Today Ginza is the center of fashion and luxury brands in Japan, but its origin is quite humble and its fame grew over the centuries.
有楽町Yūraku-chō 新橋Shinbashi Yūraku-chō The area called Yūraku-chō lies in an area that used be a fortified island between the inner and outer moats of Edo Castle. In fact, the elevated train tracks supported by red brick foundations are built on the reclaimed outer moat of Edo Castle. The palaces of the daimyō most closely aligned […]
内幸町Uchisaiwai-chō (Inner Happy Town; as in the inner part of Happy Town, not inner happiness) Quick Etymology Uchisaiwachō derives from Edo Castle’s 幸橋 Saiwai-bashi Saiwai Bridge, which was protected by a fortified gate. 内 uchi means inside. Therefore, Uchisaiwai-chō means “town inside Saiwai Gate.” The meaning was lost when the gate and bridge were torn […]
Formerly part of the outer enclosure of Edo Castle and now a shopping district next to Ginza, Yurakucho is strange name with an elusive past.
10 Quick Questions From Readers!
(Still took 2 days to write… lol)
Have you ever seen the old American TV series “Shogun?”
Or have you ever imagined what it would be like if you, a foreigner, were a samurai in feudal Japan?
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.
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!