Ginza is Tokyo’s premier district for everything luxurious including food. What used to be the silver coin mint of Japan is now the center of high-end shops for fashion, health and skin care, and good food – continental and regional Japanese cuisine. We’ll explore ways to enjoy good food that speaks of tradition, regional expression, twist to modern Japanese palate and the influences of continental foods.
This is our own version of a Ginza food crawl with an emphasis on good craftsmanship, artisanal and creative food. Here we explore ramen shops, bakery, 170 years old fruit store, teashop, sushi restaurants and steakhouses.
1. Bread, Brunch and More At Centre The Bakery (セントル ザ・ベーカリー)
We start our Ginza food crawl with bread, toasted preferably with Centre The Bakery. This establishment is toasted bread heaven, and everything you can put on it imaginable, a variety of butter and cheeses, jams and preserves, cream and fresh fruits, and of course, meat cutlets. Try their toast samplers that include your choice of the soft bread loaf, and variety of butter. You can even choose the toaster with multiple grill choices. They also serve savory sandwiches such as BLT, beef cutlets, fried shrimps, etc. Bread for toasting usually runs out during brunch/lunch time and not available for dinner. The best way to experience toasted bread is during their lunch opening; get in line early.
Address: 1-2-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-3562-1016
Business Hours: Monday to Sunday Lunch – 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (LO @ 7:00)
Budget: 999 JPY to 2,999 JPY
2. Refreshing Fruit Parfaits, Delicious Cakes and Fresh Quality Fruits in Sembikiya Honten Fruits Parlor (銀座千疋屋 銀座本店 フルーツパーラー)
Sembikiya Hoten is the oldest fruit specialty shop in Tokyo. They have been offering customers fresh quality fruits and desserts for 170 years. Sembikiya is an institution in the fresh fruits industry, established in 1834, and now has branches all over Kanto Region carrying the brand of excellent fruits with their flagship product muskmelon from Shizuoka. Must try specialties of the Sembikiya Fruit Parlor are fruit parfaits and grapefruit jelly, refreshing snacks, and desserts made with high-quality fruits. Now if you are fond of the Victorian sponge cake, try their signature strawberry cream cake – egg-rich cake with layers of thick cream and fresh strawberries. Sembikiya Hoten is truly worthy to be in any Ginza food crawl as a snack or dessert after a meal in other fine restaurants in the district.
Address: 5-5-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-3231-1630
Business Hours: Fruit Shop – Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Sunday and Holidays 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Fruit Parlor – Monday to Saturday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM (LO @ 7:30 PM) Sunday and Holidays 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM (LO @ 6:30 PM)
Budget: 1,000 JPY to 1,999 JPY
Website: https://ginza-sembikiya.jp/ginzaparlor (Japanese only)
Unique Sake lees ramen at Ginza Kazami (銀座 風見)
Taste the difference in Ramen at Kazami with their distinctive and unusual ingredient; sake lees is the byproduct of yeast as it turns liquid into alcohol. This byproduct, in turn, is used as the subtle but distinctive ingredient in Kazami to give their soba and ramen full-bodied flavor without overpowering other ingredients such as dried fish, pork, and chicken. This off the beaten path Ramen shop in Ginza, with its posh interiors, is famous for their Sake Kasu Nouko Soba. A composition of flavors of chicken, pork, asari clams, oysters and high-end sake lees from Kyoto’s Fushimi for its soup base, paired with char siu pork, aburaage (fried tofu), choice vegetables and soft boiled egg. If you like an extra punch, green chili and ginger are served with the Soba. Other house specialties are traditional Shoyu and Shio Ramen.
Address: 6-4-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-3572-0737
Business Hours: Monday to Saturday Lunch – 11:30 AM to 3:20 PM Dinner – 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM Holidays – 11:30 AM to 8:00 PM
Budget: 1,000 JPY
The Beloved Ramen Institution in Ginza Shinamen Hashigo (支那麺 はしご)
Serving loyal customers since 1964, Shinamen Hashigo serves its iconic Tan Tan men with different levels of spiciness. It is often paired with Szechuan mustard pickles and thick and juicy pieces of pork chop. Their soup base is made of Tahini – toasted sesame paste and soy sauce, giving the stock a fragrant, sweet smell and delicate savoriness. It is often accompanied by a squeeze of Yuzu citrus, but this can be left out on request. A side dish of rice is served with the dish to mop out the leftover soup after consuming the noodles and meat.
Address: 6-3-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-3571-1750
Business Hours: Monday to Friday 11:00 AM to 5:00 AM the next day Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM (LO @ 8:50 PM)
Budget: 999 JPY to 1,999 JPY
The Pride of Akita Prefecture in Ginza – Inaniwa Udon Noodles from Sato Yosuke (銀座 佐藤養助)
The famous handmade noodles Inaniwa udon is from Akita Prefecture and can be found in Sato Yosuke Ginza. This noodles are handcrafted, thin, but surprisingly chewy and often paired with regional specialties such as Hata fish, Hinai chicken, mountain vegetables, and mushrooms straight from the prefecture. Sato Yosuke conveys the beauty of the four seasons in Akita through its food.
