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Streetcar in Tokyo near Shinbashi Station, circa 1955 | by Rob Ketcherside
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Streetcar in Tokyo near Shinbashi Station, circa 1955

Mid 1950s Tokyo. A horde of pedestrians crosses in front of a 6000-series Tokyo metropolitan streetcar.


The sign in the foreground says that this is A Avenue and 10th Street. The US military imposed a system of street names on the major thoroughfares in Tokyo after the end of World War Two. Lettered avenues radiated from the Imperial Palace clockwise. "A Avenue" ran south from the southeast corner of the Imperial palace, on Hibiya Boulevard (Hibiya Doori). The numbered streets were basically major roads essentially ringing the palace. 10th is Outer Moat Boulevard (Sotobori Doori). So this is the Nishi-shinbashi Crossing, just south of Hibiya Park. At the time the neighborhood - and the streetcar stop - was called Tamuramachi (田村町). We must be looking east, because the sun is hitting the face of the building on the right.


It pre-dates 1957, when Tokyo's streetcars were repainted yellow. The lines which ran on Hibiya Doori through this intersection were 1, 5, 35 and 37.


There's an outside chance that this streetcar is 6103 (see the trailing digit 3), which is now in Shinmei Toden Shako Park in Bunkyo Ward.


Here's a zoom on a part of the map published by the US military in 1948 with the street names.


And here's the neighborhood on an interactive 1956 map of Tokyo.


Unlabeled, unmarked photo found in an antique store's photo bins.

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Uploaded on September 19, 2010