Visitors looking for the definitive Tokyo experience should check out the high－end Ginza shopping and traditional Kabuki shows．
Ginza is renowned as Japan's most uncommon shopping district, with department stores like Mitsukoshi, Matsuya and Printemps, as well as imported luxury brands such as Cartier, Gucci and Chanel. The area is also replete with older, traditional fabric and stationery shops, which fill out this eclectic mix of retail offerings.
We recommend you head first to the tourist information center on Mitsukoshi's 1st floor underground (east side) for a selection of pamphlets available in English, Chinese (traditional & simplified), Korean, Italian, German, French, and Spanish languages. These include maps and other useful tidbits of information, and staff are also on hand to answer any question you may have. All for free!
Mitsukoshi, known as the “heart of Ginza,” is located at the intersection of Ginza's fourth district. Since it’s directly accessible by several exits (such as A7) of the Tokyo Metro subway station, it's very difficult to miss! The station is just 20 minutes from Shinjuku on the Marunouchi Line, or 15 minutes from Shibuya on the Ginza Line.
■Location: 4-6-16, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-8212, Japan, *Direct connection to the Tokyo Metro Ginza/Marunouchi/Hibiya Lines’ Ginza Station
■Operating hours: 10:30am through 8:00pm, 9th/11th-12th floor restaurants are 11:00am through 11:00pm
After picking up your pamphlet, the journey begins! Ginza is known not just for retail but also as a town of art and culture with its many theatres and galleries. Let's take a look around.
A 5 minute walk from Ginza Mitsukoshi brings you to the Kabukiza Theatre, a palace of kabuki that reopened after renovations in 2013.
With of English subtitles, foreigners also can enjoy Kabuki shows.
Though the place has an air of sophistication and opulence, a single act ticket can be purchased for as little as 1,000-2,000 JPY. Kabuki truly is entertainment for the masses.
Kabuki actors' distinctive kumadori style makeup, simulating prominent blood vessels around the eyes, has become the motif for several souvenirs including azuki (sweet red bean) buns, purses and even face packs. In collaboration with local shop owners, traditional goods such as sweets and fans are also available, including several items you can only find here. This is the perfect place to pick up something uniquely Japanese.
Even without a ticket, you can still enter the theatre's B2F and 5F floors for some souvenir shopping. For visitors without time to see a performance but who wish to take home some kabuki-themed sweets or reading material, this may be a good compromise!
Not just an uncommon retail district home to department stores as well as the most famous Japanese and international brand stores, Ginza is also a place to enjoy shopping for items like confectionery and folding fans, or appreciate the traditional art of kabuki.