The most original “unauthentic” Ginza

If you are a tourist in Tokyo for only a short time, there’s a pretty big chance you will skip on Togoshi-ginza Shotengai (shopping street). But if there is one neighborhood shopping street worth visiting, it has to be this original “unauthentic” Ginza.

Togoshi-ginza, 15 min from Shibuya, is the first of many neighborhood Ginzas to spring up around the early 1920s, borrowing the name from Tokyo’s main shopping street in the hope that some of Ginza’s glamour may rub off on them.

 

While none of the neighborhood Ginzas really resemble the real thing, they are charming in their own right.

Togoshi-ginza is one of Japan’s longest shopping streets, and with more than 400 nostalgic mom-and-pop stores standing side by side, it offers a nostalgic walk interrupted only by delicious finds.

To be honest, I myself had never thought of visiting Togoshi-ginza until recently, despite being a Tokyoite for almost 10 years. Walking along the streets of Togoshi-ginza Shotengai, I immediately realized how much charm I had been missing on.

Most people would agree with me that the best way to enjoy a shotengai stroll is with a snack in hand. So here is a guide to some of the best finds!

Floresta Nature Doughnuts

Editor comment: Too cute to eat, but also too yummy to not eat!

Dobutsu Doughnuts, or animal doughnuts. Price range is from 240 yen to 360 yen (depends on the animal of choice)

Henteco

Editor comment: I give up! These are just too cute, I can’t eat them!

A chocolate tapir and hazelnut squirrel

Kumono

Editor comment: Crispy croquettes from the butcher shop. Fried in tallow instead of normal oil.

120 yen potato croquettes

Goto Kamaboko

Editor comment: Goto Kamaboko is a good old Oden (simmered vegetables, Japanese fishcakes and egg) stall where you can pick your favorite ingredient.

Price differs depending on the ingredient.

Tori & Deli

Editor comment: Kara-age, or Japanese fried chicken dipped in a Hawaiian salsa sauce!

Fried chicken leg meat (270 yen) together with Hawaiian mango salsa sauce (100 yen)

Togoshi-ginza’s milkman

Editor comment: I was glad to see that someone born to be a milkman can still be a milkman even in modern times.

Normal milk (127 yen), fruit milk (117 yen) and coffee milk (117 yen) bottles come with a lovely smile from our favorite milkman

Togoshi-ginza shopping district

Location: Togoshi, Shinagawa, Tokyo

Access: In front of Togoshi-ginza Station (Ikegami Line)

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