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Tokyo’s Shiodome area celebrates the old and new, the high and low

by Satoko Kawasaki

Staff Photographer

It’s an area where the old and the new stand right next to each other. That’s what the Shiodome district, which stretches from Minato to Chuo wards along Tokyo Bay, looks like.

Visitors view Tokyo Bay, including the Harumi and Odaiba waterfront districts, from an observatory about 200 meters above street level Feb. 20 in Minato Ward, Tokyo.
Visitors view Tokyo Bay, including the Harumi and Odaiba waterfront districts, from an observatory about 200 meters above street level Feb. 20 in Minato Ward, Tokyo. | SATOKO KAWASAKI

Visitors are greeted by some of Japan’s tallest skyscrapers hosting the likes of big-name companies like airline ANA Holdings Inc., ad agency Dentsu Inc. and SoftBank Corp.

People work in a skyscraper in the Shiodome district in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on Feb. 20.
People work in a skyscraper in the Shiodome district in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on Feb. 20. | SATOKO KAWASAKI

But when they go up to the restaurants on the 40th or higher floors, visitors can see that Shiodome sits right next to the Hamarikyu Gardens, a 25-hectare Japanese garden that once belonged to the Tokugawa shogunate.

Women in
Women in ‘yukata’ summer kimono visit a teahouse in Hamarikyu Gardens in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on Feb. 20. | SATOKO KAWASAKI

Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, the garden was used for hunting ducks, and a 300-year-old pine tree adds prestige to its rich history.

And not many know that Shiodome hosted one of the nation’s first railway stations, Shinbashi Station, built in 1872. Designed by American architect Richard Bridgens, a reproduction of the station was built north of the Shiodome City Center complex in 2003. Shinbashi Station moved a little west to where it is now in 1914.

A reproduction of the original Shinbashi Station, which dates back to 1872, is shown in this photo taken Feb. 20 in Minato Ward, Tokyo.
A reproduction of the original Shinbashi Station, which dates back to 1872, is shown in this photo taken Feb. 20 in Minato Ward, Tokyo. | SATOKO KAWASAKI

While over 60,000 people work in Shiodome on weekdays, on weekends it attracts couples and tourists for the view of Tokyo Bay, theaters and restaurants.

This section explores interesting neighborhoods through photographs.