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Ōedo Line: Akabanebashi

In Japanese History on July 1, 2015 at 5:49 am

赤羽橋
Akabanebashi (red feather bridge)

Akabanebashi in the Edo Period. My Patron who donate to this page get a private video tour of this area.

Akabanebashi in the Edo Period.
My Patrons who donate to this page get a private video tour of this area.

Stupid trivia fact. On this 38 station course, we’ve finally arrived at the midway point. We’ve come from Edo Period country side locations to some of the deepest areas of Edo. This station is 19 of 38.

I hope that so far I’ve shown that you can walk Edo or get around by train, but as a 10 year resident of this mighty city, trust me: you have to choose your battles wisely, You can’t do an Ōedo Line tour of the city unless you treat it like a pilgrimage. And now I’m thinking that would take about 1 week at least.

That said, I could organize that sort of thing. Is there any interest?
If there is, I’ll put together a 1 week Edo-Tōkyō Tour. We could cover the shoguns’ graves and hit some major spots I’ve written about. Just throwing the idea out there.

Most people who get off at this station (1) are tourists visiting Tōkyō Tower and Shiba Park (2) work in the area or are visiting one of the many hospitals in the area (3) actually live here. The area is a blending of former daimyō residences and commoner areas. You can find truly yamanote areas that are now business districts and small neighborhoods that were commoner towns or low level samurai towns.

View of Akabane Bridge and the Furukawa. The Kuroda Estate is on the right hand side. You can see their famous Kanomi (fire watchtower).

View of Akabane Bridge and the Furukawa. The Kuroda Estate is on the right hand side.
You can see their famous Kanomi (fire watchtower).

If you want to indulge your history nerd sweet tooth, I hope you’re an Edo Period nerd of the highest order. From here you can walk the expansive blocks that are now hospitals and high end apartments that used to be daimyō residences. Most of the blocks have remained unchanged since the Edo Period. If you do this, bring Edo Period maps, otherwise, it’s a meaningless walk because there isn’t much left over. If you walk along the Furukawa River towards Azabu-Jūban, you can see where the old commoner towns were that specialized in lumber and used the river from transporting heavy lumber shipments.

Between this area and Azabu-Jūban the translator/diplomat Henry Heusken was assassinated. His killer, a certain douchebag known by the name Kiyokawa Hachirō was assassinated about 10 minutes upstream from here. I think I inferred well that this area is rich in history if you know what you’re looking for. It’s really deep here.

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This article is part of an ongoing series that starts here.

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