Notes on the Geography of Japan: Tokyo: Pre-War: Photo 4
Nearly all of the work done by Waters and another British architect, Josiah Conder, was destroyed either by the earthquake of 1923 or the bombing of 1945. Here's a quasi-survivor, Tokyo Central Station, built in 1914 to a design by Tatsuno Kingo, one of Conder's students. It was commissioned by Goto Shimpei, the director of national railways, and was intended to be very impressive. Old photographs show a building that is indeed impressive, with handsome domes instead of the post-war pyramids. What's less noticeable is that the building faces west, toward the imperial palace, not east, toward the Ginza Bricktown. Accident? Unlikely. Deferential? Perhaps. A real-estate hustle? Just maybe, because between the station and the palace is an area once known as Mitsubishi Meadows. It was considered worthless but is now Tokyo's priciest real estate.
Back to Japan: Tokyo: Pre-War chapter
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