TOKYO INFRASTRUCTURE 086 Otemachi, Marunouchi and Kasumigaseki

Headquarters of the capital in continuous progress

This area has been updated continuously from the center of the Edo shogunate and now it plays the central role of Japanese administration and business as the “left brain”.
The “cerebral cortex”, which was framed by the buildings 100 shakus (30.3 meters) high in the grid-like mega blocks, has changed into a group of skyscrapers with glass curtain walls, and the skyline of uniform height has been lost. Sophistication of land use extends not only to the sky, but also to underground networks such as underground shopping mall and district heating and cooling systems.

In the Meiji era, former daimyo’s mansions site called Daimyo-koji was designated as public estate for governmental agencies, but after the Seinan War, the military facilities deployed in Marunouchi moved to the suburbs and in 1890, the land covering 278 thousand square meters was sold to Mitsubishi as a commercial area that expected to be a business center in the future by city improvement.

While the Kabuto-cho business business district, which had been regarded as the first economic area, faced the delay of construction plan of Tokyo harbor and the decline of water transportation, Marunouchi succeeded to become the head quarter of capitalism by the decisive event of the opening of the central station in 1914.

On the other hand, the government office district was planned to build at former Honmaru ruins in the early Meiji era. Afterward they made the government offices centralizing plan at the area from Hibiya to Kasumigaseki like it embodied Europeanism under the leadership of Kaoru Inoue, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but in the end the Supreme Court and the office building of the Ministry of Justice were only implemented.

The redevelopment of this area, called Dai-Maru-Yu, has made its characteristic to change from nothing but business district to the complex of business, shopping and urban tourism district, and by extending Nakadori Promenade to the Otemachi, the new “skeleton” connecting to the Nihonbashi-gawa River is to be generated. (S.Doi)


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