Tokyo’s Ginza district, a magnet for gourmet dining, offers the best of Japan’s Japanese, Sushi, French, Tempura, and more. Of course, Italian cuisine too is prominent in this gastronomical haven, with a variety of haute ristorantes and casual trattorias lining the streets; below, we at Pocket Concierge have listed 4 locations that we especially recommend our viewers visit, from popular to hole-in-a-walls that you never knew.
Pocket Concierge is Japan's premier online booking & payments service for gourmet experiences; we currently have over 770 partner restaurants that we recommend with pride, including both those of international renown, frequently featured in gourmet info-channels and decorated with accolades, as well as those hidden gems, unknown shops highly regarded by fellow chefs, and members-only hole-in-the-walls invisible to the common public.
We provide smooth access to our partners in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and more, with the Pocket Concierge concept of 'connecting the world to Japan's culinary extraoridinance, without the hassle of barriers' in mind; our service provides full reservation support in English as well as web-based cashless transaction, making even the most unapproachable of sanctuaries just a click away! Pocket Concierge welcomes all foreign visitors to check us out!
~An Elegant Tokyo Italian of Multiple Exquisite Courses~
Sala Amabile, on the 12th floor of the Ginza Trecious complex, is a sister to the adjacent AromaFresca, the renowned 1-star pioneer of Italian dining in Tokyo. With a kitchen shared with its elder sister’s headed by the same decorated head chef Shinji Harada, Sala Amabile offers a more casual and affordable menu for a joyous dining experience. The lunchtime offerings mirror this sentiment, with a all-you-can-drink course with a multitude of tiny, delicate dishes that nonetheless have a resonating flavorful impact. At night, guests can enjoy the vivid Ginza skyline backed by live-piano performances, all the while dining on seasonal bagna-cauda or picking from the dessert wagon; just as the Italian stereotype, Sala Amabile too seeks joy in entertaining its female guests. The interior, designed with a salon in mind, boasts a luxurious and comfortable feel; the high ceiling, sofa-seats, and grand piano stage a taste of nobility, with a sense of sophistication and refinement that would make any romantic occasion a hit. The private room, for up to 6, makes Sala Amabile a suitable background for business uses as well, while flexibility regarding English and vegetarian menus allow foreign visitors to be at ease. For an elegant yet casual outing, or for your any need whatsoever, do try Sala Amabile for a true Tokyo-Italian experience.
・Address: 2-6-5, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
・Hours: Lunch: 11:30~15:00(L.O. 13:30) ※Sunday Only 12:00~15:00(L.O.13:30) Dinner:17:30~23:00(L.O. 22:00) ※Sunday Only 17:30~21:00(L.O. 19:30)
・Directions: 1 minute walk from Tokyo metro Yurakucho line Ginza 1 - chome Exit 8
~Classic Tuscan Cuisine in the Lively City of Ginza~
Just 5 minutes from Ginza station, GIAG GIOLO GINZA is a mature and sublime hideout for adults seeking to relax with a satisfying meal. Complying with the Tuscan-style, GIAG GIOLO’s menu is full of dishes fully maximizing the flavors of ingredients, imparting guests with savory bites of seasonal sensory pleasure. The chef’s course, created from the season’s fruits local and abroad, features truffles, gibier, and more which blend into a colorful memory of an unforgettable evening. The chef’s specialite, a salad of 15 herbs, offers a refreshing mix of fresh herbs specially selected from the pharmaceutical standpoint of Santa Maria Novella, the world’s oldest pharmacy. The restaurant’s halls are full every day with regulars and fans of this dish, seeking the preventive medicinal qualities touted by the ancient practitioners. Popular especially to a female-heavy crowd, GIAG GIOLO is highly regarded even within the fiercely competitive Ginza environment. For a take of its heralded salad, alongside crafty Tuscan dishes and wine, do seek a table out for occasions both private or casual; cheers, to a fun and healthy Tokyo Tuscan experience.
