Ginza is Tokyo’s swankiest locale. Walk around its crowded streets and you’ll be visually flooded with endless upmarket brand signs, spanning from Chanel boutiques and Cartier jewellery stores to the iconic Dover Street Market. There is a lot to take in, and plenty more to buy, but the beauty of Ginza isn’t just in the lustre of the brands it carries, or its steely towering office buildings. It is also home to some of the city’s finest cocktail bars, each home to a very distinct Japanese atmosphere and style of mixology you can rarely find anywhere else in the world.
A majority of the cocktail bars in Ginza are pristine institutions that seem preserved from the 1920s. Immaculately dressed bartenders with extreme attention to detail are a common sight, and the craft they display is very removed from the flashy stunts or cocktail wizardry that many other establishments pride themselves in. It is a very precise operation, with as little frills and the purest ingredients possible. Visiting one can be intimidating for the first time, especially if you’re not familiar with the language. Don’t let the austerity get in the way of your experience, though. When in doubt, just order a classic cocktail and be awed.
If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo, make sure to include some of these bars in Ginza on your list.