“The Tokyo street scene is best at night, like a fashionable beauty. Electric light is cheap and competition is keen, and the Ginza at night is more like foreign fireworks than a busy shopping street.
“By day its appearance rather suggests that some Japanese architects, after a rapid tour of Germany and Venice, had woke up on Coney Island and immediately started to draw elevations.
“The present Ginza is the fourth which has risen in 60 years. Each has been more ‘jazzy’ than the last, though the architectural riot which results from each shopkeeper owning his own site, is being repressed by an increasing growth of modern department stores.
“But, at night, when the frenzies of the architects is lost in the soft, dark sky that always seems so close to the roofs, these fantastic patterns of neon are lighting of what seems to the tourist a gorgeous stage filled with gay figures in fancy dress.”
– “The Soul of Tokyo”, Travels in Japan Vol. 1 No. 1, 1935