Today we’ll look at the origin of the mysterious place name “Nerima” in Tokyo. We’ll talk about samurai, clay, and yes, wetlands. Strap yourself in and get ready to feel the G’s, baby! Continue reading What does Nerima mean?
Shakujii Park is a famous park in Tokyo, but do you know it’s dirty little secret? Continue reading What does Shakujii mean?
Just wanted to share 4 more great books about Japanese History that I love! Have an awesome day! Continue reading 4 More Bad Ass Books on Japanese History
What do you get when you mix a monorail with skyscapers, a stunning view of the bay, an old train station and edo period gardens? Shiodome! Let’s find out about the mysterious origins of the place name and dramatic history of the area. Continue reading Why is Shiodome called Shiodome?
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?
Yesterday we talked about Akasaka. Today we’ll talk about Akasaka-mitsuke, a much more “samurai sounding” place name. Enjoy! Continue reading What does Akasaka-Mitsuke mean?
In the Edo Period it was famous as the home of some of the most powerful daimyo. Today it’s famous for politics and commerce. For all of its history it’s been famous for being red. Let’s find out why Akasaka is called the Red Hill. Continue reading Why is Akasaka called Akasaka?
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?
Today’s place name is made up of 2 words. One of the words has a history going all the back to the Heian Period. The other part goes back to the Edo Period. Today, the area is kind of boring, but the story behind the name is fascinating! What does Tameike-Sanno mean? Continue reading What does Tameike-Sannō mean?
Kayabacho isn’t the most exciting place in Tokyo and neither is its name. But it is a pretty strange name, so let’s find out why there’s such country sounding place name in the center of one of Tokyo’s busiest business districts! Awwwwwww yeah!
Continue reading What does Kayabacho mean?
Today I just want to recommend a few books that help me write my blog. I love these books. I hope you do too! Continue reading Some Bad Ass Books on Japanese History
Today is a quickie. Ochanomizu – Tea Water. But whose tea water was it? And where did it come from? (Plus some cool before and after pix!!!) Continue reading Why is Ochanomizu called Ochanomizu?
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!
Today’s Place Name is a quickie. And a reader suggestion. Is the Ōta Ward connected with Ōta Dōkan? Let’s find out “Why Ōta is called Ōta?” Continue reading What does Ōta mean?
In Tokyo, there’s the Hibiya Line train, there’s Hibiya Park and there’s an area called Hibiya. But what does Hibiya mean? The answer might surprise you. Continue reading Why is Hibiya called Hibiya?
The area that comprised the grounds of Edo Castle is roughly that of modern 千代田区 Chiyoda Ward. The name of the area pre-dates the Edo Period and has a very lucky meaning. Let’s find out why Chiyoda is called Chiyoda! Continue reading What does Chiyoda mean?
This one doesn’t have much of a story, but it’s definitely a cool spot in Tokyo. Kagura is a kind of Shinto ritual dance. Continue reading What does Kagurazaka 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?