Marunouchi (丸の内) is one of Tokyo’s commercial districts located in Chiyoda between the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station. The name literally translates to mean “inside the circle’ referring to the location within the outer moat of the palace. In Marunouchi can be found the country’s three largest banks as well as countless other financial centers.
Since the earliest days of the cities establishment, Marunouchi has been held in high regard as the most important business district of the Tokyo area. Companies setup in the city are thought to be only the best of the best and represent themselves as elite organizations. Financial institutes have grown to be the leading industry of the business district as many of Tokyo’s finest financial businesses are currently calling the city of Marunouchi home.
To bring in a broader range of visitors the city has currently worked to place a plan into action calling for more shopping areas near the station. The city is slowly seeing growth in the shopping and dining industries. This has been an important step for the city since the years prior to this plan Marunouchi was considered a somewhat boring business development.
Before the movement of the Tokugawa Shogunate to Edo Castle in 1590, the area where Marunouchi is now located was known as Hibiya and was an inlet of Edo Bay. The inlet was later filled to construct an outer moat for the castle and a new name was given, Okurawauchi. Many of the Daimyo from throughout Japan constructed mansions in this area and a total of 24 estates were settled. What later became known as Daimyo Koji (daimyo alley) was created, and later the magistrates of Japan settled here as well.
After the Meiji Restoration in the 19th century, the government took control of the area and established parade grounds and army barracks. In 1890, the army moved away from Marunouchi and Iwasaki Yanosuke bought the land for 1.5 million yen. As the brother of Mitsubishi’s founder, Yanosuke’s purchase became known as Mitsubishi-ga-hara and is today still largely owned by the Mitsubishi Estate where many of its headquarters are still located.
The Tokyo Station was later built in 1914 in the midst of the district and the Marunouchi Building in 1923.
Within the limits of Marunouchi, there are many well known buildings and estates. The Marunouchi building is said to sit atop the most valuable land in Japan, estimated at more than 21 million yen per square mile. Also in this district are the Tokyo Central Post Office, the Tokyo International Forum, and Tokyo Station, one of the main central rail terminals for the city.
As the financial headquarters of Tokyo, Marunouchi is home to many powerful companies, including:
There are multiple other companies that have their Japanese headquarters in Marunouchi as well including: JPMorgan Chase, First National Bank of Boston, Bloomberg, Royal Insurance, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Overseas Union Bank and many more.
Located within Marunouchi are multiple attractions. First and foremost is Tokyo Station where most visitors will disembark. The station is the main terminal for many shinkansen lines and building itself was originally built in the Meiji Period. Inside the station is an art gallery, a hotel, and a major department store.
The Marunouchi Building was rebuilt and opened in 2002 just in front of Tokyo Station and is now considered a central landmark for the district. Also opened recently, the Oazu is a shopping and dining district beside Tokyo Station with a four story Maruzen Bookstore and a 10 story Marunouchi Hotel.
The Tokyo International Forum is used for a wide array of events including concerts, conventions, and government forums and is an architectural landmark. Visitors can also reach the Imperial Palace and Imperial East Gardens from Marunouchi, massive landmarks and tourist destinations of their own.