arts & crafts
On Tokyo’s Fifth Avenue, Department stores like Mitsukoshi and specialty shops like Mikimoto (pearls) vie for shoppers’ yen along the main streets, while exclusive international boutiques—Chanel, Van Cleef and Arpels, etc.—line the backstreets. There are fine Japanese restaurants and inexpensive Italian cafés, sake and scotch bars, art galleries, secondhand camera stores and product showrooms. You’ll also discover historical roots in Ginza’s grid—Tokyo’s first train station in Shinbashi, Kabuki-za Theater, and the former headquarters of the Occupation Forces following WWII (now the high-end department store Wako). And as the sleek new developments in Shinbashi and Marunouchi can attest, the future is only looking up.
Traditional Japanese wear, both new and antique, is on offer at Tokyo’s largest kimono boutique for foreigners. In addition to kimono, Hayashi also offers happi coats and yukata, as
well as traditional-design
T-shirts, and staff speak English. International Arcade, 2-1-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel:
03-3501-4012. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Nearest stn: Yurakucho.
IAO Fine Arts
This gallery in Ginza displays and sells works by young Japanese contemporary artists. Staff speak English, French and Chinese. 8F Ginza 4-chome Bldg, 4-5-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3571-0123. Open Mon-Sat 11am-6pm, closed Sun & hols. www.ginza-museum.org
Situated on Ginza’s best street for Japanese crafts, Token Shibata features sharp-edged replicas such as swords, scabbards and a range of stands on which to display your samurai heirlooms. 5-6-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3573-2801. Open daily 10am-6:30pm. Nearest stn: Ginza.
Home to Tokyo’s largest bookstore, Maruzen, complete with a fourth-floor English section. 1-6-4 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5218-5100. Nearest stn: Tokyo. www.oazo.jp
Barney’s New York
Swanky branch of the New York City department store has clothes from every well-known designer under the sun. 6-8-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3289-1200. Open Mon-Wed & Sat-Sun 11am-8pm, Thu-Fri 11am-8:30pm (until 8pm in Feb, Aug). Nearest stn: Ginza.
Dubbed “the Harrods of Tokyo,” Mitsukoshi is the country’s oldest department store. 4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3562-1111. Open daily 10am-8pm. Nearest stn: Ginza.
Mac madness. 3-5-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5159-8200. Open daily 10am-9pm. Nearest stn: Ginza.
A trip to one of Bic’s towering tech stores is the equivalent of a one-stop tour through the world of Japan’s cutting-edge gadgetry. 1-11-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5221-1111. Open daily 10am-10pm. Nearest stn: Yurakucho.
Gadget geeks and video freaks can spend hours in this six-story Sony showcase. 5-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3573-2371. Open daily 11am-7pm. Nearest stn: Ginza.
Of all the swanky stores in Ginza, Chanel’s is the swankiest. The exterior can put on a dazzling light show at night, and there is an Alain Ducasse restaurant, Beige, on the top floor. 3-5-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5159-5555. Open daily 11am-8pm (Beige open 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-11:30pm). Nearest stn: Ginza.
|House of Breitling Ginza
Browse fine Breitling and Bentley timepieces at this swank, two-level watch shop that resembles a museum. If you’re considering a purchase, sink into the cushy armchairs in the second-floor lounge to talk it over with a sales consultant, and pick out custom details. Open Mon-Fri noon-8pm, Sat-Sun & hols 11am-8pm. 6-6-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3571-6500. www.houseofbreitlingginza.comm
Japan’s colorful, budget-conscious fashion brand now has a flagship in Ginza, just down the street from hallowed names like Chanel, Dior and Gucci. 5-7-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3569-6781. Open daily 11am-9pm. Nearest stn: Ginza or Ginza Itchome.
Health & beauty
Famous for foreign brand cosmetics and English magazines, American Pharmacy was once something of a gaijin institution. B1 Marunouchi Bldg, 2-4-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5220-7716. Open Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 10am-9pm, Sun & hols 10am-8pm. Nearest stn: Tokyo.
