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Long known as Tokyo’s ritzy shopping district, Ginza was originally the city’s banking district, and the district owes its name to the business of moneymaking: in 1912 Ieyasu Tokugawa relocated a plant making silver coins to a patch of reclaimed land west of his castle. The area soon came to be known informally as Ginza (Silver Mint). Today the neighborhood is still home to most of the country's major security companies, but it's best known as the place where high-end shopping first took root in Japan. Before the turn of the 20th century, Ginza was home to the great mercantile establishments that still define its character. The side streets of Ginza’s Sukiya-bashi enclave also have many art galleries, where artists or groups pay for the gallery by the week, publicize their shows themselves, and in some cases even hang their own work.


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Fodor's Tokyo: with Side Trips to Mt. Fuji, Hakone, and Nikko

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