Bancho Just Might Be Tokyo’s Best Kept Secret: An Area Guide

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An area few seem to know about may hold the key to the ultimate lifestyle experience in the Big Mikan.

Bancho, a prestigious residential area in the center of Tokyo, offers an unexpected respite from the hustle and bustle of the urban metropolis. Trees line the streets in this urban oasis that is just a stone’s throw away from the Imperial Palace, and is home to a colorful history and a long lineage of cultural greats.

City of Samurai

During the Edo period, Bancho was home to samurai vassals and the Tokugawa clan’s bodyguards. Located strategically on the west bank of the Edo Castle (now Imperial Palace) moat, soldiers were always nearby and on call in the event of an attack. The area was comprised of hundreds of samurai residences and training schools, with the district split up into six sections numbered from one to six, according to their squadrons. Bancho was originally named for the guard houses that samurai vassals lived in, called daibansho.

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Center of Culture

With the Meiji period came a thirst for knowledge and culture, and this time Bancho acted as a nerve center for many intellectuals thanks to its central location. Novelists, composers, politicians, artists and kabuki actors gathered and exchanged ideas here. One such individual, Takeo Arishima, was a novelist famed for his depiction of the societal changes women faced in the early 20th century. Bancho remains a cultural hub today and famous institutes such as the National Museum of Modern Art, Kioi Hall, Sophia University, and the National Theatre of Japan are just a few of the highly regarded cultural institutions within walking distance.

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Lifestyle of Leisure

Being a primarily residential area, Bancho is a quiet, comfortable neighborhood with tree-lined avenues and picture perfect cafés tucked away behind lush greenery. Biancane, an authentic Tuscan restaurant, has had its home here since 2008, offering mouthwatering Italian full-course dinners and lunches in a traditional setting. Exclusive Murakami Kaishindo is an invite-only restaurant and confectionery shop where first-time diners and sweet shoppers can only enter with an introduction from an existing client (barring lunchtime). Locals living in the area are more likely to meet the right people to get them an “in” for this swank store.

For the health-conscious, an athletic park, a tennis center, several parks and the 5km Imperial Palace Loop couldn’t be closer. For those who prioritize their health and well-being, this district makes it easy to fulfill those goals.

King of Convenience

Bancho’s central location means that everything a resident could ever need or want is easily obtainable within a one kilometer radius. The area offers easy access to several major train stations, as well as sightseeing spots like the Imperial Palace and Sotobori Park, known for its cherry blossoms in spring. It’s also home to some of the nation’s top-rated schools, legal firms, and clinics. Several embassies are located nearby, including the British and Belgian embassies, and for those entertaining guests, the upscale Hotel New Otani alone has 38 dining options, a spa and a beautiful Japanese-style garden to enjoy.

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Mitsubishi Jisho Residence

Want to stay in Bancho? Using 60 years’ experience as specialists in the central Tokyo real estate business, Mitsubishi Jisho Residence provides clients with immaculate properties in the most distinguished residential areas in Japan. Their fourteenth condominium offering, The Parkhouse Gobancho, is located in the Go Bancho area in Chiyoda Ward, just two minutes from Ichigaya Station. It will be ready for occupancy by September 2018.

For more info visit www.mecsumai.com/international/en
For showroom viewings and inquiries, please email mjrtph@mec-r.com

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