Shimbashi to lose one of its oldest buildings

Tsutsumi Daiichi Building Shimbashi 7

Shimbashi is about to lose one of its oldest buildings as the 94-year old Tsutsumi Daiichi Building is about to be torn down to make way for redevelopment.

Built in 1920, the five storey building was designed by Yunosuke Sakai and built by Toyo Concrete Kogyo. It is an early example of reinforced-concrete construction and possibly the oldest existing multi-tenant concrete building in Tokyo. Japan’s first all-concrete building – the Yokohama Mitsui Bussan Building – was built just 9 years earlier in Yokohama. Sakai had assisted Oto Endo with the design of the Yokohama building.

The Tsutsumi building had miraculously survived the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which destroyed the nearby former Shimbashi Railway Station, as well as the 1945 Great Tokyo Air Raid. There was also a Tsutsumi Daini Building nearby, but it was demolished in the late 1990s. Pictures of the Daini building can be found here.

This aerial image taken in March 1930 of the Uchisaiwaicho, Hibiya, Yurakucho and Ginza area shows the reconstruction following the 1923 earthquake. The Tsutsumi building could possibly be the one indicated by the red arrow.

Tsutsumi Daiichi Building Shimbashi March 1930

Shinbashi 1945
The building following WWII air raids in 1945.

Construction barricades were put up around the three buildings on this block as they prepare for redevelopment. According to the construction notice, demolition of the Tsutsumi building will finish by the end of March 2016. The building is owned by Tsutsumi Shoten, who are located in the Tsutsumi Building across the street.


1-15-4 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

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  • Stairwell image via:
  • Stairwell and rooftop image via:
  • 1930 Aerial image via:

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