Highlights Play and Study in Chiyoda

  • Visiting key sites of SHIBUSAWA Eiichi, the man who made rapid progress in the Japanese economy.
  • Special

The Taiga historical drama "Reach Beyond the Blue Sky" aired on NHK from February 2021. The main character of this drama, SHIBUSAWA Eiichi is known as the "father of Japanese capitalism", and one of the leading industrialists of Japan.

The reason why SHIBUSAWA was called the "father of Japanese capitalism" lies in his background.
After working for the government on economic and financial policy, he was involved in the establishment of more than 500 private companies such as the First National Bank, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and the Imperial Hotel. In particular, the First National Bank, in which he played a central part in its establishment, was the very first stock company in Japan and its structure substantively developed the capitalist economy.

SHIBUSAWA, who established the foundation of the Japanese economy, had deep connections with many places throughout Chiyoda City, which he resided in. We embarked on a trip to explore his life by visiting sites related to him.

Year age Main events related to Chiyoda.
1840 0 Tenpo 11 years
1864 24 Serves HITOTSUBASHI Yoshinobu.
1866 26 AS TOKUGAWA Yoshinobu becomes the Shogun, Eiichi becomes a retainer of the Shogunate.
1871 31 Moves to live in Ura-Jimbo-koji in Kanda-Ogawamachi (present day 1-chome, Kanda-Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku) until July 1873.
1873 33 Becomes the founder and general supervisor of the First National Bank, and becomes the president in August the following year.
1878 38 Becomes the founder and chairman of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce (present day Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
1887 47 Becomes the founder and president of the Imperial Hotel (opened in 1890, becomes the executive chairman in 1893).
1888 48 Opens the Tokyo Jogakkan School for Women and becomes the accounting director (later the director of the school).
1907 67 Founds the Imperial Theatre and becomes the founding chairman (later its executive chairman).
1931 91 November 11th, eternal sleep

*Created by the Chiyoda City Tourism Association based on the information available on the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation website (https://www.shibusawa.or.jp).

Remains of Edo era residence of Hitotsubashi domainThe ruins of the family home of the HITOTSUBASHI TOKUGAWA clan which SHIBUSAWA Eiichi served under.


Our visit starts with the site of the family house of the HITOTSUBASHI TOKUGAWA clan, which is a three-minute walk from Subway Takebashi station. SHIBUSAWA served HITOTSUBASHI (TOKUGAWA) Yoshinobu under the recommendation of HIRAOKA Enshiro who was a retainer of the clan. The clan owned a vast estate which extended to near the Otemachi Government Building area as well as here.

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  • The place originates from when Munetada, the fourth son of the eighth TOKUGAWA Shogun Yoshimune, was given a house inside the Hitotsubashi-mon Gate area in Edo Castle. The HITOTSUBASHI TOKUGAWA clan, which was one of the TOKUGAWA Gosanke (the Noble Three Houses) whose purpose was producing an heir to the Shogun, had a particularly close connection to the shogunate out of the Gosanke.

 Remains of Edo era residence of Hitotsubashi domain

Remains of Edo era residence of Hitotsubashi domain Read more

Tokiwabashi ParkThe SHIBUSAWA Eiichi statue with a solemn expression was erected in Tokiwabashi Park.


We next visited Tokiwabashi Park, which is a three-minute walk from Subway Mitsukoshimae station. A statue of SHIBUSAWA stands majestic and imposing in Tokiwabashi Park which faces the Nihombashi River.

  • This statue of SHIBUSAWA Eiichi was created in 1933 by ASAKURA Fumio, once called the Rodin of the East. The bronze statue was temporarily taken down to extract metals during the Second World War, but it was recreated by ASAKURA once more and re-erected in November 1955. Later, it was gifted to the Tokyo Metropolis, and was subsequently moved to Chiyoda City, where you can see it in this Tokiwabashi Park.
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 Tokiwabashi Park

Tokiwabashi Park Read more

Marunouchi Center BuildingSHIBUSAWA Eiichi was also involved in the creation of the predecessor to Mizuho Bank.


Next, we visited the Marunouchi Center Building, located three minutes walk away from Subway Otemachi station. This place is also known as the site of the predecessor to Mizuho Bank, the First National Bank.

