SHOWA SNAP: The Shuto, circa 1969

The Shuto is the beltway system that circles downtown Tokyo, home to many a traffic jam during the day, and fleets of street racers at night. Construction began in 1962, and in this postcard from 1969 or 1970, you can see it when it was still shiny and new. Unlike today, there’s barely any cars on it. On the lower level there’s a white first-generation Toyota HiLux, what appears to be a green 411 Bluebird cab, and maybe an orange Crown taxi behind it. On the upper level, what might be a red Corolla wagon heads off into the distance. Rising up in the background are Tokyo Tower and the Kasumigaseki building, Tokyo’s first skyscraper and which just celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

Image: 昭和スポット巡り

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12 Responses to SHOWA SNAP: The Shuto, circa 1969

  1. Yuri says:

    The first time I went to Japan, my fianceé couldn’t figure out why I was taking pictures of a highway overpass. Meanwhile, the background music to Tokyo Xtreme Racer was playing in my head.

  2. Atomu says:

    Nice pic, but that’s not Tokyo Tower…

  3. LB1 says:

    I was there in 69!

  4. ahja says:

    How idyllic

    • ahja says:

      I love civil engineering and buildings but I hate traffic like everybody else so this is quite nice. Would have as a framed picture in my living room.

  5. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    I hope they are able to bury the section over Nihonbashi. It’s an unfortunate blight over this historic point.

    My parents drove us over the expressway a couple times a month for a movie at the old Sanno Hotel in Akasaka right by the American Emassy. Absolutely not a hint of it’s existance today. The nearby Komatsu Building had a giant bulldozer I used to marvel at as a kid.

    Today there are the offices of the Okamura company known for their ubiquitous office furniture. A little factoid is that they produced cars and an airplane in the fifties. On the ground floor is a Okamura Mikasa coupe on display. The stylish car was the first japanese car to gave an automatic transmission in 1955. They also produced a small single engine 2 seat airplane, the N-52 in 1953.

  6. Ant says:

    Oh man, great photo. Can’t imagine seeing it today with so little traffic…

  7. Kojiro says:

    This is the Tanimachi junction, connecting Line 3 and center circle of the Shuto haighway.

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