Little Ginza

Welcome to the Vancouver Lexicon. Its purpose is to pin down the patois of the City of Vancouver by recording its toponyms, nicknames, slang terms, personalities, places, and other Van-centric things. Full A-Z here.

Little Ginza | toponym, nickname | The high rent block of Alberni St. between Thurlow St. and Burrard St. in Downtown Vancouver. The reference is to the original Ginza, Tokyo’s famous shopping district. The nickname was popularized in the 1970s and 1980s on account of the block’s preponderance of shops and restaurants that catered to Japanese tourists looking for bargains and/or a taste of home. With wealthy Chinese visitation on the upswing since the early 2000s, the Japanese connection has been on the wane, even moving westward down nearby Robson St. to a concentration of more approachable retail stores and restaurants known colloquially as Ramenland.

Usage: “There’s not much left of the original Little Ginza other than a 50-year old Japanese steakhouse…”

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