Most of the train lines in Tōkyō have names based on whatever major area they originated/terminated – or at least stopped at. For example, the Marunouchi Line’s most important stations were in the former Marunouchi (Daimyō Alley) and the Yamanote Line connected centers of the “new Yamanote.[ii]” Some of the more ambitious, longer train lines have names that describe their start/stop points in general terms. This type of name usually reflects the tendency of the Japanese language to make new matches out of existing kanji.
Most of these names are self-evident to the Japanese, especially people who live and/or work in and around Tōkyō. But many of these names may be slightly mysterious to foreigners. Continue reading Tokyo Train Line Names
I’m not even joking when I say I think this name was chosen just because it sounded cool. Continue reading What does Toranomon mean?
Asakusa – one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Japan. Continue reading What does Asakusa mean?
Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward and Saitama’s Kita-Katsushika and Minami Katsushika Districts derive their names from the pre-modern Katsushika District of Shimōsa Province, but where did the ancient name come from? Continue reading What does Katsushika 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. Continue reading What does Yurakucho mean?
Kondo Isami’s dōjō? The birthplace of the Shinsengumi? Lead poisoning? Shinjuku? WTF??? Continue reading What does Ushigome-Yanagicho mean?
A rich guy, a castle and a nature preserve walk into a bar… Continue reading What does Shirokane mean?
Before the Scientific Method arrived, scholars and common folk grouped animals in according to a traditional Sino-Japanese methodology. Today’s place name bears evidence to that grouping methodology.
Continue reading What does Mamiana-cho mean?
10 Quick Questions From Readers!
(Still took 2 days to write… lol) Continue reading 10 Random Quickies – Japan This Lite
Summer in Japan means matsuri (festivals), hanabi (fireworks), and fuzoku (prostitution). Today we’ll look at the first two! Continue reading Edo River Fireworks