Ginza is an area of Tokyo that is commonly referred to as one of the most picturesque area. Located just one stop away from Tokyo Station where you can access easily from Narita and Haneda airports. My recommendation for enjoying Ginza is to walk the main street during daytime. Due to the reflection of lights, you can take good photos there.The main street from Ginza 1 chome to Ginza 8 chome areas has various kinds of buildings. Old historical buildings and new buildings are coexisting, so it creates interesting scenes and a different atmosphere compared to the Shibuya and Shinjuku areas. The surface of those buildings, along with the paved roads with asphalt, reflects the sunshine, and this causes the same effect as putting reflective board under the subjects.
Ito-ya Stationery Store
A good starting point for photo shooting is Ito-ya, a stationery store, located near Ginza 2 chome area. You can walk through the main street to Shiseido building near Ginza 7 chome area.
Ito-ya has been operating as a stationary store since 1904 and provides various kinds of cards and notebooks. When I visited Ito-ya, they had a small exhibition to introduce TAKEO MIHONCHO, a product of a traditional paper company.
I ordered my name card at Ito-ya too. It was fun to choose papers and inks with knowledgeable staff. This experience differs from online shopping.
Towards the middle of the main street, there is Ginza Wako, a traditional department store and Mikimoto, a pearl shop, near Ginza 4 chome area. Ginza Wako provides trusted service and people still visit there for shopping as their first choice. The building itself is a landscape of Ginza with its traditional and unique design.
Kyobun-kan book store
My favorite book store is Kyobun-kan, which is located near Ginza Wako. Kyobun-kan is selling non–commercialized children’s book and English books too. In Japan, many bookstores are closing, but Kyobun-kan is adamant about selling high quality books.At the small exhibition space on the children’s book floor, they try to introduce both long-sellers and the latest books. I met “A Traveller in Time” by Alison Uttley and “Swallows and Amazons” by Arthur Ransome here during a visit to search for books for my kids. Kyobunkan building was constructed in 1933 with an Art Deco design by Antonin Raymond. There is a cafe on the 4th floor. Wooden pillars and white plaster-covered walls made me feel like I was staying in a very calm small mountain hut. This cafe has a nice view of Ginza and serves hand-made sweets.
You can also take small narrow streets from the main street. There are traditional sword shops and Kimono shops located here too.
At the end of the main Ginza street, you can see Shiseido’s new building built in 2000. Shiseido Parlour in the building is one of the oldest restaurants to serve western style foods since 1928. It still has high status to have dinner and lunch there. You can enjoy Japanese Curry with rice and Rice with Omelette casually.