Shimbashi is a bustling business district at the south-eastern end of Ginza. Shimbashi Station is one of the oldest railway station in Japan. This is where the first train in Japan made its inaugural run from Tokyo to Yokohama in 1868. It was also the original terminus of Japan's first stretch of railway, the Tōkaidō Main Line.
Nowadays Shimbashi Station remains an important junction between JR, metro/subway and yurikamome (monorail) lines. The shiny glass towers of Shiodome soar just behind the station.
Shiodome rose from the ground in 2002. The area used to be part of Shimbashi station, then was converted in a railway freight terminal until the 1980's. Construction of brand new, gleaming skyscraperss started in the early 2000's. It now has the highest concentration of high-rise buildings in Japan after West Shinjuku.
The tallest structure is the Shiodome City Center (216 m), where All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Fujitsu have established their corporate headquarters. It is closely fllowed by the Dentsu Building (213 m), home to the prominent advertising agency of the same name, as well as the Caretta Shopping Center (mostly restaurants). It has an observatory as well as a few restaurants at its 51st floor.
The Tokyo Shiodome Building (173 m) is occupied by such big names as the Mori Trust, Sumitomo Real Estate, and Soft Bank. The upper floors are alloted to the 5-star Conrad Hotel. It was the last tower completed in the cluster (in 2005).
Other buildings include the Nippon Television Tower (198 m), the Royal Park Shiodome Tower (172 m), and the Shiodome Media Tower (173 m - used in part by the Park Hotel Tokyo).
=> See Hamarikyu Gardens.
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