・Address: 7-10-5 デュープレックス, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
・Hours: Lunch: 11:30~14:30 (L.O.13:30) Dinner: 18:00~22:30 (L.O.21:00)
・Directions: 2-minute walk from Ginza station (Exit A3), Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
~A Taste of Home; Cozy Authentic Tuscan Dining~
Slightly removed from the noisy streets of Ginza, hidden away in the worker’s town of Kiba, Trattoria i’bischero offers a Tuscan’s ‘Taste of Mama’; the ‘simple yet simply-delicious’ menu is concocted by chef Tomoya Hayakawa, who honed his art at the Florentine Trattoria Pandemonio prior to returning to Tokyo. Our concierge’s recommended chef’s course, meticulously crafted to recreate the best of Tuscany’s local gourmet from appetizer to dolce, has captivated many a guest; the simple yet delicate tastes, making the most of the season’s ingredients, and vividly colorful presentation, make i’bischero’s concoctions a thing of wonder. Of course, the wine list, with Tuscan reds and various Italian whites, spumantes and dessert wines as well, is an enticing invitation to wonderful pairings that further enrapture the audience. The trattoria’s design mimics that of an Italian home; the colorful wall, soft lighting, antique furniture, and terra-cotta floor all speak of ‘home’ to the Italian mind, and offer a comfortable background to any visitor. Complete with a semi-private room for up to 10, i’bischero is true to its mantra; for ‘simple, satisfactory, not unnecessarily lavish nor intrusive hospitality’ that feels like a taste of home, do visit this cozy trattoria for a relaxing casual dining experience.
・Address: 6-10-1, 5-11-2, Touyou, Koto-ku, Tokyo
・Hours: [Monday - Saturday] 18: 00 ~ 23: 30 (L.O.22: 00) [Sundays and public holidays] 18: 00 ~ 22: 30 (L.O.21: 00)
・Directions: 6 minutes on foot from Exit 1 at Kiba station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line
~An Original and Vivid Italian Menu, Crafted from 20 Years of Experience~
Crattini, located conveniently minutes from Higashi-Ginza and Ginza stations, as well as the popular Kabuki-Za, is run by owner-chef Yoshinari Kuratani; a veteran of over 20 years, chef Kuratani is much-loved by a host of fans for his artful and inventive dishes that make the most of the season’s delicacies. The chef’s specialty, the Summer-only ‘Spaghettini of Cold Peaches’, is served only between June and September; seeking to taste the chef’s masterpiece, Crattini’s summers are often a race to book, filling up as quick as seats open. Of course, Crattini is not only about peaches; regular menu items ‘spaghetti of cabbage farm greens’ and ‘spaghetti of raw sea-urchin; the day’s catch’ are both must-try dishes worth more a second visit. The hall, with a lively and entertaining counter seating great for single parties and casual dating, is also furbished with calmer table seats befitting families and occasions. A children’s option makes this restaurant a boon for family dinners especially, but with English and vegetarian menus as well, Crattini’s flexible hospitality allows for guests with foreigners too to visit with ease.
・Address: 3-12-19, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
・Hours: Dinner: 12:00~ (L.O.14:30) 18:00~ (L.O.22:30)
・Directions: 3-minute walk from Higashi-Ginza Station (Exit 3), Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
3-minute walk from Higashi-Ginza Station (Exit 3), Toei Asakusa Line
Ginza’s Main Street, the internationally renowned symbol of the centuries-old high-end commercial district, led to the proliferation of local ‘~~Ginza’ streets at the heart of many a regional town across Japan. Today, foreigners and locals alike flock to the multinational brand boutiques that line the street, especially on the weekends when, as since 1970, an expansive stretch is zoned as a pedestrian paradise.
Address: 1-chome~8-chome, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
A Kabuki-only theater established in 1889, the Kabuki-za is located just a few minutes walk from the bustling Ginza 4-chome crossing. The anchor of Kabuki-style traditional theatre, it has remained throughout the Imperial Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras as well as the postwar Showa and current Heisei periods as the pillar of the art as it evolved, integrating new techniques and trends in refining its existence to adjust to newer times. As only the best perform at the Kabuki-za stage, the titles staged too tend to be those traditionally famous and popular. However, in recent times the theatre has adjusted to adopt its international following, with an optional foreign language guide to assist those not fluent in Japanese; hence, we would highly recommend attending a staging or two of Japan’s traditional arts during your stay, with Kabuki not being the least of them.