The world’s most famous pearl purveyor, Mikimoto has been a Ginza landmark since 1899. 1-1-1 Uchisaiwaichou, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3535-4611. Open daily 11am-6:30pm. Nearest stn: Ginza. Imperial Hotel branch: 1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3591-5001. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun & hols 10am-5pm. Nearest stn: Hibiya.
Tiffany & Co.
Similar to its New York sister store with heavy silver doors and gray stone, this bijoux bigwig is as popular with Japanese as it is abroad. 2-7-17 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5250-2900. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Ginza.
This Ginza shop, in operation for nearly half a century, offers exquisite pearls in a variety of settings, including rings, necklaces and earrings. Despite the upscale location and top-end designs, Tokyo Pearl’s jewelry is reasonably priced. 6-16-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku.
Tel: 0120-008-670 (toll-free). Open 11am-7pm Wed-Mon, closed Tue and hols. Nearest stn: Higashi-Ginza. www.tokyopearl.com
Japan’s famous “no-name” brand sells clothes, stationery, furniture and food, and the Yurakucho megastore is one of Muji’s biggest. Locals live by Muji when moving into their first apartments, and it’s also a great place for souvenirs. 3-8-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5208-8241. Open daily 10am-9pm. Nearest stn: Yurakucho.
This Ginza landmark is a favorite stop for those who delight in finely crafted paper, pens, drafting equipment, and thousands of other products from Japan and abroad. 2-7-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3561-8311. Open Sun,Mon,Tues 10:30am-7pm, Wed-Sat 10:30am-8pm. Nearest stn: Ginza.
Hakuhinkan Toy Park
This tower of toys has one of the best selections of video games, jigsaw puzzles, Japanese dolls and teddy bears. 8-8-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3571-8008. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Shinbashi.
Order the eight-course dinner (¥10,500) and leave your meal in the masterful hands of chef Shigeru Sano. To sample the cuisine at a bargain, pick up one of the elegant bento lunchboxes (¥2,100/¥3,150). 4-10-2 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3541-5171. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2pm (LO 1:30pm) and 5:30-10pm (LO 9:30pm), closed Mon. Nearest stn: Ginza, exit A6, or Higashi-Ginza, exit A2. ¥¥¥¥
A health-conscious Japanese restaurant with a rustic vibe to it. Farm-fresh veggies arrive daily, and the selection of sake, shochu and umeshu is hard to beat. Especially popular are the traditional kotatsu seats. B1 Irifune Honkan Bldg, 1-1-9 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-6225-4535. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-1:30pm and 5:30-11:30pm. Nearest stn: Kyobashi. ¥¥
Wasai Ginza 8-5
As luxurious as Ginza itself, this health-conscious restaurant provides a relaxing Japanese atmosphere for some welcome time out. The homemade dishes include fresh vegetables carefully selected and matched perfectly with an impressive selection of Japanese sake and shochu, as well as wine and cocktails. B1 Kawabata-Shinkan Bldg, 8-5-21 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-6253-8570. Open Mon-Fri 5pm-4am, Sat 5-11:30pm, closed Sun & hols. Credit cards accepted. Nearest stn: Ginza or Shinbashi. www.vegedinning.com ¥¥
Run by a British expat, this bar underneath the train tracks of Yurakucho always draws a mixed crowd. Fresh seafood and produce from Tsukiji Market are the specialties, and pair well with the ice-cold pints of beer and fresh-squeezed fruit sours. 2-4-4 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3214-8021. Open daily 5pm-midnight. Nearest stn: Yurakucho or Hibiya, exit A2. ¥¥
This down-to-earth kushiyaki restaurant specializes in carefully grilled meat, fish and vegetables served on skewers. Another specialty of the house is nabe, a soup-like hot-pot dish that includes an array of fresh ingredients. Locally brewed sake and other Japanese-style spirits round out a tantalizing menu, and dessert selections include green tea ice cream and yuzu sherbet. B1 Tousei Bldg, 8-10-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5537-1566. Open Mon-Fri 6-11pm (L.O. 10pm), Sat 6-10pm (L.O. 9pm), closed Sun & hols. Nearest stn: Shinbashi. ¥¥
