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Chūō-ku) is one of the 23 special wards that form the heart of Tokyo, Japan. The ward refers to itself as Chūō City in
Its Japanese name literally means "Central Ward," and it is
historically the main commercial center of Tokyo, although Shinjuku
has risen to challenge it since the end of World War II. The most famous district in
Chūō is Ginza (銀座), built on the site of a former silver mint
from which it takes its name. The gold mint, or Kinza (金座), formerly occupied the site of
the present-day Bank
of Japan (日本銀行)
headquarters building, also in Chūō.
As of 2008, the ward has an estimated resident population of 108,943 and
a density of 9654 persons per km².
However, because of the concentration of businesses, offices and
retail space, the daytime population swells to an estimated
Chūō is in the central area of Tokyo, surrounded by the five
special wards of Chiyoda, Minato, Taito, Sumida, and Kōtō.
Administratively, Chūō is divided into the three zones of
Nihonbashi, Kyobashi and Tsukishima. Nihonbashi and Kyobashi are
predominantly commercial areas on the east side of Tokyo Station, and
incorporate the famous districts of Ginza and Tsukiji. Tsukishima is a separate island in
Tokyo Bay dominated by condominium towers.
Until World War
II, the area was criscrossed by small rivers and canals, used
by small boats which were the primary vehicles of commerce at the
time. After the war, many of these waterways were filled in to make
way for new roads, buildings and expressways. However, the former
waterways are the basis for many of the neighborhood divisions in
the ward. The Sumida
River forms the eastern boundary of the ward.
Chūō is physically the second-smallest ward in Tokyo, with a
total area of just 10.15 km²: only Taito is smaller.
- 1612: Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, planning to establish
Edo as the de facto capital of
Japan, begins work on a new commercial district surrounding the
eastern end of the Tōkaidō, the main road connecting Tokyo
and the Kansai
region. During the Edo
period this area is known as Edomachi - the
town center of Edo. Much of the area (particularly Ginza and
Tsukiji) was loose sand piled at the delta of the Sumida River
before being filled in by the shogunate.
- 1657: After a fire consumes much of the city, the area is
re-planned with more canals to accommodate more maritime
- 1869: A foreigners' settlement is established in Tsukiji. It
continues until about 1899.
- 1872: A fire consumes much of the Ginza area. In its aftermath,
the governor of Tokyo re-plans Ginza to be a modern European-style
commercial district between Shinbashi (the city's main railway
terminal at the time) to the south and Nihombashi (the main
business and financial district) to the north.
- 1878: Under a new local organization statute, the wards of
Nihonbashi and Kyobashi are established under the government of
Tokyo City, covering the area now occupied by Chūō.
- 1945: Following Japan's defeat in World War II, several
buildings are taken over by SCAP to serve as
supply centers for the occupation forces. These include the Hattori
Watch Company, the Matsuya department store and the Toshiba
Building. The buildings are returned to Japanese civilian control
- 1947: Chūō Ward is founded on March 15 under the new Local
Mitsukoshi Department Store
- Nihonbashi Area (日本橋地区)
- Hakozakicho (箱崎町) -
Location of Tokyo City Air Terminal
- Hamacho (浜町)
- Hisamatsucho (久松町)
- Higashi Nihonbashi (東日本橋)
- Honcho (本町)
- Hongokucho (本石町) -
Location of Bank of
- Horidomecho (堀留町)
- Kabutocho (兜町) - The
securities district. Location of Tokyo Stock Exchange.
- Kakigaracho (蛎殻町)
- Suitengu Shrine (水天宮) - A
Shinto shrine at which women pray for conception
and safe birth.
- Kayabacho (茅場町)
- Kodenmacho (小伝馬町)
- Muromachi (室町) - Location of Mitsukoshi (三越) department stores.
- Nihonbashi (日本橋) - Traditional commercial
center. Also home to the Takashimaya (高島屋) department stores, and the "zero
milestone" from which highway distances to Tokyo are measured.
- Ningyocho (人形町)
- Ohdenmacho (大伝馬町)
- Tomizawacho (富沢町)
- Yokoyamacho (横山町)
- Kyōbashi Area (京橋地区)
- Akashicho (明石町) - Home to
St. Luke's Hospital and Nursing School and the adjacent Garden
- Ginza (銀座) - Tokyo's most expensive shopping
district, housing large stores such as Matsuya (松屋), Matsuzakaya (松坂屋), Mitsukoshi (三越), Wako (和光), and Printemps (プランタン), as well as the famous Kabukiza
(歌舞伎座) theater. At night,
Ginza is ablaze with neon lights. Exclusive bars abound.