Address: Ginza 4-12-15, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
The headquarters of Wako, the spun-off retail wing of luxury watch and accessories giant Seiko, the ‘Ginza Wako’ building, as it is affectionately called, is a cultural and historical icon. Worth a rumored almost 100 billion USD in the frenzy days of the ‘Japanese Miracle’, the luxury retailer is still frequented by the famous and affluent for a variety of commercial uses, and also often hosts a diverse array of events at its 6th floor art gallery ‘Wako Hall’. Of course, being at the heart of Ginza’s iconic 4-chome crossing, thousands of visitors choose to meet, greet, and be merry on the Wako’s premises as well, and as an 86-year old timepiece overlooking Ginza’s glorious days, the building is currently a Heritage of Modern Industrialization, as designated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.
Address: 4-5-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
The Mitsukoshi Department Store, one of the last remaining domestic luxury full-range retail giants, is a postwar icon symbolizing the consumerization of Japan’s modern economy. A hallmark of the Ginza strip sitting right across fellow icon ‘Wako’, Mitsukoshi is a much-loved shopping destination dating several centuries in enterprise history, and its modern day rendition in the heart of Ginza boasts a total 16 floors of high-end restaurants, 200+ fashion boutiques, and the largest cosmetics retail floor space in the area. The complex also has multiple rest stops for those tired from the stresses of shopping and walking, with a variety of neat cafes and a 9th floor ‘Ginza Terrace’ overlooking the street to complete the perfect elegant afternoon.
Address: 4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Designed by the decorated architect Kisho Kurokawa and built in 1972 as the world’s first capsule-style apartment-housing complex, the Nakagin Capsule Tower is renown as both an emblem of Kurokawa’s early works, and a symbol of the postwar ‘Metabolism’ architectural movement spearheaded by him and his peers. The ‘capsules’, round-window bestowed rectangular blocks, are each tiny and minimalistic yet functional living quarters; the tower’s concept allows for the addition and subtraction of these capsules in tandem with the population’s organic movements, a revolutionary architectural idea. Hence, despite the inconvenience and growing concerns over durability, the tower itself is a much-loved cultural icon, with many owners using it as office or second home. Until recently, the joys of living in these quarters were known only to owners; however, with the advent of Airbnb, it has become increasingly popular as a short-term destination for fans and visitors, especially since its demolishing has been decided for a date not too far away.
Address: 8-16-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
・Taxi drivers are increasingly capable regarding English, so it may be worth an attempt.
・As long as you know your destination address, the taxi's on-board navigation will do the rest.
Train System Pointers
・Japan's Railways run almost perfectly on-time, so calculating transit times is easy.
・Signs and announcements are multilingual; when in doubt, just listen or see.
・Tokyo's subway system can be difficult to navigate; if lost, officials at the ticket gates are willing to help.
・Japan is a safe country; traveling with small children and strollers will be perfectly fine.
1.Ginza, despite its location in the heart of the city, has a surprising many parks and offers beautiful scenery during cherry-blossom season (Tsukijigawa-Unemebashi Park, Kyobashi Park, Ginza Sakura Avenue, GINZA SIX, etc.）.
2.‘Ginza’ has a decidedly fitting meaning of ‘bustling place’.
3.The origins of ‘Ginza’ lie in the Edo-period mint of silver coins; in 1612, the office in charge of minting silver, originally located in current-day Shizuoka, was moved to its modern-day area in the new capital of Edo (Tokyo).
4.There are studies stating that during the Edo-period (17-19C), the area that is current day Ginza was a peninsula protruding into Tokyo Bay.
5.There are hundreds of locations with the ‘Ginza’ name throughout Japan, but the ‘Ginza’ in Tokyo is the original.
6.The first authentic Indian cuisine restaurant, run by an Indian native, opened its doors in Ginza in 1949.
7.The ‘gunkan-maki’ style of sushi, where the topping is held in place on top of the rice not due to the chef pressing the two together but with a wall of nori seaweed, commonly seen with pieces of ‘ikura (salmon roe)’ or ‘uni (sea urchin)’, was first invented in Ginza.