Skip to main content
Current Address
Minato-ku, Akasaka
The general name for the area around Akasaka-mon Gate. There are many theories on the origin of the area's name, including that it was a saka (Kinokuni-zaka Hill) which lead to Akaneyama (the land of the Kii Tokugawa residence, which was once said to have produced akane (Japanese madder)) and that it was a place with a red dirt hill. From the early Edo Period, a large number of Daimyo (feudal lords) residences and homes of vassals of the shogun, and thus surrounded by the homes of the samurai class, the area formed into a region with many tradesmen and merchant homes and temples. Nishiki-e often pictured fields of paulownia trees and Kinokuni-zaka Hill (so named as it was along the side of the Kii Tokugawa residence). Paulownia trees were planted as reinforcement for the cisterns as they are fast growing trees.