I think that when people think of Tokyo they think of Ginza. They think of the flashy lights, big city, stores upon stores and restaurants upon restaurants. The central district of Ginza has been among Tokyo’s most popular places to be.
When I was living in Tokyo I within walking distance to Ginza so I often found myself here after work with friends or just walking around. Even the place where I cut my hair was in Ginza (and it wasn’t over the top expensive at all).
But you do see a lot of tourist when you visit Ginza. I have friends who go to other places to shop because the streets are often filled with foreigners and most of the stores are expensive.
One of my favourite places in Ginza is a bakery (or パン屋) called Kimuraya. The bakery is known for their most popular sweetened bun called Anpan. It has a sweet red bean paste inside the bun and almost any bakery you see in Tokyo will make one, but I think they do it the best. It’s a sweet bread so I often find myself eating it as a snack or dessert.
My favourite is the plain and simple Anpan, with nothing extra inside or outside. The bakery has created different flavours by adding ingredients like brown sugar or poppy seeds on the outside of the bun. Aside from the red bean paste, I’ve also tried Kuri Anpan (kuri = chestnut). It’s a white, creamy colour and has a completely different taste which is also quite good! I think if it is your first time trying Anpan you might find the sweet and savory mix quite interesting (hopefully in a good way for you). Prices range from 150-200 ¥ per bread.
Address: 4-5-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Nearest train station: Tokyu Metro Ginza (1 min walk)
Website: http://www.kimuraya-sohonten.co.jp/ (in Japanese only)
Credit Card: No
It was nostalgic walking familiar streets and places. Yurakucho (有楽町), where I walked to next, is the neighbourhood between Ginza and Hibiya Park. I actually like this area more than Ginza, finding it more reflective of some of the unique things Tokyo has to offer. While high fashion name brands can be found anywhere in the world – it’s the stores like Bic Camera (largest electronic store in Tokyo) or the largest Muji in eastern Japan; and the unique authentic izakaya and yakitori places tucked in underneath the rail way tracks and around the brick walls make Tokyo special. I think it’s the hustling and bustling restaurant culture that makes this area more appealing to me. It’s something else to see it at night. There are restaurants side-by-side under the tracks of the JR Line and you see crowds of Tokyo businesspeople occupy the streets at night.