Ginza is the downtown area most people associate with Japan. Nihonbashi streets have been lined with stores for generations.
Ginza, a district in Chuo-ku, is one of the most famous downtown areas in Japan. Ginza means "silver mint," and its name derives from the silver-coin mint established there in the 1600s.
It encompasses an area from 1-Chome (block) to 8-Chome, where well-established Japanese shops and famous brand name shops from around the world stand side by side on Chuo-dori, the district's main street, Namiki-dori which runs parallel to Chuo-dori, Suzuran-dori and other streets. The Kabuki-za Theater※, where the Japanese traditional theatrical art known as "Kabuki" is performed, is located to the west of the intersection at 4-Chome, on the way towards the neighboring Tsukiji district.
※Kabuki-za theater is under construction until 2013 due to the renovation.
Nihonbashi is a bridge over the Nihonbashi-gawa River on the north side of Chuo-ku. It was the point of origin for Japan's five main streets, and the area prospered during the Edo Period in the 17th century. It still bears a bronze signpost with the words "Origin of Roads in Japan," and it serves as the reference point for all roads in the country. The Nihonbashi area, which is adjacent to Ginza, is dotted with a number of major department stores and other shops with long histories that date well back into the Edo Period. Up until the Great Kanto Earthquake occurred in 1923, there was also a fish market along the river that thrived by catering to the shops and people of Tokyo.
From Narita :
[Rail] 1h from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station by JR Narita Express Line.
From Osaka :
[Air] 1h from Itami or 1h 10 min from Kansai International Airport to Haneda Airport.
[Rail] 2h 30 min from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi). 2 min from Tokyo to Yurakucho Station by JR Yamanote Line, or a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station to Nihonbashi.