Visit Tokyo and you’re bound to hear about the Ginza neighborhood. For many, just hearing the name brings up immediate images of an area populated by the high-class and those with cash to spare. Take a stroll around the area, and you’ll find that the reputation isn’t entirely undeserved, with classy boutiques and plenty of fancy restaurants to discover. Ginza is after all where you’ll find some of Tokyo’s oldest and most high-end department stores, including Tokyo’s first department store Mitsukoshi.
On this visit to Ginza, we went to check out the relatively new GINZA SIX department store, built to replace the historical Matsuzakaya Ginza branch. It’s huge and beautiful, and a must-see for any high-end brand name shopping lovers visiting Japan!
Address: 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00 – 20:30
Access: Direct access through the basement floor to Ginza Station and Higashi Ginza Station.
Ginza’s Largest Shopping Center
GINZA SIX, which opened relatively recently in December 2017, is the largest commercial facility in Ginza! This drew much fanfare when it opened, since Ginza is known for its large and impressive department stores. GINZA SIX blows all the rest out of the water, with space for the stores of 241 different famous brands. More than half of those are flagship stores, no less, making it a destination for shoppers all over Japan, and the globe.
Upon entering the building, your eyes are immediately drawn upwards to the impressive art hanging from the ceiling. This art is due to change periodically, but the six-story-tall exhibit is currently the work of artist Chiharu Shiota, named “six ships”.
The facility certainly caters to an international crowd of luxury-shoppers, with world-famous brand stores dotting the first floor, along with a service center that helps make the shopping experience that much smoother. They help with foreign currency exchange, local tourist information, tax exemption services, and even luggage storage.
241 Places to Shop
The two basement floors sell food of all kinds, while floors 1 to 5 sell cosmetics, clothing, and lifestyle goods. On the 6th floor you’ll find a Tsutaya book store, along with a collection of restaurants. Take the elevator all the way to the 13th floor and you’ll reach lounges, bars, and access to GINZA SIX’s rooftop garden.
Italian luxury sportswear brand Hydrogen also sells unique accessories, including cellphone cases and shoes in striking designs.
Genti di Mare is what Japan calls a “select shop”, or a store that sells a curated collection of items from other brands. This one sells carefully selected luxury Italian fashion, and is a popular destination for men in their 30s and 40s.
A fashion staple in many airport duty free areas, Kenzo has been spotted on the backs of many celebrities recently.
Leica has been manufacturing high-quality lenses for 160 years, and making superior cameras with them for more than 100. Visit the store for a chance to hold the cameras in your hands and test them yourself.
The Gyokusendo ceramics shop originates from Niigata, and sells carefully crafted items created using methods stemming from 200 years of tradition.
Food to Eat & Food to Bring Home
Kyoto Matcha Specialty Brand “Tsujiri”
Offering matcha delicacies limited to only two domestic stores!
When your stomach starts rumbling, you can move towards the restaurants on the 6th and 13th floors, or to the basement floors packed with a number of different food sellers of different kinds. There are plenty of options to bring elsewhere and eat for dinner, but the basement floors are also home to many little shops selling the kind of snacks that are perfect to bring home as souvenirs. Some of these items are not only found exclusively in Japan, but are only available at GINZA SIX. If you’re a fan of Japanese matcha, don’t forget to drop by Tsujiri to find unique matcha sweets to gift to all your friends (or just eat yourself!)
60,000 Art Books at Tsutaya
Tsutaya’s GINZA SIX Branch
A Display of Yves Saint Laurent Art Books
Tsutaya is a huge bookstore chain in Japan, and most locations sell a wide variety of genres, but the GINZA SIX branch is a little different. This large space on the 6th floor has a collection of 60,000 art books from publishers all over the world. The “art” themed concept, with a store full of books of art and books about art, is a good fit for its GINZA SIX location, where you’ll spot lots of students and industry insiders.
The spectacular design of the shop’s interior, with bookcases stretching to the ceiling, looks magical enough to be in a Harry Potter movie. Even if you don’t have a hankering for any new art books on your home shelves, it’s a good spot for a cool snapshot. (Very instagramable. )
Relax on the Roof in the GINZA SIX Garden
If you go all the way up to the building’s 13th floor, there’s a lovely green space in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, a rooftop garden! There’s space for kids to play, and seating where you can hang out and take a little break. The area is nicely sheltered by trees, but if you want to check out the view, you can certainly peek through the greenery and admire the scenic Tokyo skyline.
If You’re a Shopper, GINZA SIX is a Must-See!
GINZA SIX is a huge shopping center right in the middle of things in Ginza, and offers a luxury experience for any high rollers visiting the area, or those who dare to dream. Whether you just want to browse the shops with friends, you’re hoping to take a special someone on a nice date, or you’re showing your family the glitz of Ginza shopping, GINZA SIX is the place to go.