We wanted to take full advantage of being in Tokyo during Golden Week, a series of public holidays in Japan. We have figured out that one of the best places to be is in any of Tokyo’s many parks, as they are full of people watching opportunities. We headed to Hibiya Koen near Maranouchi and Ginza for a walk around before heading into Ginza for some retail therapy. Unusually for Tokyo the food in the park was really disappointing but only because instead of Japanese street food there were stalls claiming to sell food such as pizzas and hot dogs from America and Fish and Chips from Britain… but trust me these were nothing like the real deal! Luckily though we found a great spot to eat and enjoy the gardens, that said, Hibiya Koen was my least favourite park so far. but to give it the benefit of the doubt I think the festivities may have had a lot to do with that.
Walk from the park into Ginza…
Well you certainly know when you are in Ginza as there are flashy cars everywhere! I absolutely love Ginza, one, the restaurants there are amazing and two, the shopping is fantastic and so much fun, it’s what I hoped New York would be but wasn’t! If you have some cash to spend I suggest you come to Tokyo, for me it hands down beats London and New York!
Where to shop in Ginza…
1. My favourite Japanes boutique – Rene-ルネ
If you like Chanel but would never actually buy anything from there because of the insane prices then head to Rene in Ginza! I stumbled across this place and it is my new favourite shop in the world (seriously!). The clothes are exquisitely tailored and use beautiful fabrics and the overall look is polished clean lines and fun fabric, think Chanel shirt suits. They do gorgeous tailored dresses, skits and the cultist cardigans I’ve ever seen! They also sell accessories and shoes that are very Chanel esque! The service is also brilliant. Once I had picked out my purchases they offered me and J tea or coffee to have in a private room overlooking Ginza while they packed up my purchases. Our coffee was very good and oh so enjoyable being able to drink it surrounded by pretty dresses on display. It also came with little chocolate biscuits from Jean-Paul Hevin which were very yummy! The purchases were definitely an extravagance but I thought it was worth if for these once in a lifetime pieces from a Japanese label. Chanel is a few doors down and to be honest, even if the prices points were the same, I would still go to Rene as I think there clothes are more wearable in everyday life and the tailoring is less avant guard!
2. Check out the amazing architecture of the big fashion houses that line Chuo Dori. I have shopped in New York and London and this was the best collection of massive designer stores I have ever been to! Here are the main ones to look out for and can be found on the map…
Click Here to see my google map of Ginza top spots!
Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vitton, Mikimoto – (Tip – check out the coffee shop on the fourth floor, it’s a great place to rest your feet for a while mid-shop and watch the well healed Tokyoites!) Prada, Gucci and lots more!
Only in Japan! This was a line of people queuing to have there portraight taken in a themed photo booth in front of Hermes. The line went around the block!
Make sure you look up when your walking around or you might miss something really cool!
WHERE TO EAT:
Mitsukoshi Depachika (food hall in the basement)
On the weekends the main shopping street in Ginza in closed to traffic and this provides the perfect place to eat lunch as they put out tables and chairs in the road. After trying a few depachika’s out I have decided that my favourite it Mitsukoshi as it has the best selection on offer and the most wonderful bento boxes for lunch, the problem will be what to pick! Once you have decided you can take it outside and find a table to eat at!
If your in the mood to eat sushi but don’t want to pay Ginza prices then I highly recommend heading to Tsukiji Sushiko where they have an english menu and you can order a la carte or have a set menu. There menu is really large and you are sure to find lots of delicious things to order! We tried the fatty tuna sushi here for the first time and it is delicious! If you order A la carte then 1 piece costs between 150 yen – 450yen depending on what you order.
WHERE TO DRINK COFFEE:
If like me you avoid the chain coffee shops and prefer to pay for a decent cup of coffee then there are two places in Ginza that I have really enjoyed.
As I mentioned above there is a really nice coffee shop in the Mikimoto store, keep heading up the stairs and you will see it. It is really good value for money as although the coffee is not cheap, I did get about three cups worth in my pot!
Sanjikken Coffee Shop
This is a great coffee shop headen away in Ginza, it is located on the basement level but the entrance is quite obvious from the street. Sanjikken serves a variety of different coffee blends from all over the world and the waiter speaks a bit of English which helps! It’s a lovely place to hang out and try some new coffee!
WHAT ELSE TO SEE IN GINZA:
The Sony Store – Be sure to hit the Sony Store to have a play with all their newest games and gadgets!
Dover Street Market – A super cool little collection of ultra hip stores (way to cool for me!) with an english cafe on the top floor and don’t miss the shrine on the roof terrace!
Muji – There is a big Muji store in Ginza with a canteen style cafe on the first floor, I went to check it out and thought it looked a bit boring, but if you like Muji it might be your thing!
To check out my map of Ginza click here!