For most Americans Starbucks is a place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe surf the net, or meet a friend to work on a homework assignment. Generally it's a pretty chill place to hang. The average Starbucks seats about 12 to 25 people depending on the location. The Ginza Starbucks is a two story building with seating for around 200 people!! I was amazed at the size, and wondered why it would be so huge. It has a secondary coffee bar upstairs as well. When we were there, the place had from 10 to 25 people spread out through the house. The main coffee bar downstairs did a brisk business since its in the midst of a large business district, but many just grabbed coffee and hoofed it. ...until Saturday! OMG you never say such a bustle as the Ginza Starbucks on the weekend! This place is packed! Clearly Tokyoites love coffee as well as I do, because it was really challenging to find a place to sit! You can of course enjoy the great quality of Starbucks coffees, pastries are slightly different- lending themselves to local tastes. Prices are high, if you balk at paying domestic Starbucks prices you will be in shock at what a Tokyo coffee will cost! Still, I am not starting my day with brown swill, and tea is NOT a fog cutter for me. So gimme that grande french roast and pass me the loan papers to pay for it.
Oct 18, 2013 4:43:09 PM applause(0)
We enjoyed a delicious meal in this lovely restaurant. Great romantic atmosphere and more intimate. Nice place for a date.
Oct 18, 2013 4:18:57 PM applause(0)
I'm a pretty hardcore crafter, so when I learned that there was such a place as Tokyu Hands, I put it at the top of my "to do in Tokyo" list! The Ginza store (there are several locations) is a smallish TH, only four floors... but there is a LOT packed into those four floors! There are materials and tools for a wide variety of crafts, hobbies and DIY projects. There are a lot of unusual materials to be had, so if you are a crafter, looking for something interesting drop by and poke around. I so wished I could bring home some tubes of lacquer, but it is not legal to ship via air freight. :( The store also has a nice assortment of stationery and phone gadgets, luggage, books and a full culinary section where they hold demos from time to time. If you make it out to Shibuya there is an even larger Tokyu Hands with a woodworking supply, full fabric section, and housewares. Such fun from such basic shopping. This is my kind of store!
Oct 18, 2013 3:32:07 PM applause(0)
Although a bit pricey, the quality of this establishment is fantastic. The decor is rustic, as though you had just entered a tavern established in the 1500s. Funky music playing, lots of locals stopping in after work. An amazing array of Belgian beverages and some really tasty food on the menu. We visited Tokyo in November, so there were a few rainy nights. Stopping into Favori for a couple pints and some hot stew was a cozy treat.
Oct 18, 2013 3:20:21 PM applause(0)
The Hotel Monterey Ginza is located in the Higashiginza, which is just a few blocks east (toward the harbor) of the main Ginza shopping district. Located a comfortable walk from Tokyo Station and with easy access to main train lines, this is a great location for enjoying the bustling city of Tokyo. The hotel is clean and friendly. It is an older style building that has been updated and kept comfortably modern. Internet is available- bring your own Ethernet/USB cable just to make things easier. Wi-fi is not available in most of Tokyo without expensive phone plans. Make use of the Internet in your room to plan out your days excursions and save the info to your tablet or phone before you leave for the day. We used OffMaps and it worked very well. Rooms are very small, especially for us big Yanks, so don't be too surprised if you find yourself climbing over each other. Beds are comfortable but a bit short. Even though we had a "king size" it isn't the same as US beds of the same name. Also the Japanese run the heating to tropical levels. Ladies of a certain age will probably feel like they're in a sauna! Television and a small refrigerator are provided, as well as a very modern bathroom with a soaking tub and toilet with a built in bidet and a warmed seat... by the time I left Tokyo I wanted one for home! The staff are friendly and can direct you to local conveniences, restaurants and subway stations. They can also post your cards and letters. Laundry service is available but I would recommend not using it if you can manage, it is very expensive. That said, they do an excellent job. Nearby you can find loads of restaurants, cafés and a super tavern that specializes in Belgian beers and ales. Just a couple blocks away is a HUGE Starbucks for those that love their coffee. Of course just a few blocks up you have the most dazzling array of fashion houses and world class department stores you could ever hope for! Once you have had enough shopping you can catch a train on the JR Tokyo Belt line and see some of the other parts of this wonderful city. By the way, Tokyo trains and busses are way easier to use than people will tell you. Buy a SUICA card at Narita, and you won't have to mess with correct change all the time. My rating is for the over-all experience of the location and the hotel itself combined with the price of the stay. I know a lot of people look for much more in a hotel, but I sleep and shower in them and spend my vacation running around seeing the sights, so this place was great!
Oct 18, 2013 3:13:33 PM applause(0)