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Writer:Yuta Sakaguchi

Hi, I’m Yuta. I grew up and live in Yokohama, a port city near Tokyo. I once lived in Kichijoji, located in the western part of Tokyo. I love walking around a street and taking pictures. On my article I introduce attractions mainly of Tokyo with many wonderful pictures. Please enjoy them!

Shiodome: a town where both new and old Tokyo exist together

April 9, 2015

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Shiodome Shiosite

Outline

Shiodome is an area where you can enjoy both new and old Tokyo because Shiodome Shiosite, which had been redeveloped in the beginning of the 21st century and skyscrapers fill, and Hamarikyu Gardens, which is a traditional Japanese garden, are contiguous. The area is adjacent to Shinbashi, Tsukiji and Hamamatsucho. The main attractions are Shiodome Shiosite, the former Shinbashi Station and Hamarikyu Gardens.

History

Shiodome had been a wetland near the sea when Ieyasu TOKUGAWA moved to Edo (former Tokyo) in 1590. After he opened Edo Bakufu (Shogunate government) in 1603 Shiodome was reclaimed and became a Daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) residence area. Hamarikyu Gardens was originally constructed as the villa of the Kofu Domain and its garden. When Ienobu TOKUGAWA who was once the lord of the Kofu Domain became the 6th Shogun (the leader of samurai) in 1709, it became the villa of the Tokugawa Shogun family and also functioned as a branch castle of the Edo castle. It was also used as a falcon hunting ground during the era of the 11th Shogun Ienari TOKUGAWA (1787 - 1837) and the 12th Shogun Ieyoshi TOKUGAWA (1837 - 1853). It is the era of Ienari TOKUGAWA when the present garden was almost completed. In addition an educational institution of the Bakufu navy was set up at the end of the Edo period (1603 - 1868).
In Meiji period (1868 -1912) Daimyo residences were taken over by the Meiji government and Hamarikyu Gardens came under the supervision of the Department of the Imperial Household. Shinbashi station that was the starting point of Japan's first railway line between Shinbashi and Yokohama was opened in 1872, and it was used as the terminal station of Tokyo until Tokyo station was completed in 1914. After Tokyo station was opened it was renamed Shiodome station, discontinued the passenger service and became a freight station. According to this, Torimori station nearby was renamed Shinbashi station, which continues to this day. After the World War , transportation of goods declined due to the prevalence of home delivery services, and as for freight traffic the station could not deal with an increase in the container volumes because of its narrow site, so Shiodome station was abolished in 1986. The site was kept idle for a while thereafter but the redevelopment plan was finalized and Shiodome Siosite was completed in the beginning of the 21st century. Today it is one of the newest town that has offices, restaurants and hotels. As for Hamarikyu Gardens, it became an Imperial villa in the Meiji period and Enryokan was built as a guesthouse. The Emperor Meiji often used the garden to entertain foreign VIPs. After the World War , it was granted to Tokyo Metropolitan government and became a Tokyo Metropolitan park. It is a popular spot even today.

Shiodome Siosite


A vehicle of Yurikamome and Shiodome Siosite

Shiodome Siosite is an area, which had been redeveloped in the beginning of the 21st century. It is a common name. Shiodome is a former town name and “sio” means “sea” in Japanese and the site is English.
There was once a freight station of the Japan Railways in the area. Nowadays 13 skyscrapers fill the area and there are offices, restaurants, shops and hotels. A major advertising agency and a television station are also located in the area.
There is little spot where you should visit, but you can see unique urban scenery in the area. There is the pedestrian deck and the track of new transportation system, Yurikamome between the buildings.
These structures make multilayered space. Probably such scenery can be seen only in Tokyo. The place is certainly worth seeing.


A view of Shiodome Shiosite from a pedestrian bridge near Horaibashiminami crossing


The pedestrian deck


A view toward Shinbashi station


A vehicle of Yurikamome departing from Shiodome station


Shiodome station

The former Shinbashi Station


The former Shinbashi Station

The former Shinbashi Station is a reproduction of the Shinbashi station opened in 1872 constructed in 2003. It was a western style two-story building, which was made of wood and stone pitching. As mentioned previously, the former Shinbashi Station was the starting point of Japan's first railway line between Shinbashi and Yokohama and it was used as the terminal station of Tokyo until Tokyo station was completed in 1914. The building was burnt down in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 but the building that is externally restored to the original one was built in 2003 accompanied by the redevelopment of the Shiodome area. The building contains a railway historical library and a restaurant. Also you can see the remains from the opening and the reproduced platform.

Hamarikyu Gardens


Shioiri Pond with Nakajima no Ochaya Tea House

Hamarikyu Gardens is a tidal Kaiyushiki Japanese garden on Tokyo Bay. In a Kaiyushiki Japanese garden a big pond is placed at the center, walking paths are provided around the pond and you can enjoy scenery created by a bridge, a small island, tsukiyama (a small hill) and a tea house. The garden was built to take in seawater from Tokyo Bay so that people enjoy diversified scenery with the rise and fall of the tide. Hamarikyu Gardens was originally constructed as the villa of the Kofu Domain and its garden. Later it became the villa of the Tokugawa Shogun family and a branch castle of the Edo castle. It was also used as a falcon hunting ground and an educational institution of the Bakufu navy. In the Meiji period it became an Imperial villa and after the World War , it was granted to Tokyo Metropolitan government and became a Tokyo Metropolitan park. Its main attraction is Shioiri Pond with Nakajima no Ochaya Tea House. You can enjoy traditional Japanese beauty created by the pond and the Japanese architecture. By the way skyscrapers in Shiodome and the Tokyo Bay area enter into the view inside the garden, which is, for better or for worse, a common sight in contemporary Tokyo. It is also the appeal of the gardens that various flowers blooming from season to season gladden your eyes, such as plum blossoms, double cherry blossoms, canola flowers, cosmos sulphureus and so on. In addition tea houses that were burnt down in the Great Kanto Earthquake and the World War are being restored, for example, Matsu no Chaya Tea House was completed in 2010, Tsubame no Chaya Tea House will be completed in fiscal 2014 and Taka no Chaya Tea House in fiscal 2017.


Cosmos sulphureus

Shiodome is a town where both new and old Tokyo exist together. Especially Hamarikyu Gardens is a recommendable spot, so why don’t you visit the town?



Link

Hamarikyu Gardens http://www.ambassadors-japan.com/en/tokyodailylife/339/

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