Foreign Legations in Edo : Landscape and Transition

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Minato City holds more than half of the embassies in Japan, therefore it can be called the “City of Embassies”. Temples and their lands in Minato City area were used as foreign legations offices during the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. In 1859, British and American diplomatic representatives picked the temples in Azabu and Takanawa townships for their foreign legations. These temples had spacious properties and were prestigious. However, hosting foreigners could have had a negative impact on the temples. Because of that, the Tokugawa Shogunate prepared other lands to build their foreign legations. From then on, Western or Japanese and Western-styled buildings began appearing throughout Edo City.