Neighborhoods in Chiyoda:
Hibiya is located along Hibiya Avenue between Yūrakuchō and Uchisaiwaichō. It was called Kōjimachi before Tokyo became what it presently is.
The name Hibiya 日比谷can be loosely translated as Seaweed Valley. A popular part of Japanese food - often used in sushi - is dried seaweed or Nori. In the past Hibiya was at the seafront, where they used to grow a certain form of Nori, called Hibi (日比). The 谷 means valley. The people used to live of clam fishing as well.
When Edo was proclaimed the capital by the Tokugawa Shogunate, Edo Castle became its seat of government. As happens all over the world, the demand for government jobs and its related supply system causes the population to increase. Edo was no exception. To catch up with demand the areas surrounding Edo Castle were developed and Hibiya became a landfill where many Daimyo started living.
In the Meiji Era Tokyo became a modern city and in Hibiya famous buildings were constructed like the Imperial Hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Rokumeikan, the first Western Style Hotel in Japan, the Tokyo Club and the City Hall of Tokyo.
Hibiya is nowadays mainly a business district, where many of the larger corporations have their head offices. It also boasts a large number of hotels and theaters. Back to top
From Iidabashi you have easy access to the Imperial Palace and the East Gardens. Until 1947 Iidabashi was a part of Kojimachi. It boasts schools and universities. Back to top
Iwamotocho is a district with mainly office buildings in the northeastern area of Chiyoda. Back to top
Jinbocho is host to the Tokyo Book Bunding Club and the Literature Preservation Society. It is also Tokyo's center of publishing houses, used-book stores, and a popular antique and curio shopping area. Several major universities like Nihon University, Meiji University, Juntendo University and Senshu University can be found in the area. Back to top
Kajicho is located in the northeastern part of Chiyoda and consists of office buildings and stores. Back to top
Kanda became a part of Chiyoda in 1947. The famous Shinto Shrine, Kanda Myojin Shrine, was one of the three most famous shrines of the city during the Edo Period. It is the shrine of the Tairo no Masakado, who was the leader in a rebellion against the central government during the Heian Period.
The main Cathedral of the Japanese Orthodox Church, the Tokyo Resurrection Cathedral, built by Nicholas of Japan, can be found here. Back to top
Kasumigaseki is home to most of the cabinet ministry offices and is seen as the center of the Japanese bureaucracy. The name actually means "Barrier of Fog". Back to top
When Edo started developing it was known as Kojimura. The Koshu Kaido, the main road to present Yamanashi gained importance. When people started settling along this road Kojimachi was put on the map. In 1878 Kojimachi became a part of the city of Tokyo. Back to top
One of the basic philosophies of the Tokugawa Shogunate was "keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer". Based on this principal Daimyos, especially the Shinpan and Fudai had to construct their mansions close to Edo Castle, which is now the Imperial Castle. Marunouchi was an inlet of Edo Bay. When Edo Castle extended this inlet was filled in 1592. An outer moat was constructed and the area between the old and new moat was named Okuruwauchi (within the enclosure). This is where the Daimyo built their mansions. With a total of 24 such mansions this area became known as Daimyo Koji (Daimyo Alley). The offices of the Finance Magistrate, the North and South Magistrates were also there.
Marunouchi came under government control during the Meiji Restoration and it was turned into Army barracks and parade grounds. When these barracks were moved in 1890 Iwasaki Yanosuke, the second president of Mitsubishi bought the land. Most of the area is still Mitsubishi property and many companies of the Mitsubishi group have their head quarters there. Together with other companies that moved in Marunouchi later nearly a quarter of the total Japanese GDP is generated here.
In 1914 Tokyo Station was built and the Marunouchi Building was constructed in 1923. Back to top
Nagatacho is the seat of government of Japan. The Diet or the parliament of Japan and the official residence of the Prime Minister, Kantei, are located there. It is close to the Supreme Court, which can be found in neighboring Hayabusacho. Back to top
The Kanda river runs through Ochanomizu, which means tea water. The water for the tea (ocha) that was served to the Shogun was taken from the Kanda river If you are looking for a bargain on musical instruments or snowboards and skis, Ochanomizu is probably the place to visit. The Holy Resurrection Cathedral is located there. Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Jutendo University and Meji University have their main campuses in Ochanomizu. Back to top
Ogawamachi, located in the north of Chiyoda and used to be Kanda-Ogawamachi. It is an area with many sporting-goods and bookstores. Several publishing houses can be found there as well. Back to top
It is told that during the Edo Era Otemachi was the location of huge palace of prince Matsudaira. It was then called Shibazaki, a village in Edo.The name is derived from Ote-mon or a gate of the Imperial Palace. Times have changed and now it is the home of the most prestigious companies in Japan. It is also the biggest station in Tokyo. Back to top
During the Edo Era it was called Urakusai from Oda Nagamasu, the younger brother of Oda Nobugasa, who was also called Urakasai. Nagamasu built his mansion there on a plot of land granted to him by Tokugawa Ieyasu near the Sukiya-bashi Mon, a gate of Edo Castle. During the Meiji Era the name was changed to Yurakucho. Now it is a place lined with traditional Japanese eating establishments, like Izakaya (Japanese style bars, which can be recognized by their akachochin, or red lanterns and yakitoriya, outdoor restaurants that serve a Japanese version of "kebab". It is close to Tokyo Station and that might be the reason why many businessmen choose this area as their favorite watering hole after work. Back to top