Tokyobling's Blog

Tokyo Station – Marunouchi Afternoon

Posted in Places by tokyobling on February 19, 2014

One of my favorite places in Tokyo for a casual walk is still around the Tokyo station area, especially on the Marunouchi side. The station just looks fantastic after the renewal and the new light up at night. Since I first visited Tokyo station the area has gotten better and better options for viewing the station from above as well. First it was the viewing balcony on the Marubiru (Marunouchi Building), then the Shinmarubiru balcony and last year we got the roof garden at the JP Tower (or the KITTE). Tokyo Station and the Marunouchi area just keeps getting better and better!

In the Edo period that lasted until the second half of the 19th century, the area today called Marunouchi was the area between the many defensive moats of the castle and palaces that is today the Imperial Palace. Today the area is bustling with people and activity but even in 1910 the area was famous for being pretty much deserted after seven in the evening. If we look at Marunouchi even before that, the area was the home of many feudal lords and nobles, and when the castle was being built, Marunouchi was famous for being a beautiful piece of land near the ocean. About a hundred and fifty years ago when the emperor had moved to Tokyo and the feudal lords had been ordered to return to their provinces, the many abandoned houses in Marunouchi had a negative impact on local law and order, and female office workers and factory staff were ordered to start work at 6:30 instead of the normal 5:30 to ensure their safety. It is hard to imagine Marunouchi as once having been considered dangerous! In 1890 when most of Marunouchi was sold to the Mitsubishi shipping company, it was said that the grass was so tall you could lose a rickshaw in it and people quickly jokingly changed the name from Mitsubishigahara (the fields of Mitsubishi) to Tobakugaha (the fields of gambling). When the shipping magnate was asked what on earth he was planning to do with such a huge field of abandoned wasteland he jokingly replied “Well, I might just plant some bamboo and even keep a pet tiger”! 「なあに、竹を植えて、虎でも飼うさ」
Who said Japanese business men didn’t have a sense of humour? Today Marunouchi land prices are some of the highest in the world.

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9 Responses

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  1. Junko said, on February 19, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Waaaaa, new Tokyo station is absolutely gorgeous! It looks quite different from 2 years ago when it was shrouded in scaffolding.

    • tokyobling said, on February 27, 2014 at 4:44 am

      It sure is! I wish you could see it as it looks today instead! (^-^)

  2. Lyubena T. said, on February 19, 2014 at 11:55 am

    The historical glimpses about the place, accompanied by the wonderful photographs of the area make the Central Station a must-go in Tokyo!

  3. Shelli@howsitgoingeh? said, on February 20, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Beautiful! I love seeing the station amongst the modern high rises!

  4. sarabanto said, on February 20, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I still love to see every picture on the combinations of modern and older buildings. It has a charm which is pretty rare in other countrys.

  5. yudhistira14 said, on March 16, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Hello @tokyobling November to December of last year I also had time to visit Japan and Tokyo Station. I once saw pictures of you so miss back to Japan. Greetings from Indonesia


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