Route 246, Sotobori – I don’t get it

Years ago, prior to the commercialization of the world wide web and the ubiquitous nature of the Internet I acquired the domain sotobori.com.  Why sotobori.com?  I wanted something with a Tokyo theme but everything I could think of that was easy to say and spell was already taken.  Drat!

I had worked for a company that had an office in the Akasaka area of Tokyo and had spent a great deal of time there and had become very familiar with the area.  So, I went through the Tokyo City Atlas and started querying names in the whois database (in those days there was no godaddy.com or other domain name sales companies with built-in whois capability).  sotobori.com was available!  Sotobori Dori (street) is a major throroughfare running along the west side of the Imperial Palace.  Sotobori means “outer moat” and the street runs along the former location of the outer moat surrounding the Imperial Palace grounds.

The use of Route 246 has a slightly different pedigree.  See the wikipedia entry for more information.  It is a national highway in Japan and runs along Aoyama Dori in the Akasaka area of my former company’s office.  Route 246 and Sotobori Dori intersect at Akasaka-Mitsuke subway stations.  Additionally, I am a great fan and player of the Gran Turismo game series on the Sony Playstation.  My favorite course is called Route 246.  There are numerous youtube videos of this course on the game.  I’ve walked the entire course twice.  Here is the first time I did it and here is the second time I walked it in 2006.

There was a guy on a bulletin board who was so impressed with my work that he went through the game and screen captured all of the shots that I had taken live in Tokyo.  See it here.

route246.com was already taken.  The URL route246.sotobori.com signifies  Akasaka-Mitsuke crossing where the last hairpin turn on the race course in the game takes place.  Anyone who has stayed at the New Otani, Akasaka Grand Prince or Akasaka Excel Tokyu Hotel knows this intersection quite well.

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