Ginza is a symbol for Japan’s ultimate opulence and conspicuous consumption. Essential to brand equity, its shopping strips offer one of the most coveted spots for global luxury flagships.
Ginza has a humble and not-so-ancient beginning. This area was built out of a swamp during the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1568–1600). In 1603, Tokugawa Ieyasu relocated the government’s silver coin mint to this area and named it “Shin-ryogae-cho,” which means “new money exchange town,” later known as “Ginza.”
As a result, Ginza has largely developed into a shopping and entertainment district and a symbol for Japan’s ultimate opulence and conspicuous consumption. Essential to brand equity, its shopping strips offer one of the most coveted spots for global luxury flagships. In 2013, its $984 per-square-foot price tag was the fifth most expensive retail area in the world.
In 2016, Ginza alone has 17 restaurants with Michelin two- or three-star ratings, more than the entire New York City. The majority of them are sushi establishments.
Regardless, Ginza is still one of the few places where one finds the finest things money can buy, especially food. This area is known for its high concentration of haute cuisine, especially sushi and traditional French. It helps being in close proximity to the Tsukiji Fish Market, world’s largest wholesale fish market.
Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten is one of those three-star sushi establishments. It is an unassuming small eatery (10 seats) owned by Jiro Ono and is located underneath the Ginza subway station near exit C6. Jiro’s establishment is featured in David Gelb’s 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
First built in 1889, Kabuki-za is Ginza’s most well-known theatre for kabuki performance – a classical Japanese dance-drama featuring elaborate costume and make-up.