Breeze of Tokyo
Stunning cityscapes and views of Tokyo Bay are the stars of this 36th floor bar/restaurant located in the Marunouchi Building. 36F Marunouchi Bldg, 2-4-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5220-5551. Open daily 11am-2:30pm, 2:30-4:30pm (café), Mon-Sat 6-11pm, Sun 6-10pm. Nearest stn: Tokyo or Otemachi. ¥¥¥
À la carte nouvelle sushi and tempura, handmade noodles, grilled meat and one of the best avant-garde interiors in town. 2F Ginza Nine No. 1 Bldg, 8-5-Saki, Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5537-3566. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-1am (L.O. midnight), Sun 5pm-midnight. Nearest stn: Shinbashi. ¥¥
Ke-Ke is a buffet-style restaurant with organic, homemade Japanese food—a perfect spot for a filling and healthy dining experience. The restaurant guarantees safe ingredients sans additives, and offers over 70 different freshly made dishes. Despite the location in Ginza, lunchtime seatings are just ¥2,200, and dinner is a reasonable ¥3,800. All-you-can-drink courses are also available from ¥5,800. 4F Zoe Ginza, 3-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3563-1231. Open for lunch Mon-Fri 11am-3:30pm, Sat-Sun & hols 11am-4pm; dinner Sat-Thu & hols 5-10pm, Fri 5-11pm. Nearest stn: Ginza-Itchome or Ginza. http://keke.jp/shop
Oddly named, upscale sushi restaurant and bar with an eclectic menu and a slick interior with a view over the Imperial Palace. The original branch is in Santa Monica, so the California sushi is also worth a taste if you’re into that. 2F Marunouchi Opaque, 2-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5293-4813. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm (L.O. 2pm), Mon-Fri 6pm-2am (L.O. drinks 1:30am, food midnight), Sat, Sun & hols 5-10pm (L.O. 9pm). Nearest stn: Nijubashimae. ¥¥¥
For a unique tea experience, ask for Cha Ginza’s matcha set. For ¥500, you will be guided to a third-floor room where the glass ceiling fills this reflective space with sunlight. Ponder the ikebana, or watch as the server meticulously measures and whisks your tea. 5-5-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3571-1211. Open 11am-7pm, closed Mon. Nearest stn: Ginza. ¥
Genkatsu specializes in the breaded, deep-fried pork dish known as tonkatsu. But instead of the usual cutlet, Genkatsu’s pork is composed of 25 razor-thin slices of meat for a succulent, juicy texture. Add-on fillings include garlic, leek, cheese and black pepper. 3F Ginza Act Bldg, 4-6-18 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3567-1129. Open daily 11:30am-11pm (LO 10pm). Nearest stn: Ginza, exit A8. www.genkatsu.com
Housed in a 100-year-old building brought from Fukushima, Irimoya serves traditional cuisine made with organic fish and chicken. Locally brewed sake and shochu are also available. 3F Ginza Lion Bldg, 7-9-20 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3571-4384. Open Mon-Fri 5-11pm (L.O. 10:30pm), Sat 3-11pm, Sun 3-10pm. Nearest stn: Ginza. ¥¥
My Humble House Tokyo
The Tokyo branch of a Singapore restaurant, MHHT is like a 1940s New York nightclub transplanted to contemporary Tokyo—and it’s gentle on the eyes and the wallet. B1 Zoe Ginza, 3-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5524-6166. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-2am, Sun & hols 6-11pm. Nearest stn: Ginza or Ginza Itchome. ¥¥¥
A stylish restaurant specializing in Belgian beer. The interior is modeled on an actual 1930s bar with authentic antiques and design. There is a European food menu carefully designed to complement the subtle flavors and scents of the beer. B1 Tokyo Bldg “TOKIA,“ 2-7-3 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5288-7370. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-1:30pm Lunch, 5pm-2am Dinner(L.O. 10pm), Sat 12pm-2am; Sun & hols 12pm-midnight. Nearest stn: Tokyo or Yurakucho. www.belgianbeercafe.jp ¥
This isn’t your ordinary British pub. Coopers has an air of sophistication that matches its neighborhood, with wines as well as beers and a food menu that ranges from classic fish ‘n’ chips to pasta and roast beef. The new Marunouchi location is in the heart of the shopping district and the Shiodome branch is convenient for the area’s hotels. B1 Mitsubishi Bldg, 2-5-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5288-7896. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-11pm, Sat, Sun & hols 11:30am-10pm. Nearest stn: Tokyo. Shiodome branch: 1F Shiodome City Center, 1-5-2 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5537-2236. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-11pm, Sat, Sun & hols 11:30am-9:30pm. Nearest stn: Shinbashi or Shiodome. ¥
