Names of Tokyo 23 Wards Are Not so Cool in English

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office

"pictureTYO" some rights reserved. flickr



How do they sound if the names of Tokyo 23 wards are translated in English?

After reading “Names of Japan’s Prefectures Are Cool in English,” I wondered so. We use those names without thinking of the meanings, but when they are translated into English, it is quite interesting.

For example, Tokyo is written 東京 in kanji characters, and each kanji means East and Capital. In this way, I wrote the wards of Tokyo in English.


[Tokyo 23 wards]

千代田 Chiyoda → Forever Rice Field

中央 Chuo → Center

港  Minato → Port

新宿 Shinjuku → New Inn

文京 Bunkyo → Design Capital

品川 Shinagawa → Article River

目黒 Meguro → Eye Black

大田 Ota → Big Rice Field

世田谷 Setagaya → World Rice Field Valley

渋谷 Shibuya → Bitter Valley

中野 Nakano → Middle Field

杉並 Suginami → Cedar Row

豊島 Toshima → Rich Island

北  Kita → North

板橋 Itabashi → Board Bridge

練馬 Nerima → Train Horse

台東 Taito → Stand East

墨田 Sumida → Ink Rice Field

江東 Koto → Inlet East

荒川 Arakawa → Rough River

足立 Adachi → Foot Stand

葛飾 Katsushika → Arrowroot Decoration

江戸川 Edogawa → Edo River (Inlet Door River)


Since there are some “Rice Field” in the names, you can tell that Tokyo used to have a lot of rice fields before today’s building forests. After all, I found that these names are not so cool in English unlike 47 prefectures, which sound cool in English.


You should follow me on Twitter.