What does Marunouchi mean?

It’s the last day of GW!

If you’re curious about what happened to real estate in the early Meiji years, I’ve got some pretty amazing pictures for you in this one. Today’s topic is Marunouchi and the so-called Daimyo Alley, the high-walled, moated, garden filled area of upper residences of the most elite daimyo. Today the area is filled with the skyscrapers of some of Japan’s wealthiest and most powerful companies.

Oh and just a heads up, this is good week for JapanThis. We’re finally at 100 members on Facebook. This week’s topics are Marunouchi, Shiodome, Shakujii, Nerima and a quick book review. Continue reading What does Marunouchi mean?

Why is Kyōbashi called Kyōbashi?

Today’s place name is Kyobashi. It means “bridge to the capital.” Was that Edo or Kyoto? More importantly, this bridge is a testament to Japanese engineering. It’s final incarnation was completed one year before the Great Kanto Earthquake leveled Tokyo in 1923 but the bridge survived. It also survived WWII. But it didn’t survive modern progress in Tokyo…. Let’s learn more! Continue reading Why is Kyōbashi called Kyōbashi?

Check Out These Japanese Castles!

I’ve talked about Edo Castle quite a bit on Japan This! If you wanna see some great pictures and descriptions of Edo Castle and other Japanese Castles, please check out Jcastle.info. It’s a bad ass site and I know you’ll love the shit out of it! #japanesecastles #japanesehistory #japan #castle #twinglish Continue reading Check Out These Japanese Castles!

What does Hanzomon mean?

半蔵門Hanzōmon (Hanzō Gate) It’s Hanzō Time! Today’s place name is from a request from a reader who’s working near Hanzōmon Station. Thanks for your request, Nate! Anyone else who interested in making a request about Tokyo place names, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be sure to get to it! This one is pretty much straight forward. It’s named after a famous samurai named 服部半蔵 (Hattori Hanzō). The dude is semi-mythical and even in the Edo Period he was a bit of a legend.  He was portrayed as a crucial figure in the seemingly destined rise to power … Continue reading What does Hanzomon mean?