- Hatchobori (八丁堀) - During
the Edo period, the
location of the police barracks
- Hamarikyu-teien (浜離宮庭園) -
Location of Hamarikyu Onshi Teien (浜離宮恩賜庭園). A spacious public park, formerly the
property of daimyo of Kōshū, and later under the administration
of the Imperial Household
- Kyōbashi (京橋)
- Minato (湊)
- Shinkawa (新川)
- Shintomi (新富)
- Tsukiji (築地) - Location of Chuo City Office. Widely
viewed as one of the best sushi
(寿司) destinations in the world
because of its huge wholesale fish market, which supplies
restaurants and stores across eastern Japan. Also home to the Jodo
Shinshu temple of Tsukiji Hongwanji
- Yaesu (八重洲) - District on the east side of Tokyo Station(東京駅). The Yaesu side of Tokyo
Station is the terminal for the Shinkansen (新幹線), or "bullet train" lines.
- Tsukishima Area (月島地区)
- Harumi (晴海) - the Harumi passenger terminal is
- Kachidoki (勝どき) - The
location of a bridge of the same name over the Sumida River
- Tsukishima (月島)
- Tsukuda (佃)
- Sumiyoshi Shrine (住吉神社) -
A Shinto shrine with a history dating back to 1590
- Toyomicho (豊海町)
Ricoh is headquartered in the
Ricoh Building in Chūō. In 2006
Ricoh's headquarters to the 25-story building in the Ginza area in Chūō from Minato, Tokyo; in
the building the headquarters occupies the same space as its sales
is headquartered in the Harumi Island Triton Square Office Tower Y
in Chūō. Mitsui Fudosan is
also headquartered in the ward. Asatsu
DK has its headquarters in Tsukiji. Orion Breweries
has its Tokyo-area office in Chūō.
Tokyopop maintains its
Japanese headquarters in Mid-Tower of the Tokyo Towers. IBM has its Japan headquarters in
Dai-ichi Kikaku Senden Co., Ltd. opened in Chūō in Ginza, Chūō in December 1951. In
January 1958 the company relocated to a new headquarters in Ginza.
The company moved to another headquarters in Ginza in September
1961 and its name changed to Dai-ichi Kikaku Co., Ltd. In November
1974, after growth, the company moved to another headquarters in
Ginza. In November 1981 Dai-ichi Kikaku moved its head office to a
facility in Ginza and a facility in Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda. The headquarters of Asatsu moved
to Ginza in July 1995. Asatsu and Dai-ichi Kikaku merged into Asatsu-DK on January 1,
In the late 1990s GeoCities Japan was
headquartered in the Nihonbashi Hakozaki Building in Nihonbashi.
Chuo is run by a city assembly of 30 elected members. The
current mayor is Yoshihide Yada, an independent backed Liberal Democratic
Party and Komeito.
Station, six Shinkansen, seven ordinary railway, and one
subway line serve Chūō. In addition, three Toei subway
lines stop at various stations throughout the ward.
- No. 1 Ueno Route (Edobashi
JCT - Iriya)
- No. 6 Mukojima Route (Edobashi JCT - Horikiri JCT)
- No. 9 Fukagawa Route (Hakozaki JCT - Tatsumi JCT)
Inner Loop (Edobashi - Takaracho - Kyōbashi - Ginza - Shiodome
- Hamazakibashi - Shiba Park - Tanimachi - Kasumigaseki -
Daikanmachi - Edobashi)
Public elementary and middle schools in Chūō are operated by the
Chūō City Board of Education. Public high schools are operated by
Metropolitan Government Board of Education.
"Company Data." Ricoh. Retrieved on January
"Topics - Annual Report
2006." Ricoh. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
"Outline of Ricoh." Ricoh. May 16, 1997. Retrieved
on January 13, 2009.
"Company Data." Ricoh. Retrieved on January
Retrieved on January 26, 2009.
"Corporate Data." Mitsui
Fudosan. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
DK. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
"会社概要 - オリオンビール." Orion
Breweries. Retrieved on November 30, 2009.
"Contact Us." Tokyopop. Retrieved on July
"IBM Japan." IBM.
Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
"Corporate Overview." Asatsu-DK. Retrieved on
November 9, 2009.
"スタッフ募集." GeoCities Japan. February 21, 1999.
Retrieved on April 30, 2009.