GINZA (銀座)

...... and so the question is: if you take Japan's largest bank note, fold it up as small as it will go, then drop it on the ground in Ginza, will it buy the one square centimeter of land it falls on?

The answer?

No !!!

Ginza is the home of that notoriously expensive cup of coffee and that even more extortionate apple! But price needn't be everything. For very little you can see a traditional kabuki play, go to Asia's largest fish market, see an Indian style temple, look at a capsule apartment building and try out the latest Sony gadgets.

The 1920's were the heyday years for Ginza. Men striving to be at the very height of fashion and sophistication flooded in. The "cafes" were the big attraction - where the "pretty" women "served" the drinks!

One step on - "cafes" are now hostess bars - the haunt of the middle-aged businessman; the shopping streets are very much the territory of the middle aged housewife. But fashion is still very much the word. Brand name bags costing tens of thousands of yen are the essential shopping accessory and if you're not dressed up as if going to a wedding, well, please, do kindly remove yourself.

Exit C2 of Ginza Subway Station, which incidentally was built for the 1964 Olympics, brings you out next to the Sukiyabashi zebra crossing. Having emerged look out for the department stores Hankyu, Seibu and Printemps. For advertising purposes there's definite merit in a Ginza location, but the extortionate price of land means that in terms of making a profit, stores must rely on their branches in cheaper areas.

The Seibu Railway Company owns Seibu, the Hankyu Railway Company of Osaka owns Hankyu Department store, but Printemps, with its fashionable French name to lure in the style conscious shopper, was opened in 1984 by a supermarket chain.

Ginza (銀座) is a district of Chūō Ward, Tokyo, located south of Yaesu and Kyobashi, west of Tsukiji, east of Yurakucho and Uchisaiwaicho, and north of Shinbashi. It is known as an upmarket area of Tokyo with many department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses.

Ginza is named after the silver-coin mint established there in 1612 during the Edo period.

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 English architect Thomas Waters, along with a shopping promenade on the street from the Shinbashi bridge to the Kyōbashi bridge in the southwestern part of Chūō Ward. Most of these European-style buildings are gone, but some older buildings are still there, most famously the Wakō building with its clock tower.

Ginza is a popular destination on weekends, when the main north-south artery is closed to traffic.

From MAINICHIN SHIMBUN 02nd August 2007:
Land in Tokyo's Ginza fetches 24.96 million yen per square meter

A section in Tokyo's Ginza district is this year's most expensive plot of land facing a major road in Japan, figures released by the National Tax Agency showed Wednesday.

A listing of the most expensive plots of land facing thoroughfares in Japan was released by the National Tax Agency.

Taking top spot for the 22nd year in a row was the area in front of the Kyukyodo stationery shop on Ginza's Chuo-dori Avenue, located in Tokyo's Chuo-ku.

The price of land in this area rose 33.3 percent compared with the previous year to hit 24.96 million yen per square meter, bringing the price of a piece of land the size of a postcard to about 369,000 yen.

Original Japanese News Item: