Togoshi Ginza may be the longest shotengai (shopping street) in Tokyo at 1.3km, but what sets Togoshi Ginza apart from other shotengai in Tokyo is not just its length, but its appearance as well. There is a visible lack of utility poles here, making the street look uncluttered and more spacious.
The street is closed to cars from Monday to Saturday between 3:00pm and 6:00pm, and from 2:00pm to 7:00pm on Sundays and holidays. This move makes the street easy to walk about in when there are no cars passing by the narrow roads.
Say Hello to Gin-chan!
Togoshi Ginza shopping street is also interesting in that it has its own official mascot, Togoshi Ginjiro, or if you prefer a more affectionate term, Gin-chan. There are many Gin-chan statues scattered throughout the street, but there are three life-sized statues known as the 開運銀ちゃん (Gin-chan of Good Fortune) in particular you should look out for. They each hold a different coloured ball in their hands which will bless you if you rub the ball.
ラブリー銀ちゃん (Lovely Gin-chan) with the pink ball will bless you with sweet shojo-manga-like romance, ヘルシー銀ちゃん (Healthy Gin-chan) with the blue ball will put you in the pink of health, and ラッキー銀ちゃん (Lucky Gin-chan) with the gold ball will bestow you with good fortune.
And if you are very lucky, like I was (maybe because I had rubbed the gold ball), you might actually meet the actual Gin-chan in person. I even met Gin-chan’s neighbour, Osaki Ichibantaro, Osaki’s official mascot. Needless to say, kids were absolutely enamoured by these mascots, but even the adults are unable to escape their lively charm.
Now on to the highlight of the post. The food. Togoshi Ginza food street has so many street food to offer, and some of them are really interesting and delicious.
The Best Street Food in Togoshi Ginza Shotengai
Tontan | 炭火焼 とんたん
Where: 2-5-1 Togoshi, Shinagawa, Tokyo 142-0041
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 23:00 (L.O.22:00)
I have a weakness for crispy xiao long bao (chinese soup dumpling), I can never get enough of them. And this shop gets it right with an exquisitely thin wrapping that is charred just enough to give it a crispy crunch on your first bite. And beyond the paper-thin crackling exterior lies the rich warm broth that bursts in your mouth the moment you bite into it.
Ryuuki | 龍輝
Address: 2-6-4 Togoshi, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 20:00
Where: 2-6-8 Togoshi, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 ; Closed on Tuesdays
If you love Japan for its kawaii (cute) food, you will not want to miss this shop. This doughnut shop sells doughnuts with various animal coating that are almost too cute to eat! And though they may look like they will give you a sugar high, they are actually not cloyingly sweet, and the doughnut is dense and crispy with just the perfect touch of a nutty aftertaste.
Floresta Togoshi Ginza | フロレスタ戸越銀座店
Where: 2-18-8 Hiratsuka, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 20:00
Omedetaiyaki Honpo | おめで鯛焼き本舗
Where: 2-13-8 Hiratsuka, Shinagawa 142-0051, Tokyo Prefecture
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 19:00
Holidays: Obon (mid August), end and beginning of the year
Getting to Togoshi Ginza | 戸越銀座
0 minute walk from Togoshi Ginza station on the Tokyu Ikegami Line
2 minute walk form Togoshi Station on the Toei Asakusa Line