Mystery-Solving Event in Tokyo’s Kabutocho Gaining Popularity

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kabutocho in chuo Ward, Tokyo, japan

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—A mystery-solving event featuring Tokyo’s Kabutocho district and Eiichi Shibusawa, known as the father of capitalism in Japan, is gaining popularity.

The event has been held since April by Heiwa Real Estate Co., which owns office buildings and commercial facilities in the district, including the Tokyo Stock Exchange building. Participants use hints hidden in store logos and building guides to solve quizzes about Kabutocho and send answers via a smartphone app.

It is growing popular not only among young people but also among families and people in their 40s and 50s.

Shibusawa helped establish as many as some 500 companies in his lifetime, including Japan’s first bank and the TSE, both in Kabutocho. He will be featured on Japan’s new 10,000-yen note, to be issued in July, and was depicted as the protagonist in a 2021 drama by public broadcaster NHK.

Kabutocho was previously known as a financial district with many banks and securities companies, and was crowded with securities salesmen during Japan’s asset bubble in the 1980s. But the district has since lost its bustle as the number of financial institutions decreased due to mergers and as electronic trading eliminated the need for securities companies to be physically close to the TSE.

The district now attracts many tourists thanks to stylish hotels and cafes in renovated old buildings, as a result of efforts by Heiwa Real Estate to attract tenants.

The Kabuto One commercial facility in the district features a life-size golden figure of Shibusawa, with which many people take photographs to upload to social media.

The mystery-solving event enables players to experience the renewed Kabutocho while solving quizzes.

The event was initially aimed at people in their 20s and 30s, but families who want to enjoy mystery-solving and people in their 40s and 50s who want to enjoy the renewed Kabutocho are also taking part as well.

“Setting Eiichi Shibusawa as the theme helped attract a broad age range,” a Heiwa Real Estate official said.

The company believes that spreading information about the district’s appeal can make people want to visit again. This is hoped to attract tourists and bring more commercial facilities and corporate offices to the area, boosting its value.

“We are considering supporting people who want to start novel businesses, just as Eiichi Shibusawa launched banks and the TSE,” the official said.