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  • The oldest bank in Japan, the First National Bank was founded by SHIBUSAWA in 1873. He was also the first president of the First National Bank. In 1943, it was made into the Imperial Bank after merging with Mitsui Bank under national policy during the war. However, it was re-established after it was broken up in 1948 after the war. Later, in 1971 it merged with Nippon Kangyo Bank, and it survives today as Mizuho Bank.

 Marunouchi Center Building

Marunouchi Center Building Read more

The Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and IndustryThe Tokyo Chamber of Commerce, an economic hub for businessmen.


This is the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, directly connected to Subway Nijubashimae station and Hibiya station. In 1878, SHIBUSAWA founded the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce which will later become the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

  • The Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry was created with the aim of gathering the opinions of businessmen from around the country. On the first floor, a statue created based on a photograph of 43-year-old SHIBUSAWA, the first president, is on display.
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 The Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry Read more

TEL 03-3283-7500

TOSHO SHIBUSAWA museumThe Tosho Shibusawa Museum, where you can learn about the life of SHIBUSAWA Eiichi.


In November 2019, the Tosho Shibusawa Museum was opened on the sixth floor of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The museum displays original written works and statues of SHIBUSAWA, and visitors can enter for free.

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  • The museum displays documents that will deepen your knowledge of SHIBUSAWA, from his childhood to how he contributed to the Japanese economy, and the detailed history of how he founded the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They also sell original souvenirs of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry such as chopsticks, Japanese tea cups and notebooks.



TOSHO SHIBUSAWA museum Read more

TEL 03-3283-7857
Business Hour 平日 9:30〜16:30

Imperial TheaterThe Imperial Theatre – promoted the arts to the masses for cultural development


We next visited the Imperial Theatre which is direclty connected to the Subway Hibiya and Yurakucho stations. SHIBUSAWA, who was one of the creaters of this theatre was also its executive chairman when construction was completed in 1911.

  • SHIBUSAWA witnessed citizens enjoying art and culture when he was sent to the Exposition Universelle in Paris. He thought that the people in Japan should also enjoy art more freely. The Imperial Theatre was thus created to develop culture in Japan, and celebrated its 110th year anniversary in 2021.
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 Imperial Theater

Imperial Theater Read more

TEL 03-3213-7221
Business Hour 11:00~17:00 (土日も営業、年末年始は異なります。) (詳細は帝国劇場のホームページをご確認下さい。)

Imperial Hotel, TokyoAs an early adopter of hotel culture in Japan, he opened the Imperial Hotel in 1890.


This is the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, which is a three-minute walk from Subway Hibiya and Uchisaiwaicho stations.
The Imperial Hotel was established at the urging of SHIBUSAWA and others in the political and financial circles as a state guest house to welcome foreign officials.

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  • As one of its promoters, SHIBUSAWA said that "Hotels are important as they relate to a nation's economy. We must entertain our foreign guest to their satisfaction". Such words imply that he believed that hotels have an immeasurable influence on diplomacy and the economy.

 Imperial Hotel, Tokyo

Imperial Hotel, Tokyo Read more

TEL 03-3504-1111
Business Hour 24時間

Founding Site of Tokyo JogakkanSHIBUSAWA Eiichi contributed to not only the Japanese economy, but also Japanese education.


We last visited the birthplace of the Tokyo Jogakkan School for Women, which is a three-minute walk away from Subway Nagatacho and Akasaka-mitsuke stations. On the stone walls of the Official Residence of the President of the House of Councilors, there is a relief that reads "the birthplace of the Tokyo Jogakkan School for Women".

  • This land was loaned by the Imperial family in 1887, and in the following year, SHIBUSAWA founded the Tokyo Jogakkan School for Women with ITO Hirobumi, IWASAKI Yanosuke, TOYAMA Masakazu, Josiah Conder, and Alexander Shaw. Later, the Tokyo Jogakkan School for Women moved to Kojimachi Sannen-cho as the Toranomon Jogakkan School for Women, but this was burned down in the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923. Later, it was rebuilt as an integrated school system for girls in a part of Shibuya owned by the Imperial family.
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 Founding Site of Tokyo Jogakkan

Founding Site of Tokyo Jogakkan Read more


We have introduced eight sites with deep connections to the life of SHIBUSAWA Eiichi. Through visiting the places introduced here, thinking about the challenges SHIBUSAWA faced at the time, you may come to appreciate why he is called the "father of Japanese capitalism". You may be able to enjoy the Taiga historical drama "Reach Beyond the Blue Sky" by visiting these sites, and by becoming emotionally involved with the story.




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