Originally built in 1603, this was the starting point of Edo Japan's five major highways and the point from which all highway distances were measured. Even today one sees signs noting the distance to Nihonbashi. Rebuilt in stone in 1911, the structure's graceful double arch, ornate lamps, and bronze Chinese lions and unicorns are unfortunately marred by an expressway running directly overhead. In the rush to relieve traffic congestion in preparation for the 1964 Olympics,
city planners ignored the protestations of residents and preservation groups and pushed ahead with construction.