As the sun was setting in Tokyo, I headed to Ginza to meet my friend Simon. He’s a fellow Hong Konger who works as a videographer in New York City now. I arrived in Ginza way too early, so I walked around and took a few photos.
Ginza is considered to be one of the most luxurious streets in the world. It’s a little ironic because the area that Ginza is built on used to be a literal swamp in the 16th century. 400 years later, it’s home to some of the world’s most expensive brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Chanel.
Okay, the area used to be a swamp, but Ginza (銀座) translates to “silver guild”. In 1612, the Japanese government moved its silver minting facility to this area. I really like walking around Ginza. I can’t afford to buy anything here, but at least the streets are nice and wide by Japanese standards.
Interestingly enough, the Ginza area was actually designed by an Irish architect by the name of Thomas Walters. The area’s shopping promenade, which spanned from Shinbashi Bridge to Kyōbashi Bridge, was purposefully designed in a Western style to attract Western tourists. That wasn’t well received at first because many foreigners expected and wanted to see traditional Edo-style architecture during their visit to Japan.
This guy is already preparing for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Nissan was showing off this concept car at its flagship concept showroom, Nissan Crossing. I wonder if the Nissan GT-R R36 will look something like this. If so, I better start saving up. The Nissan GT-R has always been my dream car.
Yamaha’s flagship building is also in Ginza. In addition to being a retail space, the building also houses ca music school and concert hall. I didn’t have time to go inside, so I definitely need to come back in the future.
Here are a few random architecture shots.
Eventually, I made my way over to Café de l’Ambre to meet Simon.
Café de l’Ambre has been serving incredible coffee since 1948, and it’s one of my favorite coffee shops in Tokyo. The shop sources the highest quality coffee beans from around the world, and the preparation is top notch. It’s a little more expensive than your average cup of joe from Starbucks, but I recommend checking this place out if you want to know what good coffee is supposed to taste like.
My coffee. The cup was small but flavorful.
After meeting Simon, I went to Fish Bank Tokyo for dinner. That’s a story for another post… Good night from Tokyo. Tomorrow, I’m off to Seoul!