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Japanese History

What does Yurakucho mean?

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.

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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 Japanese Shrines & Temples

What does Senju mean?

In the Edo Period, Senju was a hub to some of the most prestigious destinations of the Era. It was a launch pad for many travelers in the realm, but it was a particularly special hub for the Shogun Family.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples

What does Kichijoji mean?

Kichijōji, one of the coolest towns in Tokyo looks like a temple name. But if you go to Kichijōji, you won’t find any temples by that name. Today, we’ll find out why there is not temple in Kichijōji called Kichijō-ji. Are you ready to rock?

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Japanese History

What does Yoyogi mean?

Today’s Tokyo place name is a reader request. The area is decidedly yamanote and was the location of many palatial daimyo residences during the Edo Period, including the lords of Hikone, the Ii clan, including Ii Naosuke, the dude who could have saved the Bakufu.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Shomyo-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Iemochi

We’re at the twilight of Tokugawa power in Japan – the 14th shogun, Tokugawa Iemochi.

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Japanese History

Why is Sendai Horigawa called Sendai Horigawa?

Have you ever heard of Sendai Horigawa? Me neither. Wanna know where the name comes from? Well, alright then, all aboard the place name train! Choo-choooooooo!

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Japanese History

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.

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Japanese History

What does Kasumigaseki mean?

Today’s Tokyo Place Name is a Freakin’ Mystery. Oh, and we’ll hear about a dude I like to call “Captain Japan.” What does Kasumigaseki mean?

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Go-kaidō – The 5 Highways of Old Japan

Teleportation technology wasn’t yet available for the Shogun in Tokugawa Japan, so instead they used an extensive system of roads. The 5 most important roads led to Edo. They were called the Go-kaido. Awwwwwwwww yeah.

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Japanese History

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!