The Tokyo Stock Exchange
The world’s third-largest stock exchange is found in Tokyo, headquartered in the financial district of Nihonbashi. Guests are welcome to visit the complex, and watch the high-stakes action from a platform above the main trading floor.
Thanks to the positioning of the International Date Line, the Tokyo Stock Exchange (often abbreviated to TSE) is the first major exchange to open every day, allowing Japan to set the pace of global finance. Founded in 1878, the TSE now lists stocks for over 2000 companies.
I know next to nothing about finance, or things like stocks, market capitalization, securities and industrial averages. Actually, I probably know less than nothing, since everything I think I know is probably wrong. As a financial nincompoop, visiting the TSE was intimidating. Like how an illiterate person feels when visiting a library. “What if I’m asked to define hedge funds? I’ll be exposed!”
Despite my ignorance, I enjoyed our trip to the TSE. After clearing security and donning visitor badges, we walked above the trading floor, which is enclosed within a massive glass cylinder. Around the glass, a large LED ticker has been installed, displaying transactions in real-time. There are also info points throughout the premises, where you can learn about the history of the exchange. We looked down onto the floor, watching numbers change and imagining the millions of yen being made and lost, and had the chance to play a Trading Simulation game.
We ended our tour at a small museum which has photographs from the early days of the exchange and takes just a few minutes to tour. Despite the stock exchange’s presence in downtown Tokyo and its considerable importance to the financial world, there were very few tourists inside with us. I suppose it’s something which only finance-freaks will really appreciate, but even for the rest of us, visiting is a worthwhile experience.