Nihonbashi bridge cleaning ritual


Nihonbashi-Maquette3

Tokyo Imperial Palace is the historical center of Tokyo. The Palace is surrounded by canals that continue to circle further into the city and end in the Tokyo Bay. The Nihonbashi bridge is one of the first bridges being build over the canal.

Map of Tokyo 1624-1643

Nihonbashi bridge

Nowadays it is hard to find the bridge as it is overrun by a six-lane highway. This highway is build for the Tokyo olympics in 1964. To memorize the car-drivers on the highway that they are passing this bridge, an old Nihonbashi street lantern is placed along the highway. It is a real sensation to be suddenly confronted with this detailed lamppost along the highway as you are usually surrounded by a highway environment on the Tokyo highway.

Streetview Nihonbashi bridge

Streetview Nihonbashi bridge2

Expressway Nihonbashi bridge

Besides the origin of the Nihonbashi bridge as one of the oldest bridges of Tokyo the bridge is also very important as a starting point for measuring the distances of many roads in Japan. A monument in the middle of the bridge indicates the zero point (see Zero point).

Kilometer 0 Monument Nihonbashi bridge

Every 4th sunday of July the Nihonbashi bridge is celebrated with a washing ceremony. The bridge is filled with businessmen, local inhabitants, children, the fire-brigade and neighborhood associations all busy with cleaning the Nihonbashi bridge.

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