This historic merchants' district has many traditional shops, including Japan
's first department store, Mitsukoshi, and Takashimaya, an important cultural property, with its famous designer-attired and polite elevator girls. The area is named for the bridge of the same name, which literally means "bridge of Japan." All distances on major roads are measured from the middle of the bridge, and though the current one dates from 1911, a span has stood here since the beginning of the 17th century. A number of modern shops and restaurants are housed in the newer Coredo buildings. Nihonbashi is close to Tokyo
Station, yet surprisingly few tourists have found their way to the specialty shops here that sell washi paper, chopsticks, tea, seaweed, traditional sweets, and kitchenware.