Address: 6-4-17 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-6251-6211
Business Hours: Monday to Sunday Lunch 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM (LO @ 2:45 PM)
Monday to Friday Dinner 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM on the next day (LO @ 1:30 AM)
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays Dinner 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM (LO @ 8:45 PM)
Budget: 1000 JPY to 1,999 JPY
Luxurious Kobe wagyu beef – Kawamura (かわむら)
We can’t feature a Ginza food crawl without the luxurious Kobe beef. Kawamura represents good taste in ambiance and food. This is a food experience that shouldn’t be missed at Ginza. Let all your senses be taken into the dining experience as you watch, hear and even feel as the chef prepares and cook the finest standard Grade A5 Kobe beef and choice ingredients of vegetables that go well together for that melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Note that reservation is required at this restaurant.
Address: 7-3-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-3289-8222
Business Hours: Monday to Saturday Dinner 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Budget: From 30,000 JPY
The IDEA of the Best Piece of Chargrilled Steak (IDEA 銀座)
Kobe Beef Steak IDEA Ginza is the chargrilled steak king in the district. They prepare and cook the much-coveted Kobe beef over charcoal. But not just any charcoal, they use Kishu Binchotan made by artisans in Wakayama Prefecture with the wood of the Ubame oak. The charcoal burns at a lower temperature, smokeless. It does not interfere with the natural flavor of the meat as it is grilled. Because of the marbling of the meat, Chef Masato Sugai lets the beef cook in its own juices and fat rendering a pure beefy taste. The crusty surface of the meat contrasts the soft and moist center, releasing the natural umami and compact flavors.
Address: 7-8-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-6228-5209
Business Hours: Monday to Saturday 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM Closed on Sunday and Holidays
Budget: 20,000 JPY to 30,000 JPY
Website: https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1301/A130101/13161192/ (Japanese only)
Living on the Edge at Fugu Fukuji (ふぐ 福治)
Ginza food crawl will put you at the edge of your seat as you sample the rare and premier seafood of Japan, the blowfish or Fugu. Because of the poisonous nature of the Fugu, operating a restaurant serving the fish requires a special license. Fukuji is the best restaurant in Ginza with the license and the expertise to prepare the fish and serve as sashimi, hotpot or deep-fried. Fukuji specializes in rare delicacies, and other must try on their menu are the soft shell turtle and eel dishes.
Address: 5-11-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-5148-2922
Business Hours: Monday to Friday 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM Closed on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
Budget: 30,000 JPY
Website: www.fukuji.jp/ (Japanese only)
Go Back in Time to Taste Edo Style Sushi at Sukiyabashi Jiro (すきやばし次郎)
It was hailed by President Obama as the best Sushi he ever tasted. Sukiyabashi Jiro turns back the clock to the Edo period when sushi was served on the street as the snack of choice for busy workers going to and back from work. It is definitely worth to eat sushi with reverence for its origin of choice fresh fish and seafood from Tsukiji Fish Market, selected daily by Chef Jiro Ono and his apprentices. The pure luxury of sushi is revealed as the chef makes the dish and eaten the moment it’s put in front of you. Take note that they only accommodate phone reservations, and the rule is to call on the first day of the month to reserve a table or a seat for the next month. Ask your hotel concierge or Japanese friend to help you make the call and reservation.
Address: 4-2-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-3535-3600
Business Hours: Monday to Saturday Lunch 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM Dinner 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM (Closed for dinner on Saturday) Closed on Sunday and Holidays
Budget: 30,000 JPY
Refreshing Tea at Nakamura Tokichi After a Satisfying Ginza Food Crawl (中村藤吉本店 銀座店)
To end our Ginza food crawl, Nakamura Tokichi is the place to sip their amazing tea to refresh and help in digestion. The teashop’s long history and evolution to include a cafe, serving cha soba and matcha make this place worth visiting for the last stretch of the crawl. The moment you sit in the tea shop/cafe, you are given a cup of tea. Take a moment to decide whether you want to sample their cha soba as a light meal or their matcha parfait for dessert. Both offer the flavors of tea and create a delightful symphony of the different levels of tea flavor in a variety of textures. It is the perfect ending to our sojourn in Ginza.
Address: GINZA SIX 4F, 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone Number: 03-6264-5168
Business Hours: 10:30 AM to 8:30 PM (LO @ 7:45 PM)
Budget: 1,000 JPY to 1,999 JPY
Thumbnail image from flickr