Chūō, Tokyo

Chūō, Tokyo

Special ward
Chūō City
Skyline of Chūō Ward by Sumida River
Skyline of Chūō Ward by Sumida River
Flag of Chūō
Location of Chūō in Tokyo Metropolis
Location of Chūō in Tokyo Metropolis
Chūō is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Tokyo Metropolis
 • Mayor Yoshihide Yada
 • Total 10.21 km2 (3.94 sq mi)
Population (May 1, 2015)
 • Total 141,454
 • Density 13,850/km2 (35,900/sq mi)
 • Tree Willow
 • Flower Azalea
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City Hall Address Tsukiji 1-1-1 Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Phone number 03-3543-0211
Website .html/index/english/
Nihonbashi in 1933
Night in Nihonbashi

Chūō (中央区 Chūō-ku, "Central Ward") is a special ward that forms part of the heart of Tokyo, Japan. The ward refers to itself in English as Chūō City.

Its Japanese name literally means "Central Ward", and it is historically the main commercial center of Tokyo, although Shinjuku has risen to challenge it since the end of World War II. The most famous district in Chūō is Ginza, built on the site of a former silver mint from which it takes its name. The gold mint, or Kinza (金座), formerly occupied the site of the present-day Bank of Japan headquarters building, also in Chūō.

As of May 1, 2015, the ward has an estimated resident population of 141,454 and a population density of 13,850 persons per km². The total area is 10.21 km². However, because of the concentration of businesses, offices and retail space, the daytime population swells to an estimated 650,000.


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
  • Places 3
    • Nihonbashi Area (日本橋地区) 3.1
    • Kyōbashi Area (京橋地区) 3.2
    • Tsukishima Area (月島地区) 3.3
  • Economy 4
    • Foreign operations 4.1
    • Former economic operations 4.2
  • Politics and government 5
    • Elections 5.1
  • Transportation 6
    • Rail 6.1
    • Highway 6.2
  • Education 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Chūō is in the central area of Tokyo, surrounded by the five special wards of Chiyoda, Minato, Taitō, Sumida, and Kōtō.

Administratively, Chūō is divided into the three zones of Nihonbashi, Kyobashi and Tsukishima. Nihonbashi and Kyobashi are predominantly commercial areas on the east side of Tokyo Station, and incorporate the famous districts of Ginza and Tsukiji. Tsukishima is a separate island in Tokyo Bay dominated by condominium towers.

Until World War II, the area was criscrossed by small rivers and canals, used by small boats which were the primary vehicles of commerce at the time. After the war, many of these waterways were filled in to make way for new roads, buildings and expressways. However, the former waterways are the basis for many of the neighborhood divisions in the ward. The Sumida River forms the eastern boundary of the ward.

Chūō is physically the second-smallest ward in Tokyo, with a total area of just 10.15 km²; only Taitō is smaller.


  • 1612: Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, planning to establish Edo as the de facto capital of Japan, begins work on a new commercial district surrounding the eastern end of the Tōkaidō, the main road connecting Tokyo and the Kansai region. During the Edo period this area is known as Edomachi—the town center of Edo. Much of the area (particularly Ginza and Tsukiji) was loose sand piled at the delta of the Sumida River before being filled in by the shogunate.
  • 1657: After a fire consumes much of the city, the area is re-planned with more canals to accommodate more maritime commerce.
  • 1869: A foreigners' settlement is established in Tsukiji. It continues until about 1899.
  • 1872: A fire consumes much of the Ginza area. In its aftermath, the governor of Tokyo re-plans Ginza to be a modern European-style commercial district between Shinbashi (the city's main railway terminal at the time) to the south and Nihonbashi (the main business and financial district) to the north.
  • 1878: Under a new local organization statute, the wards of Nihonbashi and Kyobashi are established under the government of Tokyo City, covering the area now occupied by Chūō.
  • 1945: Following Japan's defeat in World War II, several buildings are taken over by SCAP to serve as supply centers for the occupation forces. These include the Hattori Watch Company, the Matsuya department store and the Toshiba Building. The buildings are returned to Japanese civilian control by 1951.
  • 1947: Chūō Ward is founded on March 15 under the new Local Autonomy Law, merging the former Nihonbashi and Kyōbashi wards.


