Nihonbashi Bridge was built in 1603 and designated by the Edo Shogunate government as the starting point of five major roads in Japan. The present Nihonbashi Bridge, built in the Renaissance style in 1911, is a double-arched bridge made of stone. The calligraphy engraving “NIhonbashi” on the plaques on each of the four newel posts is based on the work of Yoshinobu Tokugawa, the last Shogun. In 1972, the original “Zero Milestone of Tokyo City”, formerly located in the middle of Nihonbashi Bridge was transferred to this square for preservation and replaced by a memorial plaque. The characters “Zero Milestone of Japan” on the plaque were taken from the writing of the then Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Eisaku Sato.
Both “Zero Milestone of Tokyo” and Nihonbashi Bridge, which celebrated its eighty-eighth anniversary in 1999, are designated important cultural assets of Japan.