TOKYO INFRASTRUCTURE 002 Gyoko-dori Street

While singing "Aux Champs-Elysées"…

A thick “blood vessel” extending from the Tokyo station, Tokyo’s “heart”, to the Imperial Palace, old “brain” of Japan.

Although the length is short, the width boasts the largest 73 m among the streets opened by the Reconstruction works after Great Earthquake of Kanto in 1923. This is about the same size as Paris’ Avenue des Champs-Elysées.

The Avenue des Champs-Elysées is one of the most famous main streets in the world. In Japan, it is often compared to Ginza Street due to its commercial characters, but geographically there are many things in common with Gyoko-dori Street. Both were built in connection with the Palace of the Head of State, while the Champs-Elysées leads to the Arc de Triomphe and Gyoko-dori leads to the Victory Street (now Uchibori-dori street) opened to commemorate the victory of the Russo-Japanese War. Compared with the Champs-Elysees, Gyoko-dori has little traffic and is not very famous, but like this French street, it is a symbolic presence in the city center.

In the past, the central part of the street was limited to use as a ceremonial occasion, such as the Emperor’s official travel (“Gyoko”) or the ambassador’s credential stem presentation ceremony. However, after the renewal in 2010, this part is open for public all the time. The neighboring business districts have transformed into a complex space with stylish commercial facilities and bustling is being born.

It will be crucial to keep the dignity as a symbol of the capital for this street. But it is also important to foster the charm that attracts people to a great extent in the future. As if pedestrians want to sing “Aux Champs-Elyséese” there … (D.Kitagawa)


Type Road
Location Chiyoda-ku/Tokyo
Scale 364 m long
Completion year 1926
Manager Tokyo
Designer Ministry of Home Affairs
Remarks JSCE Design Award/Encouragement Prize
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