Wako Department Store

Wako Department Store

(officially Wako Co., Ltd., also known as Ginza Wako) is an exclusive department store in Japan, located at the heart of the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo. This store is famous for its watches, jewellery, porcelain, dishware, and handbags, as well as foreign luxury goods. There is also an art gallery, called Wako Hall, on the sixth floor. Wako was founded in 1881 by Kintarō Hattori as a watch and jewelry shop called K. Hattori (now Seiko Holdings Corporation) in Ginza. In 1947, the retail division split off as Wako Co., Ltd.

From 1894 to 1921, the Hattori Clock Tower stood on the site where the Wako Department Store occupies today. In 1921, the Hattori Clock Tower was demolished to rebuild a new one. The reconstruction was delayed due to the Great Kanto Earthquake of September 1, 1923. The new tower was completed in 1932 as the K. Hattori Building. In homage to its predecessor, the Wako Department Store was also fitted with a clock.

Its 1932 Neo-Renaissance style building, designed by Jin Watanabe, with its curved granite façade, is the central landmark for the district and one of the few buildings in the area left standing after World War II. The building functioned as the Tokyo PX store during the Allied Occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1952. The clock tower plays the famous Westminster Chimes.

The department store operates branches in Hiroo, Haneda Airport, Shinsaibashi, and some luxury hotels in Japan.

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