Located in the heart of Tokyo is Ginza - a swanky modern area where a load of luxury fashion brands (Japanese and Western) can be found concentrated in and around the main Chuo Dori street. There are also a load of restaurants and coffee shops too to help shoppers recharge their depleted energy cells before continuing to shop or being dragged around shopping.
And now for some history of Ginza ;-)
A Shogun called Tokugawa Ieyasu started to build his government in Edo (Tokyo was originally called "Edo" up until 1868 where it was renamed to "Tokyo" after it became the imperial capital) in 1590. At the time, Ginza was nothing but marshland on a peninsula.
In 1612 under Tokugawa Ieyasu, a silver mint was established in the area which is where the naming "Ginza" originates from but wasn't called Ginza until 1869.
In the 1700's when Ginza was being developed, the area was built in blocks of 120m x 120m and has kept the same grid layout through the years even after the area was burnt down in a huge fire in 1872 (Meiji 5), The Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 (Taisho 12) and the air bombings in 1945 (Showa 20).
After the huge fire in 1872 (Meiji 5), the Meiji government designated Ginza as a model of modernization with brick buildings instead of wood and better connected streets. The government also wanted Ginza to be the center of Westernization.
Irish-born architect Thomas Waters was commissioned to rebuild the Ginza and is responsible for the design of the many 2 to 3 story Georgian style brick buildings. The area was known as "Renga Gai" meaning "brick town" at the time.
I had a meeting in Ginza and took Strength with me - I thought I'd snap some photos at the same time. How many of you have been to Ginza? What are your fave places to visit in Tokyo?
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