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Wednesday’s Ward – Chiyoda

October 1, 2008

Chiyoda Ward is the least populous ward of Tokyo with just over 43 thousand residents in a 11.6 square kilometer area.  While a relatively small number of people call Chiyoda City home, the daytime population exceeds one million due to the large number of businesses, foreign embassies and government institutions that are located in the area.

A Brief History

Chiyoda-ku was founded in 1947 and has been the seat of the Japanese government since the Edo Period (1603 to 1868).  The area is named after a famous local castle, also known as Edo Castle, which was built on the site that is now home to the Imperial Palace.

The main train station in Chiyoda-ku is Tokyo Station but the area is also serviced by numerous stations operated by Tokyo Metro. 


Tokyo International Forum hosts many international conventions and events throughout the year.  It is also home to the Oedo Antique Market and the Mitsuo Aida Museum.

A sumo exhibition at Yasukuni Shrine is usually held each year in early April.  Check the Nihon Sumo Kyokai website for dates.

Also in April, the Cherry Blossoms are at their best around Chiyoda’s Chidorigafuchi Moat. Walk the path around the moat or rent a boat for a romantic paddle around the moat with someone you love.

Check the Chiyoda city festival listings page for details on other events going on throughout the year in the city.

The Sights

The most famous tourist sight in Chiyoda-ku is the impressive Imperial Palace.  The adjoining Imperial Palace East Garden is also quite stunning and is free to visit.  

Famous Shrines in the area include Kanda Myoujin, Yasukuni Shrine and Hie Jinja.

Hibiya Park is an oasis of green and a favorite spot for the area’s office workers to escape

The Marunouchi area is home to many office buildings including the modern Shin-Marunouchi Building that houses four floors of restaurants as well as retail stores and office space.

Another dining option is Yakitori Alley, where skewered and grilled chicken are served with cold beer in a fun atmosphere.

Akihabara is Tokyo’s electronics district and home to many of the most recent tech toys, computers, cameras and game devices on the market.  You can also pick up some Mange or Anime in the area or visit one of many Maid Cafe’s.

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo was established in 1952 and is home to the museum itself, a crafts gallery and The National Film Center all dedicated to collecting and preserving modern artworks, films and other items of note from the 20th century.

Tour the National Diet or parliament of Japan.

There are many great sights in Chiyoda and to help visitors see them all Chiyoda City offers three walking itineraries to choose from.  However, if you want to rest your feet, take a ride on the Marunouchi Shuttle, one of three free bus routes in Tokyo.

Fun Facts & Trivia

The most famous residents on the Ward are Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan. The palace has housed the Imperial Household of Japan since 1868, when the imperial family relocated from Kyoto which had been the imperial capital for more than a thousand years.

The Imperial palace and surrounding grounds occupy twelve percent of the the cities 11.6 square kilometers.

Image Credit: Personal Collection, Imperial Palace, Yasukuni Shrine & Akihabara