Rated the top Indian restaurant in the inaugural Metropolis Best of Tokyo survey, Dhaba India serves up the arms’ length dosa crepes in an airy, periwinkle interior. 2-7-9 Yaesu, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3272-7160. Open Mon-Fri 11:15am-3pm, 5-11pm, Sat-Sun & hols noon-3pm, 5-10pm. Nearest stn: Kyobashi, exit 5. www.dhabaindia.com ¥¥
What began as a meeting between Chanel and Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse developed into this landmark of the Tokyo dining scene. If a $500 dinner is a little out
of your league, try the more reasonable lunch sets. 10F Chanel Ginza Bldg, 3-5-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5159-5501. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm, 2:30-4:30pm (afternoon tea, LO 4pm), 6-11:30pm
(LO 9:30pm). Nearest stn: Ginza or Ginza-Itchome. www.beige-tokyo.com ¥¥¥¥
Gordon Ramsay at Conrad Tokyo
The tempestuous British chef opened his first Tokyo restaurant in 2005. Its disappointing location misses out on the Conrad’s view over Tokyo Bay, so have drinks first or coffee after in the bar. 1-9-1 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6388-8000. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:15pm, 5:30-9:45pm; Sun noon-2:45pm. Nearest stn: Shinbashi or Shiodome. ¥¥¥¥
“Californian cuisine” with hints of Japanese and world flavors by a team of chefs from the Napa valley. The dinner course is ¥10,000, and à la carte main dishes start at ¥2,900. 8F Royal Crystal Ginza, 5-4-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3569-3344. Open daily 11:30am-3pm and 5:30-11:30pm. Nearest stn: Ginza, exit B6. www.restaurantsilverado.jp ¥¥¥¥
Head to Franz Club for a taste of Germany in the middle of Tokyo. This friendly pub, located in the recently opened Shin-Marunouchi Building, features a wide variety of German beer, a deep wine list, and authentic cooking. All of Franz Club’s sausages, beer and wine are sent directly from Germany, and many are exclusively available in Tokyo here. Marunouchi branch: 5F Shin-Marunouchi Bldg, 1-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5224-8678. Open Mon-Fri 11am-3pm and 5pm-3am, Sat 11am-3am, Sun & hols 11am-10pm (Brunch Sat-Sun & hols 11am-4pm). Nearest stn: Tokyo or Otemachi. Shiodome branch: 1F Shiodome Bldg, 1-2-20 Kaigan, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6430-0128. Open Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, 5pm-midnight, Sat, Sun & hols 12pm-9pm. Nearest stn: Hamamatsucho. ¥¥
Franziskaner Bar & Grill
The Nihombashi branch of this German restaurant chain, with its experienced European chef, serves delicious food using imported ingredients. As you’d expect, it also has a large selection of German beers—including Franziskaner—as well as a list of award-winning wines. B1 Buyou Bldg, 3-8-16 Nihombashi, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-6225-5485. Open Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, 5:30-11:30pm, Sat & hols 5-11pm, closed Sun. Nearest stn: Nihombashi or Tokyo. ¥¥
The name says it all: over 100 kinds of food and drinks, all priced at ¥300 (¥315 after tax) each. They
call this standing bar the cheapest place to party in the most expensive part of the world’s most expensive city! There is no entrance fee and no time limit. DJs at 8-chome branch every Friday. Ginza 5-chome branch: B1 Fazenda Building, 5-9-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3572-6300. Nearest stn: Ginza (exit A3 or A5). Ginza 8-chome branch: B1 No. 2 Column Bldg 8-3-12 Ginza Chuo-ku. Tel 03-3571-8300. Nearest stn: Shinbashi (Ginza exit). Open
Mon-Sat 5pm-2am, Sun & hols 5-11pm. www.300bar.com, www.300bar-8chome.com
This “floating bar” is a boat the goes back and forth across Tokyo Bay, leaving Hinode Pier on the hour. The boarding fee of ¥2,500 includes one drink. Boat operates Thu-Sat 8-11pm. Tel: 0120-049-490. Hinode Pier is a short walk from Hinode station on the Yurikamome line (from Shinbashi station).
