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Nihonbashi (日本橋?, literally Japan Bridge), or Nihombashi, is a business district of Chūō, Tokyo, Japan which grew up around the bridge of the same name which has linked two sides of the Nihonbashi River at this site since the 17th century. The first wooden bridge was completed in 1603. The current bridge designed by Tsumaki Yorinaka was constructed of stone on a steel frame dates from 1911. The district covers a large area to the north and east of the bridge, reaching Akihabara to the north and the Sumida River to the east. Ōtemachi is to the west and Yaesu and Ginza to the south.
The Nihonbashi district was a major mercantile center during the Edo period: its early development is largely credited to the Mitsui family, who based their wholesaling business in Nihonbashi and developed Japan's first department store, Mitsukoshi, there. The Edo-era fish market formerly in Nihonbashi was the predecessor of today's Tsukiji fish market. In later years, Nihonbashi emerged as Tokyo's (and Japan's) predominant financial district.
The Nihonbashi bridge first became famous during the 17th century, when it was the eastern terminus of the Nakasendō and the Tōkaidō, roads which ran between Edo and Kyoto. During this time, it was known as Edobashi, or "Edo Bridge." In the Meiji era, the wooden bridge was replaced by a larger stone bridge, which still stands today (a replica of the old bridge has been exhibited at the Edo-Tokyo Museum). It is the point from which Japanese people measure distances: highway signs that report the distance to Tokyo actually state the number of kilometers to Nihonbashi.
The area surrounding the bridge was burned to the ground during the massive March 9-10, 1945 bombing of Tokyo, considered the single largest air raid in history. Despite careful maintenance and restoration, one area of the bridge still has scars burned into the stone from an incendiary bomb. It is one of the few traces left from the fire bombing that leveled most of Tokyo.
Shortly before the 1964 Summer Olympics, an expressway was built over the Nihonbashi bridge, obscuring the classic view of Mount Fuji from the bridge. In recent years, local citizens have petitioned the government to move this expressway underground. This plan was supported by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi but opposed by Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. If implemented, the construction costs are expected to total ¥500 billion (about US$4+ billion).
Places in Nihonbashi
- Bank of Japan
- Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya department stores
- COREDO NIHONBASHI (ja)
- Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower
- Tokyo Stock Exchange
- Kilometre Zero for entire Japan
Companies based in Nihonbashi
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- Bank of America Merrill Lynch Japan
- HSBC Japan
- Maruzen (丸善)
- Nomura Holdings (野村ホールディングス)
- Takashimaya (高島屋)
- Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has its Tokyo offices in Nihonbashi.
- Ippon Doll Works
- Daiichi-Sankyo (第一三共)
In the late 1990s GeoCities Japan was headquartered in the Nihonbashi Hakozaki Building in Hakozakicho. At one time Creatures Inc. had its headquarters in the Kawasakiteitoku Building (川崎定徳ビル Kawasakiteitoku Biru?) in Nihonbashi.
Organizations based in Nihonbashi
Railway and subway stations
- Bakuro-yokoyama Station (馬喰横山駅) - Toei Shinjuku Line (S-09)
- Hamachō Station (浜町駅) - Toei Shinjuku Line (S-10)
- Higashi-nihombashi Station (東日本橋駅) - Toei Asakusa Line (A-15)
- Kayabachō Station (茅場町駅) - Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-12), Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line (T-11)
- Kodemmachō Station (小伝馬町駅) - Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-14)
- Mitsukoshimae Station (三越前駅) - Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-12), Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line (Z-09)
- Nihombashi Station (日本橋駅) - Toei Asakusa Line (A-13), Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-11), Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line (T-10)
- Ningyōchō Station (人形町駅) - Toei Asakusa Line (A-14), Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-13)
- Suitengūmae Station (水天宮前駅) - Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line (Z-10)
- Bakurochō Station (馬喰町駅) - JR Sōbu Line (Rapid)
- Shin-Nihombashi Station (新日本橋駅) - JR Sōbu Line (Rapid)
Neighboring post towns
- Nihonbashi (starting location) - Shinagawa-juku
- Nakasendō (connecting Edo to Kyoto, going through the mountains)
- Nihonbashi (starting location) - Itabashi-juku
- Nihonbashi (starting location) - Naitō Shinjuku
- Nihonbashi (starting location) - Hakutaku-juku
- Nikkō Kaidō (connecting Edo with Nikkō)
- Nihonbashi (starting location) - Senju-juku
- Guide Map/Nihonbashi
- Whiting, Robert, "Negative impact of 1964 Olympics profound", Japan Times, 24 October 2014, p. 14
- "FAQ." Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Retrieved on February 2, 2011. "Q : Where is Takeda located? A : [...] and the Tokyo Head Office is located in Tokyo, Japan."
- "Overview." Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Retrieved on February 2, 2011. "Tokyo Head Office 12-10, Nihonbashi 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8668"
- "スタッフ募集." GeoCities Japan. February 21, 1999. Retrieved on April 30, 2009.
- "Welcome to Creatures Inc." Creatures Inc. Retrieved on October 4, 2010. "東京都中央区日本橋3-2-5川崎定徳ビル別館5F."
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