Old Asakusa lives on

Travel | THEN AND NOW Jan 7, 2005

Old Asakusa lives on

Asakusa is a magnet for those who love old-time Tokyo. Like a theater full of excitement and festivity in praise of old Edo, Asakusa Kannon Temple and the surrounding business district are vibrant year-round, attracting on average 35 million people a year. This two-part ...

It's a stroll in a park to find the old Yoyogi

Travel | THEN AND NOW Dec 3, 2004

It's a stroll in a park to find the old Yoyogi

The town of Shinjuku dates from the late 17th century, when a post-station was set up there on the Koshu-kaido on the northwestern edge of Edo (present-day Tokyo). To the south, Yoyogi was then mainly sparsely populated hills that rolled on as far as ...

Shinjuku blossoms in many ways

Travel | THEN AND NOW Nov 12, 2004

Shinjuku blossoms in many ways

Modern Shinjuku claims to be the new heart of Tokyo. With futuristic skyscrapers emerging as early as the 1970s, the town has been at the vanguard of Tokyo's urban renewal. City Hall has moved in and new hotels and new office buildings have mushroomed ...

Up and down the byways of Yotsuya

Travel | THEN AND NOW Oct 1, 2004

Up and down the byways of Yotsuya

Koshu Kaido, one of the five official highways laid by Shogun Ieyasu in Edo (present-day Tokyo), which is now known as Route 20 or Shinjuku-dori, runs west from Hanzomon, the rear gate of the Imperial Palace, formerly Edo Castle, heading straight toward the Province ...

Enshrined in the modern world

Travel | THEN AND NOW Sep 3, 2004

Enshrined in the modern world

The accompanying woodblock print depicts Hiyoshi Sanno Shrine, better known today as Hie-jinja in Chiyoda-ku. A stairway on the left ascends through a thick pinery, leading the viewer into the spacious precincts of the shrine. The firm, rigid outlines of the cloistered main hall in ...

A feel of the real Edo

Travel | THEN AND NOW Aug 6, 2004

A feel of the real Edo

The Marunouchi business district, the national government center of Kasumigaseki, and the Diet building in Nagatacho all stand on land that in the Edo Period (1603-1868) was reserved exclusively for daimyo lords. The daimyo were territorial lords that ruled in provincial domains. Under a peculiar ...

Dancing in the streets

Travel | THEN AND NOW Jul 9, 2004

Dancing in the streets

South of the Chinzanso/Four Seasons Hotel on the Kandagawa -- where our walk finished last month -- Kagurazaka is a vibrant town named after its sloped main street, The Kagurazaka. This hilly area has a maze of lanes and short but steep hills, making ...

Down by Edo's lost canal

Travel | THEN AND NOW Jun 4, 2004

Down by Edo's lost canal

The landscape in the accompanying 1830s woodblock print depicts the valley of the Kandagawa River. Focusing on a boat in the foreground, artist Hasegawa Settan (1778-1843) has captured the moment when the three men on board sipping sake hear a cuckoo cry. They all look ...

Celebrating the spirit of mystical Edo

Travel | THEN AND NOW May 7, 2004

Celebrating the spirit of mystical Edo

When Tokugawa Ieyasu decided to make Edo his new political capital in the early years of the 17th century, he had the city laid out according to mystical beliefs about auspicious locations and lucky or unlucky directions. Derived from the ancient Chinese philosophy of yin ...

Echoes of Edo's entertaining past

Travel | THEN AND NOW Apr 2, 2004

Echoes of Edo's entertaining past

The 1830s woodblock print by Hasegawa Settan (right) might at first look like an abstract picture jammed with squares and diamond forms. In fact, it shows the bustling kabuki theater district in the Sakaicho and Fukiyacho districts of Edo. Only a 5-minute walk from Nihonbashi ...