Tokyobling's Blog

Marunouchi Nakadori Lights

Posted in Places by tokyobling on November 18, 2011

Following up on yesterday’s main post, here’s Marunouchi’s famous Nakadori, or as we call it “Tokyo’s Wall Street”. This street is not only the home of most major Japanese financial companies it is a place of very expensive shopping and some great restaurant. Even if you’ve left your credit card at home it’s a great place to stroll down at any time of the day, and especially now that the Christmas lights are out. When I first came to Japan this street was a huge construction site but gradually the low buildings mandated by law due to the proximity to the Imperial palace have given way to super sky scrapers, the latest of which is due to finish in April 2012, the tentatively named JP Tower, a 200m tall glass and steel building replacing the old Tokyo GPO (1933-2008). Can’t wait to see that one finished!

Nakadori is closed to traffic during the lunch break and the area corporation takes the environmental studies very seriously. I’ve seen entomologists (insect specialists), zoologists, chemists and hydrologists keep a very close eye on every aspect of animal and human life along the street. There’s mobile environmental units every 100m along the street recording all sorts of data in an effort to make the area as clean as possible. Quite remarkable. Even though it is in the middle of the biggest city in the world the air is exceptionally clean.

The last two photos are of the Shinmarunouchi Building and the Marunouchi Building, two giant office/shopping buildings that stands on the shoulders of the road leading from Tokyo Station to the Imperial palace. A must visit if you go to Tokyo! But you might want to dress up a little. It’s a snazzy place and I feel vaguely out of place without a jacket and tie, even in the summer.


24 Responses

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  1. D... said, on November 18, 2011 at 4:28 am

    I love big buildings, maybe because it reminds me of my childhood in New York. I know it sounds weird, but there is something reassuring to me when I look at them. I think your photos manage to capture their warmth and character/personality. I wonder if I am the only person who sees it, and if it’s something that’s in my imagination.

    Although I wouldn’t want to wear a suit and tie, or would I? Could I make it a chic sort of jacket and tie with a white shirt and nice jeans tucked into some high boots or even better, low boots? Or is that too flashy, and this a traditional sort of place?


    • tokyobling said, on November 18, 2011 at 5:01 am

      This place is quite flashy I think! The ladies here were amazing outfirst, business chic. And I understand what you mean by the sense of security. I also love that fact that these buildings are so solid. I much prefer these to the average flimsy concrete block buildings! (^-^;)


  2. andy1076 said, on November 18, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Oh wow the Christmas decorations are already up huh? i too love super tall buildings, they really add to the landscape and it’s fun to look at them 🙂


    • tokyobling said, on November 18, 2011 at 5:05 am

      Yes, they are early! For awhile it seemed that we might have to do without Christmas lights this year but it seems they weren’t canceled after all. (^-^;)


      • andy1076 said, on November 18, 2011 at 6:14 am

        Nothing like holidays and traditions to cheer everyone up 🙂 🙂


  3. penman said, on November 18, 2011 at 6:04 am

    I was looking at Marunouchi photos on a Japanese blog you’ve linked, and, is it just me or Marunouchi really looks more stunning at night, specially now that the Christmas lights are lit? I just remember a Japanese movie that some of its scene was shot at Marunouchi. Wait, the name is at the tip of my tongue.


    • tokyobling said, on November 18, 2011 at 6:44 am

      Marunouchi is one of the richest places on Earth, they have some really excellent lighting designers over there. (^-^) There’s fashion shoots on this street every day! Not so many at night though.


  4. Emily Cannell said, on November 18, 2011 at 7:05 am

    So pretty- I`ll have to go take a look.


    • tokyobling said, on November 18, 2011 at 7:38 am

      Bring the offspring! (^-^) There’s a “garden” on the restaurant floor of the Shinmaru building that they might enjoy the view from.


