Ginza's tourist beacon getting brighter every day
New landmarks beautifying a district known for its tony shopping streets
TOKYO -- Haven't been to Ginza for a while? You may not recognize the place. Gone are old landmarks like the Matsuzakaya department store. Even the Sony Building is on its way out.
Some of the new edifices going up are stunning.
And more are on the way as the neighborhood rushes to regain the posh image that it had long projected, before all the fast-fashion purveyors moved in.
On Wednesday, plans for a luxury hotel were announced and a completion ceremony was held for a mixed-use complex.
The hotel is to rise 13 stories in the Ginza 2-chome neighborhood. Real estate developer Mori Trust said it will open in early 2020 -- before the Tokyo Olympics start that July.
During a news conference, Mori Trust President Miwako Date said the hotel will "bring out the charm of Ginza 2-chome to the maximum."
With a total floor space of about 7,000 sq. meters, the hotel will have 100 or so rooms. Construction could start next year.
Rooms will go for 50,000 yen to 80,000 yen ($443 to $707) per night.
Kengo Kuma -- the architect who designed the new National Stadium, which is to be the main venue of the 2020 Olympics -- is also working on the hotel.
The lower level of the hotel will feature design elements meant to create a feeling of openness. And a rooftop terrace will offer guests sweeping night views of Ginza.
"The hotel will become a new landmark in Ginza," said Kuma, who also attended the news conference.
In the Ginza 6-chome area, Mori Building and other entities at the end of January completed a massive complex, part of it on the site vacated by the Matsuzakaya Ginza department store. Ginza Six is one of the largest commercial facilities in Ginza.
Business tenants on Wednesday started moving into the building's offices, which are about 60% full.
Each office floor has about 6,000 sq. meters -- among the most spacious in Tokyo.
Businesses covet Ginza addresses, but few of their previous options could rival Ginza Six in terms of office size.
The complex will have around 240 stores on its retail floors, which will open on April 20. A cultural exchange center will also open then.
At the completion ceremony on Wednesday, Mori Building President Shingo Tsuji said, "We will work together to make Ginza Six a new magnet in Tokyo."