Mitsukoshi Department Store
Tsukiji Hongwanji

Nihonbashi Area (日本橋地区)

Kyōbashi Area (京橋地区)

Tsukishima Area (月島地区)


Ricoh is headquartered in the Ricoh Building in Chūō.[1] In 2006 Ricoh's headquarters to the 25-story building in the Ginza area in Chūō from Minato, Tokyo; in the building the headquarters occupies the same space as its sales offices.[2][3][4] Sumitomo Corporation is headquartered in the Harumi Island Triton Square Office Tower Y in Chūō.[5] Daiichi Sankyo, a global pharmaceutical company is also headquartered in the ward, in the Daiichi Sankyo Building.[6] Oji Paper Holdings, the pulp and paper manufacturing company has its headquarters in Ginza.[7] J. Front Retailing has its headquarters in Yaesu.[8] Asahi Shimbun, Asatsu DK, and Nihon Ad Systems have their headquarters in Tsukiji.[9][10][11] Ajinomoto,[12] Mitsui Fudosan,[13] Shinsei Bank, Nomura Group and Meidi-Ya are also headquartered in the ward.[14][15] Shimizu Corporation is headquartered in the ward, in Kyōbashi.[16] Orion Breweries and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company have their Tokyo-area offices in Chūō.[17][18][19] Toray Industries and Denki Kagaku Kogyo, two global chemical companies, and Astellas Pharma, a global pharmaceutical company, have their headquarters in the Nihonbashi area of the ward.[20][21][22] Sumitomo Chemical is also headquartered in the ward, in the Kyōbashi area.[23]

Foreign operations

IBM has its Japan headquarters in Chūō.[24]

Former economic operations

Dai-ichi Kikaku Senden Co., Ltd. opened in Chūō in Ginza, Chūō in December 1951. In January 1958 the company relocated to a new headquarters in Ginza. The company moved to another headquarters in Ginza in September 1961 and its name changed to Dai-ichi Kikaku Co. Ltd. In November 1974, after growth, the company moved to another headquarters in Ginza. In November 1981 Dai-ichi Kikaku moved its head office to a facility in Ginza and a facility in Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda. The headquarters of Asatsu moved to Ginza in July 1995. Asatsu and Dai-ichi Kikaku merged into Asatsu-DK on January 1, 1999.[25]

In the late 1990s GeoCities Japan was headquartered in the Nihonbashi Hakozaki Building in Nihonbashi.[26]

Tokyopop maintained its Japanese headquarters in Mid-Tower of the Tokyo Towers.[27]

Politics and government

Chuo is run by a city assembly of 30 elected members. The current mayor is Yoshihide Yada, an independent backed Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.




At Tokyo Station, six Shinkansen, seven ordinary railway, and one subway line serve Chūō. In addition, three Toei subway lines stop at various stations throughout the ward.


Shuto Expressway


Public elementary and middle schools in Chūō are operated by the Chūō City Board of Education. Public high schools are operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education.

See also


  1. ^ "Company Data". Ricoh. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Topics - Annual Report 2006". Ricoh. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "Outline of Ricoh". Ricoh. May 16, 1997. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "Company Data". Ricoh. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "Corporate Profile". Sumitomo Corporation. Retrieved on January 26, 2009.
  6. ^ "Daiichi Sankyo Company Profile". Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Corporate Data ". Oji Holdings Corporation. Retrieved on March 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "Corporate Data". J. Front Retailing. Retrieved on December 15, 2010. "Office : 1-1, Yaesu 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo "
  9. ^ "会社概要". Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "会社概要". Nihon Ad Systems. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Relation". Asatsu DK. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  12. ^ "Toward the realization of "Ajinomoto Group Zero Emissions" Chuo Ace Logistics Corporation achieves "Green Management Certification" Chuo Ace Logistics Corporation promotes environmentally friendly logistics". Ajinomoto. Retrieved on February 12, 2010.
  13. ^ "Corporate Data". Mitsui Fudosan. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  14. ^ "Nomura Group". Nomura Group. Retrieved on May 30, 2010.
  15. ^ "Company Profile." Meidi-Ya. Retrieved on May 13, 2013. "Head Office 2-2-8 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku Tokyo 104-8302"
  16. ^ "Corporate Profile." Shimizu Corporation. Retrieved on April 13, 2014.
  17. ^ "会社概要 - オリオンビール". Orion Breweries. Retrieved on November 30, 2009. "東京営業所所在地 〒104-0032 東京都中央区八丁堀4丁目5-12 アインツビル1F"
  18. ^ "FAQ". Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Retrieved on February 2, 2011. "Q : Where is Takeda located? A : [...] and the Tokyo Head Office is located in Tokyo, Japan".
  19. ^ "Overview". Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Retrieved on February 2, 2011. "Tokyo Head Office 12-10, Nihonbashi 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8668"
  20. ^ "Head Office". Toray Industries. Retrieved on August 2, 2014.
  21. ^ "Company Overview". Denki Kagaku Kogyo. Retrieved on July 29, 2014.
  22. ^ "Corporate Profile". Astellas Pharma. Retrieved on September 10, 2014.
  23. ^ "Corporate Profile". Sumitomo Chemical. Retrieved on February 5, 2015.
  24. ^ "IBM Japan". IBM. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  25. ^ "Corporate Overview". Asatsu-DK. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  26. ^ "スタッフ募集". GeoCities Japan. February 21, 1999. Retrieved on April 30, 2009.
  27. ^ "Contact Us". Tokyopop. Retrieved on July 23, 2009.

External links

  • Chuo official website (Japanese)
  • Chuo official website (English)
  • Chuo City Tourism Association (Japanese)
  • Chuo City Tourism Association (English)