Ginza, Marunouchi, Nihonbashi
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Ginza

Nakagin Capsule Tower - Notable building: Ginza
The Nakagin Capsule Tower is the most important built example of Metabolism, the Japanese avant-garde architectural movement. The building embodies Metabolist theory, which suggests that cities should mimic biological systems to adapt to rapid...
Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center - Notable building: Ginza
One of architect Kenzo Tange's most iconic buildings, this early example of Metabolist architecture was completed in 1967 and occupies a prominent corner location just north of Shimbashi station. Built on a triangular site that's only 189 square...
Nicolas G. Hayek Center - Notable building: Ginza
The innovative headquarters building of the Swatch Group in Japan is the work of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who is known for implementing outside-the-box concepts such as buildings made from paper tubes. Completed in 2007, the greenery-covered...
Ginza Graphic Gallery - Art gallery: Ginza
[Open Mon-Fri 11am-7pm; Sat -6pm. Closed Sundays.]
Monthly exhibitions focus on contemporary graphic design, showcasing the work of prominent designers from Japan and abroad. The gallery is run by Dai Nippon Printing, one of Japan's largest printing companies.
METoA - Showroom: Ginza
[Open 11am-9pm daily.]
METoA is a three-floor exhibition space and cafe produced by Mitsubishi Electric located at the south end of Tokyu Plaza Ginza. Currently (September 2016 - January 2017) the exhibition space is devoted to a show called "Robotic Art in Ginza." The...
Sony Showroom - Showroom: Ginza
[Open 11am-7pm daily.]
Occupying three floors of the new (Fall 2016) Ginza Place complex, the Sony Showroom shows off the company's cameras (4F), music and gaming gear, and other electronic products. A small art gallery on the sixth floor hosts photography exhibitions.
Maison Hermes - Notable building: Ginza
The slender, 12-meter-wide building housing the Tokyo flagship store of the French fashion house is covered with 13,000 custom-fabricated glass blocks. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the building was completed in 2001. A small art gallery...
Mitsukoshi Department Store - Department store: Ginza
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
Since the store's recent renovation, Mitsukoshi's two-level food hall has expanded to more than a hundred food stalls run by well-known restaurants, bakeries, sweets shops, tea sellers, and other purveyors of gourmet food and drink. The tiny...
Matsuya - Department store: Ginza
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
The two-level basement food hall at Matsuya houses dozens and dozens of kiosks and stalls with freshly prepared foods and packaged goods to take home. There are also a few sit-down counters run by the various shops and a decent wine department with...
Megumi Ogita Gallery - Art gallery: Ginza
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, holidays.]
Manga, anime, toys and other aspects of pop culture are the inspiration for many of the shows at this international gallery. The exhibition area is comfortably spacious and can accommodate fairly large shows. As with all independent galleries,...
Mikimoto Ginza Honten - Notable building: Ginza
[Open 11am-7pm daily.]
The nine-story Ginza showroom and head office of Mikimoto, the Japanese pearl company, was designed by architect Toyo Ito and completed in 2005.

Marunouchi

Murjirushi Ryohin - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
Muji's gigantic flagship store near Yurakucho station has been recreated as a specialty bookstore. It still houses the usual retail departments, selling simply designed furnishings, housewares, clothing, stationery and even food, but now undulating...
Herman Miller Store - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11:30am-8pm.]
Run by the well-known US furniture manufacturer, the Herman Miller Store offers ergonomically designed chairs and office furniture, lighting equipment and stationery.
Cotton Club - Jazz club: Marunouchi
Live soul, R&B and jazz are presented here almost every night.
Kitte - Shopping complex: Marunouchi
[Open 10am-11pm daily.]
Located on the site of Tokyo's former central post office, Kitte (the name means "postage stamp") is one of the more interesting multi-use complexes in Marunouchi, housing a good number of design and lifestyle shops and a first-rate museum in...
Spiral Market - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11am-9pm (Sun -8pm) daily.]
One of the many design and lifestyle stores in the Kitte complex, this tiny branch of Spiral Market focuses on housewares and casual gifts, and it seems like a good place to find a tasteful housewarming present or a party gift. The main branch is...
Good Design Store Tokyo - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11am-9pm (Sun -8pm) daily.]
All the goods on display here have been past winners of Japan's Good Design Award for noteworthy industrial design, so browsing the shelves is a bit like visiting a design museum. The collection is incredibly diverse but often quite mundane,...
Angers Bureau - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11am-9pm (Sun -8pm) daily.]
Stationery enthusiasts will marvel at the breadth of offerings at this gorgeous little shop - everything from vintage fountain pens and artisanal ink to deluxe planners and notebooks from Japan and abroad. There are tasteful knickknacks and...
Marunouchi Reading Style - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11am-9pm (Sun -8pm) daily.]
This very eclectic bookstore is similar to shops like Tokyu Hands and Loft in its sensibility, with a quirky curated collection of household goods, stationery, travel items, gifts and sundries in addition to books. They carry a good number of...
Intermediatheque - Museum: Marunouchi
[Open 11am-6pm (Thu, Fri 8pm; entry until 30 minutes before closing). Closed Mondays.]
The Marunouchi district is teeming with smart new shopping-dining-office complexes, but Kitte ("postage stamp"), brought to you by the Japanese Postal Service, is the only one with its own natural-history museum. Or is it a contemporary art gallery?...
Tokyo International Forum - Notable building: Marunouchi
Designed by New York architect Rafael Vinoli and completed in 1997, TIF contains two theaters and 6,000 square meters of exhibition space as well as restaurants and shops. At the heart of the complex is a sixty-meter-high, hull-shaped glass and...

Kyobashi, Yaesu, Nihonbashi

Taimeiken Kite Museum - Museum: Nihonbashi
[Open 11am-5pm. Closed Sundays.]
A visit to Nihonbashi's Taimeiken Kite Museum feels a bit like stepping into the attic of an eccentric old man. The room is a tangled heap of color and string, requiring you to duck under and step around the hundreds of kites that couldn't fit...
Kuroeya - Retail: Nihonbashi
[Open 9am-5pm. Closed weekends.]
Gorgeous soup and salad bowls, bento boxes, trays and other items for the table are sold at this lacquerware specialty shop. In addition to traditional styles they also offer modern interpretations of the classics, including lovely silver-colored...
Takashimaya - Department store: Nihonbashi
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
The basement food floor of Takashimaya is upscale and a bit old-fashioned at the same time, just like the rest of the store; you'll find booths run by traditional eel restaurants and similar fare.
Mandarin Bar - Bar: Nihonbashi
[Open 11:30am-midnight daily.]
Sumptuous is the word for the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Nihonbashi. The interior by Ryu Kosaka, with richly tactile accents by textile designer Reiko Sudo, is chic and inviting, dominated by seductive earth tones. The scale of...
Kiya Knife Shop - Knife shop: Nihonbashi
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
Established in 1792 and still going strong, Kiya sells an amazing variety of kitchen knives, including ones crafted specifically for cutting fugu, salmon, soba noodles and vegetables. They carry seven different styles of eel knife alone. They also...
Midette - Retail: Mitsukoshimae
[Open 11am-8pm (Sat, Sun -6pm) daily.]
In addition to the usual local food and booze, this large prefectural antenna shop offers a good assortment of crafts - tableware, glassware, wooden dolls and other decorative items - all made in Fukushima. The sake refrigerators - showcasing more...