Rising early at 6am, we get a good washup and some hot green tea before we leave the hotel at 7am. Reaching Shinjuku station at 7.20am after a brisk walk, we will take the Oedo subway line (below) to Tsukijishijo Station.
The outer market is a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood, and many restaurants, especially sushi restaurants.
(Above) Map of Ginza
Along the way, we will also take a stroll past Ginza Core, which is a collection of high end shops and eateries, and is a good place to view creative window shop displays. Walking up to the intersection of Chuo Dori and Harumi Dori is where the main Ginza shopping hub and Heart of Ginza is. The intersection of Chuo-dori and Harumi-dori is dominated by the glass cylinder facade of the San-ai Building(Below - Day and Night views). With its huge neon sign, it's a famous image of Ginza found on many postcards and travel books for decades now.
Opposite Matsuya is the Apple store (below) which is a haven for Apple fans as it showcases seven floors of Apple’s line of products, including a theatre which screens tutorials of apple products.
Seibu Departmental Store
Located in the Yurakucho Marion Building, the Yurakucho store of the Seibu department store chain consists of nine floors, offering a wide array of fashion and accessories.
Built in 1932, the clock tower of the Ginza Wako building is the symbol of the Ginza, standing at the northwest corner of the district's centrally located junction of Chuo and Harumi Dori. Inside the building, jewelry and other luxury items are sold.
Sony Building on Sukiyabashi Crossing. The Sony Showroom has four floors of the latest Sony products, with a small shop on the 3rd floor. The building also houses a BMW showroom. The newest products by Sony, including DVD recorders, televisions, cameras, audio sets, mobile phones, computers and Play Station products, are displayed to the public in the showrooms in this building. There are also a few shops, restaurants and cafes.
- Curry dishes like Masala curry at ¥1000
- Miss Saigon ( salad with cappellini and seasonal vegetables) at ¥1100
- Desserts like The Very Berry Parfait which has jelly, fresh fruits and ice cream in it or Sesame Chiffon cake(¥650)
The café is well known for having diners throughout the day and features a Southeast Asian theme, fused with avant garde lacquered tables and a charming floor with pebbles and glass boxes where decorative items are encased in. Lois café is located at Ginza Five Building, Basement 1F, 5-1 Ginza (03-3569-8905), and is opened for business from 11am-10pm daily.
Departmental Store filled with 4 floors of women’s fashion, accessories, shoes.
Shibuya 109 Building
Shibuya 109 Building (ichimarukyū) shopping centre is filled with trendy clothing boutiques. It is very popular among young people, especially teens, and it is famous as the origin of the kogal subculture. Kogals are known for wearing platform boots, a miniskirt, copious amounts of makeup, hair coloring (usually blond), artificial suntans, and designer accessories.. You can also shop online at their Shibuya 109 website.
Marui Jam is a department store aimed at women, with a wide collection of clothes, accessories, shoes and bags. There is a hair and nail salon on the top floor, while the 6th and 7th floor offers a wide range of sporting goods, yoga products and swimsuits. From Shibuya, we will make our way also down to Harajuku. Harajuku is famed for it’s Harajuku girls, dressed to their best in their Lolita or gothic fashion. In the afternoons at Harajuku, one will be able to see the cos-play-zoku youths(above) who will be out in their huge numbers The cos-play youths are always game for photography and will readily strike a pose for you in their unique costumes.Along the way, we will pass Omote-sando(above), which is a tree-lined shopping street filled with trendy fashion boutiques and shops plus cafes, some of which is towards the higher end.
Once at Harajuku, we will head for Takeshita-dori, located opposite Harajuku station. Takeshita-dori is a narrow street packed with young fashionable people and lined with fashion boutiques and cafes. This is well known as a place to be seen for the young and trendy. Takeshita-dori is well known for representing the cutting edge of fashion in Tokyo where you can see all the latest in Japanese street fashion and then buy these in the boutiques around the area. Watches, shoes, clothes, bags, you name it, Takeshita-dori has it. Before reaching Takeshita-dori, I read that along the way there, there is a 4 storey glass building filled with women’s shoes of all sizes and variety. Now that would definitely be a pit stop for my princess.
Right opposite the JR Harajuku station is also the comprehensive “Snoopy World” store, filled with a wide array of Snoopy related merchandises, from toys to stationery to food.
After dinner, we will continue shopping around Harajuku till 7.30pm. Shops there close at 8pm. We will probably be carrying a haversack to stuff all our shopping. We will head for Aoyamaitchome Station to take the Toei Oedo line to Akabanebashi Station. From Akabanebashi Station, we will take a 5 minutes walk to Tokyo Tower (above), a must see tourist attraction which provides a bird eye view of Tokyo. Built in 1958, this Eiffel Tower-like structure stands at 332.6m high and is the tallest self-supporting steel structure in the world, the tallest artificial structure in Japan and is the 20th tallest tower in the world.Built as a TV and radio communications tower, it is located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo. This orange and white lattice tower Tokyo Tower doubles as a major Tokyo tourist site. Over 2.5 million people annually visit the tower's recreational Foot Town and two observations decks. Foot Town is a 4-story building located directly under the tower that houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from here, guests can visit the two observation decks. The 2-story Main Observatory is located at 150 meters, while the smaller Special Observatory reaches a height of 250 meters .
We plan to buy tickets to get up to Tokyo Tower’s one of it’s two observation decks—the Main Observatory. It offers a 360 degree view of Tokyo and, on clear days, Mount Fuji can be seen to the south. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, neither observation deck at Tokyo Tower is located near the top of the structure. The two-floor Main Observatory, located at 145 m, it will provides us with a beautiful night view of Tokyo. On the Main Observatory, the first floor is home to a small café and Club 333—a small stage that is used to put on live music shows.
To get to the Main Observatory, tickets are priced at ¥820(SGD$14) for each adult. The tower is opened from 9am to 10pm daily unless there is severe stormy weather in which it will be closed to the public.
We will probably stay here till 9.30pm before taking the train and transit at Azabu Juban Station to take the Toei Mita line to JR Meguro Station. From JR Meguro Station, we will take the train to Shinjuku Station. From JR Shinjuku Station, we exit from the south exit and take a leisurely 15 minutes walk along Koshu-Kaido street(above) and turning into the intersection between KDDI Building(below) and Shirjuku NS Building where our hotel - Shinjuku Washington is located. We will probably be quite tired by then and plan to have a good rest for tomorrow’s visit to Tokyo Disneyland.