginza was redesigned by English architect Thomas Waters after it was destroyed in 1872 and today resembles a small rectangular grid of streets bounded on all sides by the Shuto expressway. 

At first the brick shops focussed on selling western-style consumer goods, like men’s suits and women’s dresses. The Wako Department store is one of the few original buildings still standing following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 which devastated half of Tokyo and gives you an idea of what Ginza must have been like. The main street Chuo-dori is closed to traffic on sundays and people still throng the streets as became fashionable in the 1930s.

For more info see the shopping section. Ginza has managed to retain its image as the major luxury shopping district of Tokyo.

Be sure not to miss a performance at the Kabuki-za, (above)see entertainment for details.


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