Tokyo, a city of one or two-storied buildings predominately constructed of wood, was frequently plagued with fires. After a particularly devastating fire that swept through the city in 1872, the government, seized the opportunity to both improve the appearance of the city and reduce the number of fires by passing an ordinance requiring most structures to be built of brick and stone. Thus by the 1870s, Western-style architecture was almost exclusively found in the district northwest of Tsukiji, sandwiched between Nihonbashi and Shinbashi, in this reconstructed area called Ginza.

The new Ginza boasted wide boulevards modelled on those of Paris, and brick Regency and Victorian-style architecture imitating nineteenth-century London designs. In fact, much of the reconstruction of the area was done by two English architects Thomas Waters and Josiah Condor. The long, cobbled or brick-paved avenues of houses and commercial buildings, lined with cherry and
Vancouver Museum, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,

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