It is known as an upscale area of Tokyo with numerous department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses. Ginza is recognized as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world. Many upscale fashion clothing flagship stores are located here, being also recognized as having the highest concentration of western shops in Tokyo. Prominent are Chanel, Carolina Herrera, Dior, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. Flagship electronic retail stores like the Sony showroom and the Apple Store are also here.
After the Tsukiji area burnt to the ground in 1872, the Meiji government designated the Ginza area as a "model of modernization." The government planned the construction of fireproof brick buildings, and larger, better streets connecting the Shimbashi Station and the foreign concession in Tsukiji, as well as to important government buildings. Designs for the area were provided by the Irish-born architect Thomas Waters; the Bureau of Construction of the Ministry of Finance was in charge of construction. In the following year, a Western-style shopping promenade on the street from the Shinbashi bridge to the Kyōbashi bridge in the southwestern part of Chūō with two- and three-story Georgian brick buildings was completed.
"Bricktown" buildings were initially offered for sale, later they were leased, but the high rent meant that many remained unoccupied. Nevertheless, the area flourished as a symbol of "civilisation and enlightenment", thanks to the presence of newspapers and magazine companies, who led the trends of the day. The area was also known for its window displays, an example of modern marketing techniques.
Most of these European-style buildings disappeared, but some older buildings still remain, most famously the Wakō building with the now-iconic Hattori Clock Tower. The building and clock tower were originally built by Kintarō Hattori, the founder of Seiko.
Its recent history has seen it as a promiment outpost of western luxury shops. Ginza is a popular destination on weekends, when the main north-south artery is closed to traffic. The traffic blockade began in the 1960s under governor Ryokichi Minobe.
Ricoh is headquartered in the Ricoh Building in Ginza. In 2006, Ricoh's headquarters moved to the 25-story building from a previous location in Minato, Tokyo. In the Ricoh Building, the headquarters occupies the same space as its sales offices.
Subway stations 
- Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)
- Ginza-itchōme Station (Tokyo Metro Yūrakuchō Line)
- Higashi-Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Toei Asakusa Line)
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Mitsukoshi department store at Ginza.
Sony Building and intersection at dusk
Ginza in the early 1900s, photographed by William H. Rau
See also 
- Abercrombie & Fitch, Ginza: Tokyo, Japan
- "Company Data." Ricoh. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
- "Topics - Annual Report 2006." Ricoh. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
- "Outline of Ricoh." Ricoh. May 16, 1997. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
- Dai-ichi Kikaku Senden Co., Ltd. opened in Chūō in Ginza, Chūō in December 1951. In January 1958 the company relocated to a new headquarters in Ginza. The company moved to another headquarters in Ginza in September 1961 and its name changed to Dai-ichi Kikaku Co., Ltd. In November 1974, after growth, the company moved to another headquarters in Ginza. In November 1981 Dai-ichi Kikaku moved its head office to a facility in Ginza and administrative office to a facility in Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda. The headquarters of Asatsu moved to Ginza in July 1995. Asatsu and Dai-ichi Kikaku merged into Asatsu-DK on January 1, 1999."Corporate Overview." Asatsu-DK. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
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