At the end of the Edo period, Ginza was just like any other Japanese street: with narrow streets and wooden buildings (take a look at the photos from the Ginza Official history page).
The first major scenery change in Ginza took place in 1872, when a huge fire destroyed the wooden buildings and, to prevent such a disaster from happening again, brick buildings replaced the traditional wooden ones. The street was also enlarged and sidewalks appeared… at the time, Ginza was looking like a British town, because the project was made in the Georgian style by the British architect Thomas James Waters.
However, the disaster struck again in 1923, when the Great Kanto Earthquake ravaged the city. After the earthquake, Ginza received its most famous landmark, the Wako building, but many other buildings disappeared again after the WWII bombings.
So, many of the today’s Ginza landmarks were built during the 1960’s (like the Sannai Building) and now, when you visit Ginza, it feels somehow like America…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: