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Posts Tagged ‘ebisu’

Yamanote Line: Meguro & Ebisu

In Japanese History, Travel in Japan on April 30, 2016 at 4:36 pm


It’s a weird thing that I’ve encountered over the years but I’ve gotten a few emails asking me to cover Meguro. I usually send them a link to my original article about Meguro and tell them that I have, in fact, already covered Meguro and explain how to search the site and send the link to the article. One person was like, “but can you really cover Meguro in depth?”

Sadly, the answer is, “Probably not in the detail that you’re asking.” You see, I rarely go to Meguro. It’s a residential area with great local shops, but for the most part it’s a local area that other Tōkyōites mostly associate with 花見 hanami cherry blossom viewing. The problem is compounded by the definition of Meguro you’re using. Today, it’s important to keep in mind that we are discussing the 目黒駅付近 Meguro Eki fukin Meguro Station Area, not the greater 目黒区 Meguro-ku Meguro Ward. The ward is large and has many stations on many different train lines. Since we’re talking about the Yamanote Line, we’re not venturing far from Meguro Station.


Meguro Station. Pretty much just a typical JR East station in Tōkyō.

To me, Meguro is a lovely ward and the Meguro Station area is quite famous because it gives instant access to the 目黒川 Meguro-gawa Meguro River which is lined on both banks with tall cherry blossom trees. It’s one of the most famous hanami spots in the city. Local cafes and restaurants line the river and often set up temporary food stands to cater to hanami goers’ appetites. A few food trucks and other 屋台 yattai food stands also set up shop where they can. Recently, Turks and Iranians selling donner kebabs have been gaining popularity, but traditional Japanese street food like 焼鳥 yaki tori, 団子 dango, and other festival foods are available. Needless to say, there is alcohol everywhere (though, you’re best buying that at a convenience store or supermarket away from the river area because  the food stands markup that shit big time).

MEGURO o-fudo-sama


Meguro Station gives access to the 目黒寄生虫館 Meguro Kiseichūkan Meguro Parasite Museum and 龍泉寺 Ryūsen-ji Ryūsen Temple. The Parasite Museum is supposedly a popular date site – though I’ve never met a person who went on a date there – and Ryūsen-ji is a temple dedicated to a wrathful Buddhist “deity named Acala, who is called 御不動様 O-fudō-sama, “the unmovable one” in Japanese. Because the statue of this Buddha has black eyes (目 me eyes, 黒 kuro black), there is a popular etymology that the name of the area is derived from this temple[i]. The problem with Ryūsen-ji is that it’s a good 15 minute walk from Meguro Station. Normally, I wouldn’t include it except for that etymologic connection.

Get the Deeper Stories:

MEGURO parasite

Parasites. Trust me. I could have posted some really traumatic pix, but decided to go with something restrained and clinical.



I’ve covered a lot of place names over the years while writing this blog and Ebisu is actually one of the most boring from an etymological standpoint. Have you ever heard of Ebisu Beer? Oh, let me spell that differently. Have you ever heard of Yebisu Beer? The station and area is named after the Yebisu Beer Company which used to have a factory here. That’s the etymology.

I’m not being flippant, though. Yebisu Beer is effing delicious and is a source of pride in Japan. As far as Japanese macro beers go, it’s up there at the top[iii].

EBISU showa.jpg

What does Ebisu mean?

I’ve already written about this and you can check it out here, but 恵比寿 Ebisu is the name one of the 七福神 shichi fukujin 7 gods of good luck. In the old writing system, those kanji could be rendered as ゑびす/ヱビス both of which are read as Ebisu.

Yebisu is an obsolete transliteration of Ebisu common before the writing reforms in post war Japan. Fans of Japanese horror may know the word 怪談 kaidan ghost stories by its archaic transliteration kwaidan, a term which was popularized by the author Lafcadio Hearn by his book Kwaidan and the 1964 movie by the same title. These words, like many other Japanese words, were updated to reflect the Japanese spelling reforms that came to pass in the post war years. Nobody ever said kwaidan or Yebisu since the 12th century or so, so the new romanization as kaidan and Ebisu were no brainers. The beer continued to use the archaic spelling as an affectation. I guess from a branding standpoint, it makes the beer appear classic. The train station, on the other hand, uses the modern transliteration.

EBISU station.jpg

Ebisu Station, like Meguro Station, looks like any other typical JR East Station in Tōkyō. Imagine that lol.

What to do in Ebisu

Well, I don’t spend much time there personally, but I definitely say “there’s a lot to do in Ebisu!” For locals, just chilling out in the area is enough. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the area, and Ebisu Garden Place, a massive shopping area built on the former site of the Ebisu Beer Factory and HQ, offers enough for anyone to hang out in. For tourists, this area may be a little boring. It’s pretty westernized and actually caters to the international crowd – be they Japanese who are internationalized or wealthy expats who live within the Yamanote Loop. That said, there are two places that may be worth your time.

EBISU beer

A little Meiji magic is preserved

Beer Museum

The first place you should know is the ヱビスビール記念館 Ebisu Bīru Kinenkan Museum of Yebisu Beer which tells the history of beer in Japan but also the history of the Sapporo Brewing Company. One might think that this is something unrelated to Japanese history, but believe me when I tell you this now: beer and modern Japanese history go hand in hand. Beer and the history of Tōkyō in particular go hand in hand. I don’t have a course planned out yet, but I’m working on Japanese History + Beer guided tour that is essentially an all-day booze-a-thon focused on historical spots. Think of it as an intellectual pub crawl that starts at the Beer Museum. Hit me up, if you’re interested.


Photography Museum

As a center of art and culture, Tōkyō never disappoints on the museum side of things. However, recently there are more tourists than ever coming to Japan. Most of the tourist attractions and museums are being overrun by unruly tourist groups[iv]. The museums in Ueno are particularly insane these days. But if you wanna check out some well curated photography exhibitions that most tourists never go to, I suggest the 東京都写真美術館 Tōkyō-to Shashin Bijutsukan Tōkyō Photographic Art Museum (also called the TOP Museum for short) in Ebisu Garden Place. The exhibitions constantly change, so I can’t vouch for every showcase, but in my experience the museum is pretty consistent in quality. I’ve seen exhibits that focus on art history to exhibits that focus on the theater of the absurd – they pretty much run the gamut. It’s mostly locals who frequent the museum, especially couples, so it might be better to skip the bigger, more famous museums to check out this little gem on a weekday.

There’s One Snag, tho…

The Tōkyō Photographic Art Museum, as awesome as it is, has been undergoing a 2 year renovation project. So at the time of this writing, you can’t visit the museum. It’s slated to re-open in September of 2016 and my guess is it will be even more amazing than before. Unfortunately, it may become a much more high profile museum than before. I say “unfortunately” because in the past it’s been kind of a secret spot. After the renovation, I fear it will become overcrowded like other famous Tōkyō museums. Fingers crossed!

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[i] This is probably not the case, though, I discuss an alternate theory in my original article.
[ii] Long time readers will remember the horrific train wreck that was my Rivers of Edo-Tōkyō series. I almost quit my blog because of that damn series.
[iii] That said, Japan has an extensive micro/craft brew culture taking root that is putting out some fantastic specialty beers. I don’t want to slam the Japanese macros, though. They put the American macros to shame and I would never put them in the same category, but expats and some Japanese with experience abroad have started to call into question the traditional macros over the last 5-10 years. But this is a conversation for another time. Perhaps another post altogether.
[iv] I’m not going to single out a particular nationality, but you can probably guess who the usual suspects are.

Fukagawa Shichi Fukujin

In Japanese Holidays, Japanese Shrines & Temples on January 6, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Fukagawa Shichi Fukujin Meguri (Walking Tour of the Fukugawa 7 Gods of Good Luck)

The Fukagawa 7 Fukujin Course

The Fukagawa 7 Fukujin Course

I hope everyone had a safe and happy (and delicious) winter holiday. I’ve been out of the country and haven’t updated JapanThis! for a few weeks. Did you miss me?[i]

At the beginning of every new year, Mrs. JapanThis and I do a traditional walking tour of the 七福神 shichi fukujin the seven gods of good luck. There are shichi fukujin walks all over Japan. This kind of pilgrimage[ii] seems to have begun in the late Muromachi Period (1333-1573)[iii]. The practice was brought from Kansai to Kantō and grew in popularity during the Edo Period when most of the old temples and shrines associated with the 7 gods of good luck had become settled. Prior to the Edo Period, the exact set of deities wasn’t standardized. This lack of standardization has resulted in some shichi fukujin walks including an 8th deity of varying provenance. Occasionally, you’ll actually see a 八福神巡り hachi fukujin meguri walking tour of the 8 gods of good luck. But more often than not, these are a distinct set of 7 deities and when represented in a group, they should be immediately recognizable by any Japanese person[iv]. Anyways, as most of the shichi fukujin pilgrimages became settled in the Edo Period and the popularity of these walks during the new year holiday increased, it should be no surprise that most of these are found in the heart of Edo. There are more than 20 possible shichi fukujin walks in Tōkyō alone[v].

Tōkyōites walk a lot, but in the Edo Period, people walked everywhere and for much greater distances – even in the dead of winter. An average pilgrimage in Tōkyō will require anywhere from 2 to 3½ hours of walking. Every route is unique, but generally people do it from Jan. 1st to Jan. 6th[vi]. Each route is well-organized and you can buy 七福神色紙 shichi fukujin shikishi stamp board for about 1000 (roughly $10) and at each stop you can get a stamp for 100 or 200 (roughly $1 or $2). Temples and shrines that are not major destinations are usually closed except for special events, so the week or two after the new year is big business for them. That’s why the routes are well-marked with flags and there are maps available everywhere.

Shikishi are decorate pieces of cardboard used to collect signatures for special events. Here you can see the name of each shrine/temple in black and then a red ink stamp pressed over it confirming that you actually visited the temple/shrine. At the bottom, in gold, you can see the 7 gods of good luck riding on the the takarabune "treasure ship."  Awwwww yeah.

Shikishi are decorate pieces of cardboard used to collect signatures for special events.
Here you can see the name of each shrine/temple in black and then a red ink stamp pressed over it confirming that you actually visited the temple/shrine.
At the bottom, in gold, you can see the 7 gods of good luck riding on the the takarabune “treasure ship.”
Awwwww yeah.

Today is the first day that most Japanese companies started work after the holiday, so there were two kinds of people we mostly encountered: salarymen and old people. As it was the first day back at work for most Japanese companies, people are still feeling pretty lazy and any excuse to get out of the office and walk around is welcome and so groups of co-workers tend to be permitted to visit a shrine near the office to pray for success in business. I doubt they’re allowed to do the whole shichi fukujin meguri, but visiting a shrine dedicated to a god of good luck makes much more sense than visiting a shrine for, say, 安産 anzan safe delivery of babies. There are lots of old people because… well, they don’t have to work and Japan is just crawling with old people anyways.

I’m not going to go into detail about each of the 7 gods because you can look them up in Wikipedia or here is a nice description of them. But I am going to list each of the 7 gods and the shrine or temple with which they are affiliated. Now, I say affiliated because many times these gods are not the main deity venerated at a certain temple or shrine – they may be part of a small shrine attached to another larger religious structure[vii]. As it so happens, except for 1 structure, most of the sites of the shichi fukujin in Fukagawa are very minor, simple buildings. They’re probably only open a few days a year to perform certain religious duties and the rest of the year, the family who owns the property is engaged in other work that has nothing to do with the temple/shrine[viii]. Keep in mind that this list is for Fukagawa only, the names of the temples and shrines of another course will be totally different.



Shrine/Temple Name


longevity 深川神明宮

I always think of this guy as the bearded old man with a big head. This shrine participates in the famous Fukagawa Mizukake Festival.
amassing wealth, good harvest 円珠
Daikoku is one of the more famous of the shichi fukujin, but the temple in Fukagawa is TINY. Daikoku is enshrined in what is essentially a round Buddhist style shack.
love & respect; bountiful food 富岡八幡宮

This is one of the most important shrines in Edo-Tōkyō. I mentioned it here. However, the small shrine to Ebisu seems like an add-on. It’s located on the left, back-side of the main hall. Read more about the Tōkyō place name, Ebisu, here and here. Also, if I’m not mistaken, Ebisu is the only of the 7 gods of good luck who is of native Japanese origin.
selflessness & generosity 深川稲荷神社

Inari Jinja
This shrine is tiny. I think I’ve mentioned Inari before. Inari is generally an auspicious kami and shrines to this deity are all over Japan. It’s my understanding that the cult of Inari spread under the sankin-kōtai system because this kami was popular with daimyō. In the Edo Period, Inari became popular with the common people too.
risk taking; gambling 龍光院
This is a tiny temple in a residential area that almost blends into the background. It looks just like any other modern building on the block.
being rich & famous; the glamorous life 冬木弁天堂

Another small shrine, but this one has an older, traditional feel. The name of the shrine is interesting. It literally means “Fuyuki’s place to venerate Benzaiten.” Fuyuki was the name of a family of lumber workers who supposedly lived here and had a small shrine to Benzaiten. Benzaiten is sometimes depicted as a slutty, music playing, and jealous bitch. It’s often said if couples visit her shrines together, she’ll get jealous and the couple will break up.
popularity, happiness & prosperity 心行寺
This temple is doing its own Buddhist thing, but has a small “shack” dedicated to the veneration of Fukurokuju. It seems like they only open it for viewing a few times a year, including the new year holiday.

So, as I said earlier, Mrs. JapanThis and I have done many shichi fukujin walks. This year we decided to do the Fukagawa Shichi Fukujin Meguri. Fukagawa is a very shitamachi area and even boasts a fantastic museum called 深川江戸資料館 Fukagawa Edo Shiryōkan Fukagawa Edo Museum which reconstructs a block of Edo Period Fukagawa and brings a little bit of Edo to life – highly recommended. Because the area was in the heart of Edo, it wasn’t surprising to find out that it’s one of the easiest shichi fukujin courses. It took us no more than 2 hours to walk the whole thing. They started us at Monzen Nakachō Station[ix] and marked the entire path with flags so that we didn’t need any maps or any GPS (even if we did get lost, there were groups of old people being led by cute tour guides waving flags – they’re easy enough to follow).


“Mon’naka” Station.
Every time I visit an area I’ve written about it’s like seeing an old friend.
Hello, old friend!

Then we entered Tomioka Hachiman-gū. At the entrance was a massive stone lantern. Its size reminded me of the Monster Lantern in Ueno Park – but the Monster Lantern is much bigger. Still, it’s pretty cool to see a stone lantern of this size. We ventured around to the left hand side of the 本殿 honden main hall of Tomioka Hachiman-gū and found a small grove with 3 stalls housing 3 kami, the middlemost kami was Ebisu.

The giant stone lantern at the entrance to Tomioka Hachimangu.

The giant stone lantern at the entrance to Tomioka Hachimangu.

The main hall of Tomioka Hachimangu!

The main hall of Tomioka Hachimangu!
Notice the group of salarymen walking together.

The torii that leads to the shrine dedicated to Ebisu.

The torii that leads to the shrine dedicated to Ebisu.

The actual shrine to Ebisu is basically a wooden shed behind Tomioka Hachimangu.

The actual shrine to Ebisu is basically a wooden shed behind Tomioka Hachimangu.

The next stop on the Fukagawa Shichi Fukujin Course is Fuyuki Benten-dō, home of Benzaiten, the only female kami (女神 megami) of the 7 gods of good luck. It’s a very small temple and today it was filled with old people standing around and looking very confused… until the tour guide told everyone to make a single file line and pay their respects. We got our stamp and got out of there as quickly as possible so as to beat all the old people to the next stops on our course.


The shrine to Benzaiten is so small and the grounds so narrow that it is literally wedged between to small apartment buildings. If it weren’t for the flags announcing the 7 fukujin walk, you might not even notice it!

Next stop was Shingyō-ji where Fukurokuju-son is enshrined. The temple itself isn’t’t much to look at, but the interesting thing is the Buddhist style stall in which Fukurokuju is venerated, it’s a good example of syncretism in Japanese religion (ie; foreign religions like Buddhism naturally mixed with the native Shintōism).

Entrance to Shingyoji. Again, if you didn't know what you were looking for, you probably wouldn't even bat an eye at this temple.

Entrance to Shingyoji.
Again, if you didn’t know what you were looking for, you probably wouldn’t even bat an eye at this temple.

This is the shrine to Fukurokuju.  The shape of this structure is distinctly Buddhist.

This is the shrine to Fukurokuju.
The shape of this structure is distinctly Buddhist.

Here's a statue of the little bugger himself.

Here’s a statue of the little bugger himself.

Along the way, we passed a famous 和菓子屋 wagashi-ya Japanese sweets shop called 伊勢屋 Isei-ya. We picked up some 大福 daifuku and went on our merry way.

Iseya has been in business since 1907 (Meiji 40) and has quite a good reputation in Tokyo for quality Japanese sweets.

Iseya has been in business since 1907 (Meiji 40) and has quite a good reputation in Tokyo for quality Japanese sweets.

Our 4th stop was Enju-in which houses and enshrinement of Daikokuten. As I mentioned before, most of the shichi fukujin are commonly recognized when seen together, but separately, it may be hard to remember who is who. Ebisu, Benzaiten, and Daikokuten are the most recognizable, I think. Daikokuten’s gig is granting wealth – not just wealth, but ever accumulating wealth. There is a famous chain of “pawn shops[x]” called Daikokuya. The one near my house specializes in high end wallets and bags (Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc…), I can’t help but think there is a connection. Anyhoo, the temple itself is non-descript and if it hadn’t been for the flags lining the path, I might have had a hard time finding the place.

A paper lantern with the name "Daikokuten" written on it.

A paper lantern with the name “Daikokuten” written on it.


Again, if you didn’t know what you were looking for, you’d probably never look twice at this temple.

During my winter vacation, I visited Arizona. Feeling a bit stir crazy one day, I took a 2 hour walk just to see what I could see – and I saw nothing. But walk for 10 minutes through the heart of Edo-Tōkyō and you’ll see lots of things! As we were moseying along, we stumbled across a solitary grave near an intersection. Turns out, this was the grave of Mamiya Rinzō. He was a map maker and a spy for the Tokugawa shōgunate. He made maps of northern Japan and the Kuril Isla— and wait, did you just say “spy?!

Yes, I did.

In 1826, the Dutch doctor and botanist, Phillip von Siebold was caught collecting maps of northern Japan (drawn by a member of the imperial court in Kyōto, no less). But the Tokugawa shōgunate was all about very limited access to the country[xi]. Furthermore, they insisted on keeping the imperial court out of the business of real politics and especially out of the limited international exchanges possible at the time. So this was quite a big deal to the government in Edo. Today, most of us look back at it and laugh but really this was some North Korea-style shit, right? Well, North Korea shit could get you killed but luckily for von Siebold, the shōgunate didn’t want to create an international riff, so they effectively deported him and that’s the end of story.

But who was the douchebag who told on von Siebold like a little bitch? Oh, it was Mamiya Rinzō from 水戸藩 Mito Han Mito Domain[xii]. Make what you will of that.

Grave of Mamiya Rinzo.

Grave of Mamiya Rinzo – Tattletale extraordinaire.


Plaque in front of Rinzo’s grave.

Then, we moved on to Ryūkō-in. This is where Bishamonten is revered. It’s another less than memorable temple.

Ryūkō-in - yet another non-descript temple.

Ryūkō-in – yet another non-descript temple.

A makeshift sign for the season that says "Bishamonten."

A makeshift sign for the season that says “Bishamonten.”

After that, we headed to Fukagawa Inari Shrine to see Hotei-son. This shine is literally crammed into a tiny corner of a residential intersection. I bet this is the most action this place gets all year.

It's hardly fair to even call this a shrine.

It’s hardly fair to even call this a shrine.

Finally we hit up Shinmei-gū which was larger than the last few places, but not so big. They had their o-mikoshi (portable shrine) on display with pictures indicating that they participate in the mizukake matsuri which is generally spearheaded by Tomioka Hachiman-gū[xiii].

Torii and entrance to Shinmeigū. The premises were quite large, but the architecture and space weren't much to look at.

Torii and entrance to Shinmeigū. The premises were quite large, but the architecture and space weren’t much to look at.

So, having done quite a few shichi fukujin walks, I was really looking forward to the Fukagawa walk because it’s so famous. But it was a bit of a letdown compared to the others. The highlights were definitely Tomioka Hachiman-gū (because of its size and importance to Edo-Tōkyō) and the grave of Mamiya Rinzō (which just pissed me off). But all in all, I got a lot of good exercise, quality time with Mrs. JapanThis, and best of all, I got a future place name to research. Check this shit out:

Bakuroyokoyama FTW!!!

Bakuroyokoyama FTW!!!

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[i] It’s a rhetorical question; I don’t need my inboxes flooded with “no” e-mails.

[ii] For lack of a better word.

[iii] This is the most liberal reckoning I can think of for this era. Various scholars will assign different dates for the beginning of the Muromachi Period depending on how they are trying to frame certain topics. I probably won’t even mention the Muromachi Period again in this article, so let’s leave it at that for now.

[iv] And I reckon most foreigners who have spent a few years in Japan would recognize them too.

[v] And according to Wikipedia, there are at least 10 more in the Kantō area.

[vi] Some routes are officially open as late as Jan. 15th.

[vii] Not unlike in Europe where a church may be dedicated to a certain saint, but the relics or bodies of various other saints and holy people may be also be located on the premises.

[viii] That is too say, they have a real 9-5 most of the time.

[ix] Again, if you’re interested in the etymology of the place name Monzen Nakachō, I recommend you read my article here.

[x] Again, for lack of a better word.

[xi] Some say it was 開国 sakoku a closed country, others say it was under 海禁 kaikin a policy of limited access by sea.

[xii] The same Mito Domain that produced Mito Gaku and the grand douche daimyō extraordinaire, Tokugawa Nariaki. Oh yes, Mito Han. JapanThis! loves to hate on Mito Han almost as much as Satsuma and Chōshū.

[xiii] More about this next summer…

What does Yebisu mean?

In Japanese History on March 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm

In yesterday’s post, you may have noticed some strange spellings.

I don’t want to get too deep into changes in Japanese orthography, but in Old Japanese 恵比寿 was pronounced ヱビス Webisu. In the 11th Century, the we phoneme disappeared and was the same sound as e.

For some reason, in the old days, when transliterating Japanese words, foreigners and Japanese alike continued to mimic the obsolete orthography by using ye to represent even though it was the same sounds as (and even though it was a W sound not a Y).

Some other words you might see transliterated in older texts with a Y are:
江戸 Edo ⇒ Yedo
家康 Ieyasu ⇒ Iyeyasu

Anyhoo… ヱビス Yebisu and and エビス Ebisu are pronounced the same: /E BI SU/.

An old Yebisu Beer Poster.

An old Yebisu Beer Poster.

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What does Ebisu mean?

In Japanese History on March 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Ebisu (Ebisu)

Ebisu is a trendy area in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward.

If you love beer like I do, then even if you’ve never been to Japan, you’ve probably heard of this excellent brew.

Japan's most famous deity, Ebisu!

Japan’s most famous deity, Ebisu!

Ebisu is the name of an indigenous Japanese deity. He’s easy to recognize because he’s usually depicted as a fat dude sitting down with a fish on his fishing pole and a big dopey smile across his face. He’s a symbol of prosperity and good luck. He’s also one of the 七福神 shichi fukujin (7 gods of good luck), so if you feel like taking a walk around the new year’s holiday, you can visit one of many local pilgrimages dedicated to these 7 popular gods.

The old Yebisu Train Station with the Brewery in the background.

The old Yebisu Train Station with the Brewery in the background.

Anyhoo… why is this area called Ebisu?

Well, the Japan Beer Company introduced its Yebisu beer brand in 1887. In 1889, they built an Yebisu factory in the area. In 1901, a train line and bus line developed to help with distribution and in bringing workers to and from the factory. The name of the station was 恵比寿停車場 Ebisu Teishajō (Yebisu Depot). Because of the public transportation (and one would assume the availability of massive amounts of beer), the area quickly urbanized. The station and area around the beer factory was called Ebisu by the local people and in 1928 the area was officially named Ebisu.

If you’re interested in visiting the beer factory, I’m sad to say you can’t!!!

Ebisu Garden Place today

Ebisu Garden Place today

The reason you can’t visit is that the Yebisu Brewery was moved to Chiba in 1988 and the property was reclaimed by developers who built the current shopping area, Ebisu Garden Place. Japan Beer Company is now Sapporo Brewery, which still has their headquarters in Ebisu Garden Place. There is also a Museum of Yebisu Beer, which I’ve never been too. But one of these days, I need to get my ass in there.

Let's drink Yebisu in Ebisu!

A buttload of Yebisu!

You might be asking yourself, “what’s up with the spelling?” Is it Ebisu or Yebisu?

If you’re interested, you should read part 2!

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Why is Daikanyama called Daikanyama?

In Japanese History on February 21, 2013 at 7:32 am

Daikanyama (Daikan Mountain)

First a quick definition. A 代官 daikan was a kind of local magistrate or governor in the Edo Period.

There are 2 theories as to why this area is called Daikan Mountain:

1) A daikan‘s residence was located here at some time.

2) The forest mountain here fell under the direct supervision of a daikan.

There is insufficient documentation remaining to support one theory over the other.

a daikan on daikanyama

a stereotypical daikan

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