  5. Marie said, on November 18, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Beautiful! Love your angling of the skyscrapes, makes them preen at their best! “Fashion-photographer of skyscrapes”, a Nick Brandt for houses 😉


    • tokyobling said, on November 18, 2011 at 7:39 am

      Haha… thanks Marie! I’d need a proper architecture lens for that though, this is som clever photoshopping on my part… (^-^;)


  6. romainboitier said, on November 18, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Pictures are great for sure, specially by the fact that there’s no one… but what is this sky?
    So strange and faq, dark but also light, it is surrealist. Guess sometimes it happened 😉


    • tokyobling said, on November 18, 2011 at 8:42 am

      Thank you Romain! On a cold weekday night there’s not very many people around in a business district like Marunouchi. The sky is pitchblack but low hanging clouds are lit up by the vast city lights, which gives it an unearthly shine. (^-^)


  7. Angela said, on November 18, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Having returned to Europe in August, I am so missing Tokyo. Marunouchi’s Brick Square was one of my favourite stops, beautiful architecture, and a British feel. I remember when they opened that area, I strolled around the corner and glimpsed the red brick buildings and almost burst into tears, it reminded me so much of the Europe I was then missing, now I see it on your blog and I feel the same, but now it’s because I am missing Japan so so much.


    • tokyobling said, on November 18, 2011 at 8:44 am

      Angela, thank you for the kind comment. I absolutely know that feeling. I experience it too when I visit this area, even though I come here once a month it doesn’t pass. The red brick buildings here are beyond beautiful. And best of all, Tokyo Station is nearing completion, that building is in a similar style!

      I could never leave Japan, I would just miss it too much!


  8. Sabine said, on November 18, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Oh I love these!
    When I achieve my dream of going to Tokyo with my boyfriend, we’re definitely coming here.
    It’s truly stunning. The night sky seems somewhat ominous but beautiful at the same time.
    And the decorations combined with the lighting of the buildings really adds some Christmas sparkle to Marunouchi.


    • tokyobling said, on November 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you Sabine! I hope you both can come over soon. Early autumn is probably the best time to visit Japan, but some people prefer the spring, to see the cherry blossoms! (^-^)


      • Sabine said, on November 20, 2011 at 8:04 pm

        That’s the time I always want to go. I always imagine how the cherry blossom viewing will be like as I adore blossoms. Although I read that it can be difficult to get good seating areas for it. The closest I have for the moment is a miniature Sakura blossom in my garden that comes up every Spring. But we’ll definitely make it more than one trip around to Tokyo and try to come for every season! ^_^


  9. Angela said, on November 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I would have loved to have stayed on longer, but alas we were only there for 3 years and our time was up, I did feel guilty leaving, feeling that I had to explain why we were leaving, especially after so many expats fled after the EQ, we did not leave at all until our final departure in August and for that I am proud. Enjoy beautiful Japan and I will continue to check in to get my “fix”.
    Hugs from Antwerp, Belgium


    • tokyobling said, on November 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      Thank you for the kind comment Angela! 3 years is longer than most people who come to live and work in Japan. You did well. I can’t imagine how much you must miss the place now though. I’d go crazy I’m sure. Then again, Antwerp is beautiful and there’s plenty of chocolate and beer to console yourself with! My favorite is the Chimay. Do come back and visit soon!


  10. dafarmer said, on November 19, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I love architectural photography! You make me miss Japan so much! I lived in Northern Japan for two years and then the Fussa-shi area for four years. I hope some day my family and I can make it back there again! Amazing shots!!


    • tokyobling said, on November 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      Thank you for the kind comments! You must be ex-army then? AF maybe? I still haven’t visited Fussa, which is unbelievable considering how close it is to me. I love your blog by the way, you are so lucky to live in beautiful Arizona with all those cowboys and cacti! I read on your blog that you are using your dog as a model. That is good practice! Dogs are actually very difficult subjects, much harder than you’d think, and excellent practice for setting the aperture correctly to get both eye and snout in focus. I still can’t do it.


  11. JL. Valenzuela said, on November 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    wow.. looks really intimidating..


    • tokyobling said, on November 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      I love this place! If you visit Tokyo, this is a must place to see! (^-^)


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