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Tsukiji and Shiodome
Although it's best known today as the site of the largest wholesale fish market in the world, Tsukiji is also a reminder of the awesome disaster of the great fire of 1657. In the space of two days, it killed more than 100,000 people and leveled almost 70% of Ieyasu Tokugawa's new capital. Ieyasu was not a man to be discouraged by mere catastrophe, however; he took it as an opportunity to plan an even bigger and better city, one that would incorporate the marshes east of his castle. Tsukiji, in fact, means "reclaimed land," and a substantial block of land it was, laboriously drained and filled, from present-day Ginza to the bay.
To the west of Tsukiji lies Shiodome (literally "where the tide stops"), an area of saltwater flats on which in 1872 the Meiji government built the Tokyo terminal—the original Shimbashi Station—on Japan's first railway line. By 1997, long after the JR had run out of use for the land, an urban renewal plan for the area evolved, and the land was auctioned off. Among the buyers were Nippon Television and Dentsu, the largest advertising agency in Asia.
In 2002 Dentsu consolidated its scattered offices into the centerpiece of the Shiodome project: a 47-story tower and annex designed by Jean Nouvel. With the annex, known as the Caretta Shiodome, Dentsu created an "investment in community": a complex of cultural facilities, shops, and restaurants that has turned Shiodome into one of the most fashionable places in the city. The 1,200-seat Dentsu Shiki Theater SEA here has become one of Tokyo's major venues for live performances; its resident repertory company regularly brings long-running Broadway hits to eager Japanese audiences.
Tsukiji and Shiodome at a Glance
Experience Tsukiji and Shiodome
Elsewhere in Tokyo
- Akihabara and Jimbo-cho
- Aoyama, Harajuku, and Shibuya
- Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
- Greater Tokyo
- Imperial Palace and Government District
- Nihombashi, Ginza, and Yuraku-cho
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