|Above, the Wako and Mitsukoshi department stores in Ginza. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Ginza has the reputation (deservedly so) of being Japan's ritzy shopping district. But there's much more to Ginza and it doesn't take a Bill Gates income to afford shopping or eating there.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO):
In Ginza, the air seems almost scentless, like freshly minted coins. Every day, shopkeepers clean their storefront sidewalks. Immaculately scrubbed and groomed Japanese promenade in fine clothes. There’s no traipsing to the convenience store in a tracksuit here.
With designer shops like Chanel and Gucci, high-class bars and Michelin- starred restaurants, Ginza can seem impenetrable; a luxury watch behind glass. But it has something for everyone – there’s budget-friendly fashion like Zara, H&M and the world’s biggest Uniqlo, traditional family-run shops and casual pubs. On weekend and public holiday afternoons, the main roads become welcoming pedestrian zones.
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