From novelists and artists to business tycoons and sumo wrestlers, everyone loved basking in the Ginza atmosphere: But after a night on the town, regret would rear its sorry head. Ginza is full of buildings aesthetically pleasing to your eyes. But, don't think that discount has become the name of the game here. It's just that the baton of luxury has passed into foreign hands.
Pleasure-seeking in Ginza -- and then complaining about it -- used to be a Tokyo privilege, a little game of metropolitan elitism. But, don't think that discount has become the name of the game here. The ad girl is trying to seduce you. How money changed hands on Tokyo's most expensive strip Ginza: Out on the strip, tourists sigh and complain about the prices, but in a quiet side street on a sunny afternoon, apprentice sushi chefs chill out with their iPods and hang their laundry out to dry, a more fitting symbol of the Ginza's current persona. Back in , novelist and French culture connoisseur Nagai Kafu wrote about his hate-hate relationship with Ginza -- and how he couldn't help going back to it, comparing the town to "a dark, mean, ugly woman [who is] inexplicably wondrous in bed. It's just that the baton of luxury has passed into foreign hands. From novelists and artists to business tycoons and sumo wrestlers, everyone loved basking in the Ginza atmosphere: The beef bowl empire Yoshinoya opened its Ginza shop in Wako Building symbolizes the start of your thrilling expedition to Ginza. Some of the sheen remains -- three major department stores preside over a mere meters or so of Ginza Dori sidewalk, while small shops specializing in Japanese sweets, fans, washi paper and the like stand as sentries to the memory of better times. The Ginza experience always felt like the sum on the bill never justified the degree of delight. Back in the day when company expense accounts had the elasticity of hot caramel, businessmen entertained their clients in Ginza and the customary course went from swank bar to swank sushi restaurant and ended with a two-hour drinking session presided over by hostesses in low-cut evening gowns. The less prestigious end of the strip is dedicated to alleyways crammed with impossibly narrow buildings mindful of skinny beehives that house innumerable hostess bars and clubs. The trick is to use your feet, hone your sensitivities, and not give into the convenience of the big chain stores or Starbucks. Ginza is full of buildings aesthetically pleasing to your eyes. How money changed hands on Tokyo's most expensive strip A Tokyo resident charts the fortunes of the Japanese capital's best-known street By Kaori Shoji 22 March, So-called "pedestrian paradise" campaign in Ginza. As random as Shibuya or Roppongi. A district that caters to money Watch out! Behind the scenes Ginza enthusiasts unite in the knowledge that the best of the district is tucked away from the strip and its crowds. Wako isn't the only Ginza icon whose glory days are over. Bonanza for businessmen It has always been an accepted slice of Japanese adult life that in Ginza, women go shopping and frequent French restaurants while men sneak over to see their favorite hostesses working in any of the plus drinking holes. Over the past 10 years, establishment after establishment has sold out, closed down and disappeared from the prestigious Ginza Dori strip, once a metaphor for the ever-expanding Japanese economy. Ginza -- an irresistable woman? After the demise of many old-guard retailers, the discount merchants moved in. Uniqlo Ginza is now a landmark institution and a must-visit store for tourists from mainland China, as demonstrated by the in-store signs in Chinese. Uniqlo put up its shop on a prime spot on the Ginza Dori in and, four years later, doubled the floor space.
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