Tokyo/Chuo

Chuo (中央; ) is a central ward in Tokyo.

. . . Tokyo/Chuo . . .

While the name literally means “Center”, this ward loses out in prestige (if only very slightly) to neighboring Chiyoda, home to the Emperor among others. Ginza, which is located in Chuo ward and is covered in a separate article, is generally reckoned to have the most expensive real estate on earth and there are plenty of bright lights.

Chuo ward was the former home to the world’s largest fish market, Tsukiji, which processed an unparalleled volume and variety of seafood, in addition to vegetables and other products. While the Inner Market has permanently closed and operations moved to Toyosu, the hundreds of stalls in the Outer Market remain open to the public.

Map of Tokyo/Chuo

The western edge of Chuo starts on the Yaesu (east) side of Tokyo Station, and if your legs are feeling up to it, you can get pretty much anywhere worth seeing within a 45-minute walk. Otherwise, take the subway.

Stalls at the Tsukiji Outer Market

Closure of Inner Market

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has closed the Inner Market of Tsukiji and relocated wholesale operations to a larger space in Toyosu. While the inner market space is redeveloped into temporary parking for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the outer market will remain open to everyone.

  • 35.661389139.7697221 Tsukiji Outer Market (築地場外市場 Tsukiji jōgai shijō), 5-2-1 Tsukiji (Tsukijishijo Station, Toei Oedo Subway), +81 3-3542-1111. Varies by shop, but typically M-Sa 9AM-2PM; closed holidays and most Wednesdays. For more than 80 years, Tsukiji was the world’s largest wholesale fish market. Although the wholesale operations (including the famous tuna auctions) closed in 2018 and moved to Toyosu, the outer market remains in place and continues to welcome the public with stalls selling fresh fish, sushi, produce and kitchen supplies. Plans for the site are in limbo and are likely to be on hold until after the 2020 Olympics; it might be turned into a food theme park, or a new market might be constructed, about a quarter the size of the old one, to sell to central Tokyo restaurants. Free.  
  • 35.666472139.7723171 Tsukiji Hongwanji (築地本願寺), 3-15-1 Tsukiji (accessible from Tsukiji (Hibiya Line) or Tsukiji-shijō (Ōedo Line)), +81 3-3541-1131. A Jōdo Shinshū temple just a few blocks away from the fish market, worth seeing because of its unique, South Asian-inspired architecture. Buddhist services are held in English on Saturday evenings.  
  • 35.683696139.7743941 Nihon Bridge (日本橋). The bridge which Nihonbashi is named for, translated as Japan bridge. It is most famous bridge in Japan and one of very few historic bridges remaining in Tokyo. The current stone and steel bridge was built in 1911. It is the point from which all distances are measured to the capital. Since 1964 it is unfortunately overshadowed by an massive expressway, blocking much of the view. (updated Mar 2018)
  • 35.682667139.7788081 Tokyo Stock Exchange, 2-1 Nihombashi Kabutocho (accessible from Kayabacho (Tozai and Hibiya Lines) or Nihombashi (Asakusa Line)), +81 3-3665-1881. Tokyo’s stock exchange, while one of the largest in the world by capitalization, is now entirely automated, and the tiny building it resides in is mostly for show, featuring a small museum, exhibition hall, and broadcasting facilities.  
  • 35.659955139.7622191 Hama-rikyū Gardens (浜離宮恩賜庭園), 1-1 Hama-rikyū Teien (7 min walk from Shinodome, Tsukiji-shijo or Yurikamome subway stations, 10 min. walk from JR Shimbashi station), +81 3-3541-0200. It was built by 17th-century shoguns for their private enjoyment. Hama-rikyu is now a public walking garden with an all-season range of flowers and flowering trees. The highlight is the tea house, picturesquely set on a small island in the middle of a pond, where green tea and sweets are available for ¥500. The garden is next to Tsukiji fish market. A boat which runs up the Sumida River to Asakusa departs from inside the park. Park admission ¥300 (age 65+ ¥150, primary school children free).  

. . . Tokyo/Chuo . . .

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. . . Tokyo/Chuo . . .

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