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Japanese History

What does Shiogama mean?

In the spring, I happened upon a shrine that was almost in ruins. I finally got around to researching and it found it the shrine has a fascinating history!

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Why is Roppongi called Roppongi

Today, Roppongi is a party town. For years it’s been popular with foreigners due to its proximity to so many foreign embassies. Because of this proximity, the area is relatively English-friendly which makes it a destination for foreigners visiting Japan and the seedy businesses that often cater to (or try to take advantage of) foreigners. But in the Edo Period, this was home to sprawling mansions of the elite ruling class. Many of the street blocks still correspond to the locations of these residences.

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Japanese Castles Japanese History

What does Shirokane mean?

A rich guy, a castle and a nature preserve walk into a bar…

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Japanese History

Why is Hibiya called Hibiya?

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.

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Japanese History

Why is Omotesando called Omotesando?

Omotesandō is one of Tokyo’s most fashionable and expensive neighborhoods. It’s famous for designer brand shops and high end hair salons. It’s located next to Harajuku, fashion epicenter for this kiddies, yet it has a decidedly mature flair. But what the hell does the name Omotesandō mean?

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Japanese History

Why are Shinagawa and Takanawa called Shinagawa and Takanawa?

Was there a connection between the place names for Shinagawa and Takanawa? Let’s find out today. (btw – today’s place names will require a pretty reasonable familiarity with kanji).

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Japanese History

Why is Azabu Juban called Azabu Juban?

Why is Azabu Juban called Azabu Juban?

Well, the legend goes that…….

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Japanese History

Why is Roppongi called Roppongi?

六本木 Roppongi (6 Trees) Legend has it that the area was the location of the lower residences of 6 daimyō. A daimyō is a feudal lord. They were required to serve the shōgun in Edo and represent their domains in the capital. Most of them about 3 residences in Edo, an upper residence next to […]