Ginza is one of the most upmarket areas of Tokyo and the place where luxury high-end shopping reaches its nadir. Brands not only must set up shop there but they do so with bravado, normally hiring star-architects for stylish shopping concepts. It is also “depato” heaven. Japan’s biggest names in Department Stores (the depatos) are all crammed in this reasonably small area. The greatest thing about Ginza is the difference in atmosphere between the busy main thoroughfares and the calm side streets, filled with trees and bicycles.
On weekends, the main road is closed for traffic, so pedestrians take over the street. The best way to explore Ginza is to zigzag around the main roads and the side streets. There is always a very interesting mix of people, from chic kimono-clad ladies to super casual tourists from all over the place. It can be highly commercial at times, but money also attracts culture and creativity. So take some time to discover the area. Marunouchi and the Imperial Gardens are all just a stone’s throw away.