In 1590, before Tokugawa Ieyasu entered Edo Castle, the area now known as Marunouchi was an inlet of Edo Bay and had the name Hibiya. With the expansion of the castle, this inlet was filled, beginning in 1592.
A new outer moat was constructed, and the earlier moat became the inner moat. The area took the name Okuruwauchi ("within the enclosure").
Daimyo, particularly shinpan and fudai, constructed their mansions here, and with 24 such estates, the area also became known as daimyō kōji ("daimyo alley"). The offices of the North and South Magistrates, and that of the Finance Magistrate, were also here.
Following the Meiji Restoration, Marunouchi came under control of the national government, which erected barracks and parade grounds for the army.
Those moved in 1890, and Iwasaki Yanosuke, brother of the founder (and later the second leader) of Mitsubishi, purchased the land for 1.5 million yen. As the company developed the land, it came to be known as Mitsubishi-ga-hara (the "Mitsubishi Fields").
Much of the land remains under the control of Mitsubishi Estate, and the headquarters of many companies in the Mitsubishi Group are in Marunouchi.
The government of Tokyo constructed its headquarters on the site of the former Kochi han in 1894. They moved it to the present Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku in 1991, and the new Tokyo International Forum and Toyota Tsusho Corporation now stands on the site. Nearly a quarter of Japan's GDP is generated in this area.
Tokyo Station opened in 1914, and the Marunouchi Building in 1923.
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Places in Marunouchi
- Marunouchi Building, said to sit atop the most expensive real estate in Japan, with a land value of ¥21 million/m2.
- Tokyo Central Post Office
- Tokyo International Forum
- Tokyo Station, the city's main intercity rail terminal
Companies based in Marunouchi
- Mitsubishi Group companies:
* The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
* Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
* Mitsubishi Corporation
* Mitsubishi Electric
* Nippon Yusen
* Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance
- Nikko Citigroup
- Toyota Tsusho
Marunouchi also houses the Japan offices of Citigroup, Nikko Cordial, Nikko Citigroup, Banca Commerciale Italiana, Rabobank, JPMorgan Chase, Bank Negara Indonesia, Bank of India, Bayerische Landes Bank, Bloomberg, BT Asia Securities, First National Bank of Boston, KPMG, Latham & Watkins, Mellon Bank, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Morrison & Foerster, Overseas Union Bank, Philadelphia National Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Royal Insurance, Standard Chartered Bank, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
Rail and subway stations
- Nijūbashimae Station (Chiyoda Line)
- Otemachi Station (Chiyoda Line, Hanzomon Line, Marunouchi Line, Toei Mita Line, Tozai Line)
- Tokyo Station (Chūō Line, Keihin-Tohoku Line, Keiyo Line, Marunouchi Line, Shinkansen, Sōbu Line, Yamanote Line, Yokosuka Line)