21.江戸城その2~Edo Castle Part2

Edo was a city of waterways.

葛飾北斎「富嶽三十六景」より「江戸日本橋」、江戸時代~”Nihonbashi Bridge in Edo” from the series “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” attributed to Hokusai Katsushika in the Edo Period(licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)


These days, most people don’t realize that Tokyo is a city of waterways. However, Edo actually was. When the Tokugawa clan moved into Edo, Edo Castle was in the present uptown area. The present down town area was below the sea or waterlogged. There was a sand bank called Edo-Maeto. There was also the Hibiya arm of the sea between the land and the bank. Tokugawa’s team created a canal across Edo-Maeto and change the route of rivers for water transportation.

東京中心部のカラー標高図にコメント付加、江戸前島と日比谷入江の痕跡がわかります~The color altitude map of central Tokyo, adding comments, you can see traces of Edo-Maeto and the Hibiya arm of the sea(出典:国土地理院)

A canal created for changing the route of the river from the Hibiya arm of the sea to east of Edo Maeto is Nihonbashi River, where Nihonbashi Bridge goes across. The bridge is known for a traditional view and the starting point of many major roads.

日本橋~Nihonbashi Bridge
1911年に完成直後の現存日本橋~The remaining Nihonbashi Bridge just after the complition in 1911(licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)
日本橋にある日本国道路元標~The starting milestone of Japan at Nihonbashi Bridge(licensed by Aimaimyi via Wikimedia Commons)
歌川広重「東海道五十三次」より「日本橋」、江戸時代~”Nihonbashi Bridge” from the series “Fifty-three Stations of Tokaido” attributed to Hiroshige Utagawa in the Edo Period(licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

In fact, the river below the bridge is artificial and was created over 400 years ago. From the river, the outer moat separated out trough the center of Edo Maeto.

日本橋川~Nihonbashi River
戦前の有楽町付近の外堀~The outer moat near Yurakucho before World War II(licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Tokugawa reclaimed the Hibiya arm of the sea to expand the ground for the castle as well as the need for defense. They also filled the sea around Edo Maeto to create the city area. Meanwhile, they left part of the sea as moats, rivers and canals. As a result, Edo city was spread with waterways. There are still traces of them on the present map. Let’s see some examples.

江戸時代初期の江戸推定地図~The estimated map of Edo in the first Edo Period(国土交通省Websiteから引用)

赤い線は現在の地図に残された江戸前島と日比谷入江の痕跡、マーカーは以下の項目に関連しています~The red line shows the remaining trace of Edo-Maetou and Hibiya Arm of the Sea on the present map, markers are related with the following items

愛宕神社~Atago Shrine

It is famous for its steep steps of “success”. It was near the entrance of the Hibiya arms of the sea.

愛宕神社の鳥居~The Torii Gate of Atago Shrine
出世の階段、馬にのってこの階段を登り切った武士は出世できると言われていました~The Steps of Success, it was said that if a warrior riding a horse could get the top, he would be promoted

赤坂1丁目交差点~Akasaka-icchome intersection

This was the estuary of the river from Tameike. It was turned into a part of the outer moat.

赤坂1丁目交差点に向かいます~Going to Akasaka-icchome intersection
かつて外堀であった「外堀通り」~”Sotobori Street” which means outer moat street, former the outer moat
今に残る外堀の石垣~Remaining stone walls alomgside the outer moat

潮見坂~Shiomi slope

It is among Kasumigaseki governmental ministries. It seems to be the west edge of the Hibiya arm.

潮見坂~Shiomi Slope

桜田門周辺~Aroud Sakurada-mon Gate

This seems to be the estuary of another river near the gate. It remains a part of the inner moat.

桜田門~Sakurada-mon Gate
桜田濠と呼ばれる内堀の一部~A part of the inner moat called Sakurada-bori

皇居正門~The main entrance of Imperial Palace

The palace is on what was Nishinomaru enclosure. The inner moat in front of it was originally the sea.

