Nihonbashi, where Japanese roads begin.

Nihonbashi (literally, Nihon-bridge) is one of the most famous bridges in Tokyo. It was built in 1603, and was made of wood. The current stone arch was built in 1911. It was registered as an important cultural property of Japan in 1999. Japan’s largest road system is called Go-Kaido, or “five main highways,” and connects Edo (current Tokyo) with each of the feudal lord’s provinces. Nihonbashi was the initial point where the five roads; Tokai-do, Nakasen-do-, Nikkokai-do, Oshukai-do, and Koshu-do started from. In 1972, these five roads were registered as national roads. In the middle of Nihonbashi, there is a starting milestone that shows the beginning point of the road.

The starting milestone was relocated to “道路元標の広場” (literally, square of starting milestone)
The starting milestone was relocated to “道路元標の広場” (literally, square of starting milestone)

There are many markets and shops that had opened around Nihonbashi.

The Nihonbashi fish market opened when the Edo Shogunate started. Sushi called “Edo-mae sushi” is said to have started sometime between 1818 and 1829. Tokyo bay (Edo-mae) was famous for its catch and variety of fish. Edo-mae sushi was especially impressive because it contained freshly caught fish from the abundant bay of Tokyo.
Many shops were opened around Nihonbashi, specifically at the starting point of the road.
Large malls such as the Mitsukoshi and the Takashimaya are still there today.


The old Nihonbashi bridge and the present highways are crossroads of each other.

In 1957, Japan started building its first major freeway. Due to the location of the Nihonbashi Bridge, the freeway was built over the bridge. If you stand on the bridge, you look up, at the freeway. It feels to me like that past and present are crossed with each other. However, this scenery might cease to exist because the Nihonbashi road conference (日本橋みち会議) had proposed to relocate the highway under ground in 2006. There are still some problems to work out and we might once again, be able to see the Nihonbashi bridge unobstructed someday. Why not come and see how the Nihonbashi Bridge and a newer freeway are interchanged?



Nihonbashi, Chuo, Tokyo 103-0027

Tadaima Japan is looking to improve. Please rate this article!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

You might also like





I’m an example of a female ninja (kunoichi) who came from Shanghai, China. I want to present interesting articles about Japan to the whole world!


Address Nihonbashi, Chuo, Tokyo 103-0027