shopping in japan

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» Akihabara -- Ground Zero of a Nation in Shock
» Things to See in Akihabara: Adult Shops
» Akihabara Book Stores
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» Akihabara Fashion
» Akihabara Gaming
» Akihabara Cosplay Stores
» Akihabara Maid Cafes
» Akihabara Music Stores
» Akihabara Stores
» Akihabara Transport Museum
» Places to Eat: Akihabara Dining Challenge
» Places to Stay in Tokyo: Book Here
Discount Hotel Reservation
» Excursions from Akihabara: Sony Showroom at Ginza
» Akihabara History
» Travel Resources in Tokyo
» Moving House in Japan
» Doing Time in Japanese Prisons
» Japanese Movies: Tokyo Drift
» Picking Up Girls (Nampa) in Tokyo

Tokyo Architecture Highlights

Akihabara Street Scene
Akihabara Street Scene Chuo Dori Street
Chou Dori Street
Night View from Roppongi Hills Tower
Night View from Roppongi Hills Tower Ueno, DownTown Tokyo
Ueno, DownTown Tokyo
Rotors -- Under the Yamanote Line near Akihabara
Rotors -- Under the Yamanote Line near Akihabara Disney Castle, Maihama
Disney Castle, Maihama Tokyo Tower, as seen from Roppongi Hills Tower
Tokyo Tower Viral Tubes, near Landmark Tower, Yokohama
Viral Tubes, Yokohama

sony showroom - ginza
TOKYO IS FULL OF A LOT OF GORGEOUS SHOWROOMS AND CORPORATE FLAGSHIP BUILDINGS. Some of my favorites include the Prada showroom at Aoyama, the Toyota Amlux building at Ikebukuro, and the Asahi Beer monument at Asakusa. Right up there with all of these fine towers and buildings and boutiques, is the Sony Showroom at Ginza. When I first moved to Tokyo in the year 2000, this was one of the first places I visited, along with the nearby Tokyo International Forum. At that time, the biggest hit in town was the Aibo robot dog. I then promptly forgot all about the building and the location, until I rediscovered the site last week (July 2006), during a walk through Ginza. The years might have slipped by, and the world has changed, but the Sony Showroom remains as popular as ever with foreign tourists. Visiting the showroom recently, one foreign tourist Brian Ashcroft wrote: "It's Saturday morning, early. I'm heading down a hallway deep in Tokyo Station, moving towards the Marunouchi Line. My destination? Sony Computer Entertainment.

"While its facade may be multinational, Sony is still very much a Japanese company. More than that, it's a Tokyo company -- not just part of the city, it is the city. While ads mark territory like dogs piss on fire-hydrants, Sony has made its mark with buildings strewn across the city's hippest neighborhoods, namely Aoyama and Akasaka, as well as ritzy Ginza.

"I'm going to Sony to see if any insights can be gained on the company's corporate culture can be gained from the buildings and surrounding neighborhoods. I'm documenting the entire trip for the interested and curious."

Those interested in following in Ashcroft's footsteps should rest assured: Sony's showroom (phone number: 3573-2563) is always a fun browse. On display are all the trend-setting electronics company's latest offerings and often a few prototypes as well.

You can try out all their latest video cameras, give a listen to car stereos, be amazed by a demonstration of high-definition television systems and have a little hands-on fun with the company's newest computer marvels. The showroom is wonderfully laid-out, taking up the greater part of six of the building's eight floors.

But there's a lot more to the Sony Building than Sony. Also on the premises are two of Tokyo's finest restaurants, Sabatini di Firenze (3573-0013) on the 7th floor, and Maxim's de Paris (0120-55-6291) in the 3rd basement. Also AVIC, an electronics shop (B1 level, 3571-2614) where you can purchase the goodies you've been playing with upstairs, and Sony Plaza (B2 level, 3575-2525), purveyor of all kinds of imported snacks and various gewgaws.

The Sony Building's first-floor lobby is a popular rendezvous spot among foreigners, especially on rainy days, as even newcomers to Japan can find their way there simply by asking, "Sony Biru?"

The lobby has a ticket agency where you can buy a variety of concert, movie and sporting-event tickets.

As Ashcroft reported on his site, the first floor is dedicated to the upcoming LocoRoco. Go up the stairs, passing rows of Vaio computers and on the second floor you will catch a glimpse of a BMW dealership in the showroom.

Access: Above subway Ginza Station, exit B9 Opening hours: 11:00-19:00 (except restaurants) Admission: Free.
What to tell the taxi driver: "Ginza no Sony Biru" or "Sukiyabashi".
Tel: 03-3573-2371
Within a 10-min walk: Ginza, Yurakucho, Hibiya: Department stores and shops, dozens of movie theaters, hundreds of bars and restaurants.

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Contact the author Rob Sullivan at Anticopyright February 2005/July 2004.