The name Marunouchi means "inside the circle". It derives from the fact that Marunouchi is within the Imperial Palace's outer moat.
As with most large business districts, Marunouchi is crowded on weekdays and relatively empty late at night and on weekends.
There are numerous (upscale) shops and restaurants in the area. These shops mostly target the area's office workers.
Marunouchi was once an inlet of Tokyo Bay. Large areas of artificial large have been built up around the area in the past 400 years. In the Edo-era, Marunouchi was home to mansions of Daimyo (lords) who positioned their homes close to the Imperial Palace. Following the Meiji Restoration the area became an army barracks.
In 1890, the family who started the Mitsubishi corporation bought the entire area for 1.5 million yen. The area was once known as "Mitsubishi Fields".
Today, Mitsubishi's headquarters are still in the area. Mitsubishi Estate still owns many buildings in the area.
In 1914, Tokyo Station opened on the eastern border of the area. The Marunouchi exit of the station features a grand western style facade.
There has been an effort in recent years to improve the Marunouchi area with mixed office, shopping and entertainment complexes. In the past, the area had a reputation as a dry business district with few attractions for visitors.
Marunouchi is ranked #2 of 8 most popular Salary Man neighborhoods