Marunouchi District


This district lies to the south and west of Tokyo Station. During the Edo era, it earned the name “Gambler’s Meadow” as its isolation made it an ideal place to gamble secretly. In the Meiji period the army used it, selling it in 1890 to Mitsubishi. Many laughed at Mitsubishi’s apparent folly in buying a barren wasteland. The arrival of the railway increased Marunouchi’s desirability as a business site, and firms from elsewhere in the city moved here after the 1923 earthquake.

Tokyo Station, designed by Tatsuno Kingo and completed in 1914, is a brick building based on the design of Amsterdam station. Its handsome dome was terribly damaged in the 1945 air raids and subsequently replaced by the polyhedron there today.

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A short walk west of the A station up Miyuki-dori and over the moat via the gently arched Wadakura bridge leads to the Wadakura Fountain Park, which contains some interesting water features. Returning over the Wadakura bridge, cross Hibiya-dori and turn right. After about 500 m (550 yds) is the Meiji Seimeikan Building (1934), with its huge Corinthian columns. Hiroshige, the woodblock print artist, was born on this site in 1797. Beyond, the Imperial Theater shows Broadway musicals and Japanese popular dramas.

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