Area Information

Building Bridges Between Nihombashi and University of California, San Diego



So far on this site we have focused predominantly on the rich cultural tapestry that makes up the Nihombashi area. Today we look behind the curtain of one of the many glassy high-rise buildings that usually goes unseen, and shine a light on a part of Nihombashi which is just as representative of the area as those clad in kimono that share its streets.

Historically Nihombashi has been a hub where culture and business go hand in hand, working symbiotically to drive each other on. In this process the Japanese pharmaceutical industry and related life sciences have found their natural home converging in Nihombashi, and in this new venture from the University of California, San Diego we find the next step of placing Nihombashi not just at the seat of the industry in Japan but an important global hub.

Beginning its operations in 2016 the UC San Diego Tokyo Office bridges Nihombashi with this highly respected university. Predominantly an outreach centre promoting increased collaboration internationally, the office places particular focus on UC San Diego's world leading research in life science and biotechnology.

We caught up with team behind this exciting project at a recent symposium to hear their thoughts on this new chapter for both UC San Diego and life sciences in Nihombashi

Albert P. Pisano, Ph.D. - Dean, Jacobs School of Engineering


I have been coming to Japan regularly since 1999, and if you look where real technological innovation is really made on a massive scale, it is California and Japan. The challenges California and Japan face are actually quite similar such as an ageing population, environmental concerns, and need for healthy ageing. So Japan makes a perfect venue for UC San Diego. Within that Nihombashi is the home of life sciences, but growing to include innovation which the world economy now hinges on.

Jan Dehesh - Director, Business Development


Tokyo is a mesmerising city with a character all of its own. We don't come here seeking to change that but to simply ask "tell us what you need". Our position isn't to tell you what you should be doing, but to find a way to work together for a shared goal. Most important is connectivity and collaboration. We don't want to change the culture, just offer a different perspective.

Miwako Waga - Director, International Outreach


One of the strengths of UC San Diego is their focus on intersection of life sciences and engineering, and this is the place in Tokyo where those sectors meet. This area is also the historical home of pharmaceuticals and the banking sector, so by linking industry, academia, government and finance together in Nihombashi this centre really becomes a dokodemo door, a door that will take you anywhere.

Nihonbashi Life Science Building

Life Science Innovation Network Japan

UC San Diego Tokyo Office

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