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New atlas guide of Tokyo released

A new third-revised, updated edition of Tokyo atlas guide is launched. Since the 2001 edition came out, there has been, as always, an amount of change in this most protean of cities, much of it here accounted for.

The cover indicates this. That of the second edition featured the dowdy Imperial Palace, but the cover of this new publication features in all of its glitzy glory the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. This latest of Tokyo sights is also now located on the corrected maps, along with the reconstructions of such areas as Shinagawa and Shiodome.

Other additions include a number of new towns and train/subway stations due to the extension of existing lines and the inauguration of new ones such as the Haneda-bound Keikyu Kuko. These numbers help swell the index from 3,600 to 4,000 designations.

Other changes are wrought by reforms — all of them geographical — in the government. In Kasumigaseki, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now taken over the whole building it used to share with the ministries of culture, sports, etc. I don’t know where they went.

Other typical changes involve the number of bank-name alterations. As financial disaster threatened, the Asahi became the Resona, the Dai-Ichi Kangyo became the Mizuho, and all has been accounted for by changes and additions on the maps.

The original maps themselves remain, however, and the pagination of the new edition is as it was in the old. Other than recent stations, nothing new has been added to Tokyo’s admirable public transportation systems, and some things have been left out. The new Maruzen in front of Tokyo Station is not there while the Kinokuniya supermarket in Aoyama is there, even though it has now moved blocks away.