Ginza is a district of Chuo, Tokyo, located south of Yaesu and Kyobashi, west of Tsukiji, east of Yurakucho and Uchisaiwaicho, and north of Shinbashi.
It is known as an upscale area of Tokyo with numerous department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses. It is recognized as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world. Many upscale fashion clothing flagship stores are located here. Prominent are Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. A recent addition is the 12-story Abercrombie & Fitch flagship. Flagship electronic retail stores like the Sony showroom and Apple Store are also here.
Ginza is named after the silver-coin mint established there in 1612 during the Edo-era. Modern Ginza began in 1872 when, after a devastating fire, the district was rebuilt with two- and three-story Georgian brick buildings designed by the Irish-born architect Thomas Waters, along with a shopping promenade on the street from the Shinbashi bridge to the Kyobashi bridge in the southwestern part of Chuo. Most of these European-style buildings disappeared, but some older buildings still remain, most famously the Wakō building with the now-iconic Hattori Clock Tower. The building and clock tower were originally built by Hattori Kintaro, the founder of Seiko.
Ginza is a popular destination on weekends, when the main north-south artery is closed to traffic. The traffic blockade began in the 1960s under socialist governor Minobe Ryokichi.