5 Fun Local Things to Do in Ginza
Are you heading to Tokyo soon? Ginza is one of Tokyo’s most beloved and interesting districts. Here are some top things to do in Ginza.
Ginza, located in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward, is one of the most exciting neighborhoods in the city because of its dualistic nature. It’s one of Tokyo’s oldest districts with a tangible Shitamachi past (Old Tokyo).
But, Ginza is also home to some of the city’s most glamorous scenes and modern architecture. There’s an older style of Japanese luxury here that’s reflective of this undercurrent of the city’s history and culture.
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1. Go Rooftop Surfing
I bet you didn’t know that Ginza is home to some of Tokyo’s finest department stores, and with that, a plethora of rooftop gardens. You might not have much interest in actually shopping at these high-end stores, but they are indeed the perfect stopping point for the adventurous and budget-conscious traveler.
One of the best free things to do in Tokyo is to hop around Ginza’s fine department store rooftops.
2. Go Stationery Shopping in Ginza
Ginza is home to a much older and traditional side of Tokyo, and for that reason, you will find some of the city’s best stationery shops. In fact, the vast majority of them are all in Ginza.
Whatever you do, don’t miss Ginza Itoya – the city’s most beloved 12-story stationery store. There are a couple of thousand pens and endless stationery supplies. Seriously, don’t miss this place. For a more in-depth guide to Ginza’s stationary scene, learn more in my book, Hidden Tokyo.
3. Have a Tea Experience
Ginza has some of the finest places in the city for afternoon tea. Shiseido Parlour Salon is one of the most iconic establishments for tea. It’s also one of the city’s oldest tearooms and is known primarily for its parfaits. You can expect to dine in a ballroom on porcelain dishes, but it’s a genuinely unique Tokyo experience.
Also, you’ll find Laduree Tokyo Ginza in the heart of Ginza at the Mitsukoshi Department Store. It’s a beautiful tearoom with a classic Laduree vibe and a view of the city.
Alternatively, if you’re not feeling a traditional afternoon tea vibe, you can also try Chazen for a Japanese tea ceremony. Reservations are mandatory.
4. Kabuki Theater
Ginza’s Kabuki Theater is one of the top things to do in Ginza and for a good reason. This is a unique experience you cannot have outside of Japan, and I highly recommend it.
Although the show is not in English, you can attend either a full show or a single act which is more on the affordable side too. Purchase tickets ahead of time online.
5. Explore the Sanrio Hello Kitty Flagship
You may not be a fan of Hello Kitty, but you can’t dispute its influence in Japanese culture. This is the flagship location for all things Hello Kitty, and if you’re curious, it’s a fun place to explore and even collect some souvenirs.
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