Salon de Champagne Vionys
Sip quality champagne on the cheap at this subdued lounge. Arrive by 7:30pm to take advantage of the ¥4,200, two-hour bottomless bubbly-of-the-month deal. 3F 8818 Bldg, 8-8-18 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5537-0700. Open Mon-Fri 6pm-3am, Sat 6-11pm (LO), closed Sun. Nearest stn: Shinbashi or Ginza. www.vionys.com/salon
This is the second, more upscale branch of Shinjuku German pub Stein Haus. At the new location in Ginza’s stylish Velvia Kan complex, relax on furniture imported from Europe while sipping rare-in-Japan German beer and wines, paired with hearty fare like sausages and authentic pretzels. 8F Velvia Kan, 2-4-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5159-4200. Open Mon-Fri lunch 11:30-14:00, dinner 17:00-23:30, Sat, Sun&hols: lunch 11:30-15:00, brunch 15:00-17:00, dinner 17:00-23:30. (L.O. 11pm). Nearest stn: Ginza (exit 9) or Ginza-Itchome (exit 5). www.zato.co.jp
Sony Building Test its latest digital cameras
or frolic on a PlayStation|Kabuki-za Catch
a 20-minute or three-hour Kabuki program|
Tsukiji wholesale market The world’s biggest fish market is just a 20-minute walk or 5-minute train ride. Go early, before 8am, to catch all the action and a sushi breakfast|Yakitori alley Old-style street cafés under the train tracks serve barbecued chicken on a stick and beer|Ito-ya The city’s most famous selection of specialty papers, stationery, greeting cards and more| Hama Rikyu A former imperial garden with a teahouse in the middle of a lake. One stop on the water bus from Asakusa|Tokyo International forum A symbol of the ’80s spending spree, this massive building features a lofty, nautical glass-and-steel design|HakuhinkAn One of Tokyo’s biggest toy stores
Shin Marunouchi Building
Dozens of shops from international brands such as Banana Republic share space with local powerhouses like Délier Idee in this glittering complex, which also features restaurants, bars and offices. Don’t miss the seventh floor “House” mini-complex, where diners can order from a dozen restaurants and enjoy grand views of Tokyo station on the terrace. 1-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5218-5100. Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun & hols 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Tokyo. www.shinmaru.jp
Maru Biru, as it’s affectionately known, is a 37-story skyscraper housing offices, restaurants and stores. Highlights include The Conran Shop, the Aquagirl boutique and youthful fashion from Beams. 2-4-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5218-5100. Info center open daily 11am-7:30pm. Nearest stn: Tokyo.
Marunouchi’s central shopping street is one of the more pleasant in the city. The area’s developers want to turn this into Tokyo’s very own Fifth Avenue. Nearest stn: Tokyo or Yurakucho. www.naka-dori.jp.
Shiodome's main attractions are entertainment complex Caretta Shiodome, which includes an advertising museum, and Shiodome City Center, full of restaurants and shops. The Conrad Hotel has a beautiful bar, Twenty Eight, and a stunning view. 1-8-2 Higashi-Shinbashi. Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6218-2100. Info center open daily 9:30am-9pm. Nearest stn: Shiodome.