皇居正門と石橋~The main entrance of Imperial Palace and The Stone Bridge
西の丸は高い所にあります~Nishinomaru enclosure is in a high place

皇居外苑~The Outer Gardens of the Imperial Palace

This was completely a sea, and filled without the inner moat around.

皇居外苑~The Outer Gardens of the Imperial Palace

坂下門~Sakashita-mon Gate

The inner moat around the gate uses the original rivers and valleys.

坂下門~Sakashita-mon Gate
門周辺の内堀~The inner moat around the gate

大手門周辺~Around Ote-mon Gate

This was the estuary of Hirakawa River emptied into the Hibiya arms of the sea.

大手門~Ote-mon Gate
大手門前の内堀~The inner moat in front of Ote-mon Gate

和田倉門~Wadakura-mon Gate

This was the inmost place of the Hibiya arm of the sea. Wadakura means warehouse st seashore.

和田倉門~Wadakura-mon Gate
ここが最奥だった地点か?~Was this the inmost spot?

日比谷公園~Hibiya Park

The ruins of stone walls for the inner moat is used for a resting place.

日比谷公園の休憩所~The resting place of Hibiya Park
それは石垣の上にあります~It is on the stone walls

山手線の側面~The side of Yamanote line

It is said that the elevated red brick railway could be available on the primary land.

山手線のレンガ作りの高架鉄道~The elevated red brick railway of Yamanote line

新橋跡~The ruins of Shinbashi bridge

The bridge went across Shiodome-gawa River which was originally the edge of Edo Maeto.

現存する新橋の親柱~The remaining newel post of Shinbashi Bridge

銀座の裏通り~The back street of Ginza

Sanjukkenbori River went through it and it was built using the east coast of Edo Maeto.

銀座の裏通り、ここも海や川でした~The back street of Ginza, it was also the sea or river

首都高速都心環状線~The Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway Ring Route

This was Kaedegawa River with several Funairi moats like docks. The river connected to Nihonbashi River.

首都高速都心環状線、元楓川~The Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway Ring Route, the former Kaedegawa River
かつては楓川を渡っていた橋、A bridge which went across Kaedegawa River in the past

その後~Later Life

After the Meiji Restoration, many buildings of the castle were demolished, but many waterways remained, because people still used them. For instance, the fish market in Tokyo was along Nihonbashi River until the Great Kanto Earthquakes in 1923. After that, the market moved to Tsukiji.

明治初期の東京中心地の地図、まだ多くの水路がありました~The map of central Tokyo in the early Meiji Era, there were still a lot of waterways
日本橋の魚市場~The Fish Market at Nihonbashi(licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

After World War II, part the outer moat was filled by the debris of burned buildings. It has become Sotobori Street.

外堀通り~Sotobori Street

In the mid Showa Era, motorization came and it was decided in 1959 that the 1964 summer Olympics in Tokyo would be held. There would be little time to develop the infrastructure for transportation in Tokyo, especially an expressway. The government had to use the remaining waterways as the land for the expressway. Because they didn’t need buy them. Almost all of the waterways in Tokyo died out.

京橋川上に建設中の高速道路、1960年~The expressway under construction above Kyobashigawa River in 1960(licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Nihonbashi Bridge and Nihonbashi River have survived due to their historical values. That’s why the expressway goes above them. Now, people in the Nihonbashi area urge the government to move the expressway underground to get its good old landscape back.

日本橋上の高速道路~The expressway above Nihonbashi Bridge

「江戸城その3」に続きます。~To be continued in “Edo Castle Part3”
「江戸城その1」に戻ります。~Back to “Edo Castle Part1”

投稿者: Yuzo

城巡りが好きなYuzoです。日本には数万の城があったといわれています。その内の200名城を手始めにどんどん紹介していきます。 I'm Yuzo, I love visiting castles and ruins. It is said that there were tens of thousands castles in Japan. I will introduce you top 200 castles and ruins of them, and more!

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