, officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan and is located on the eastern side of the main island Honshū. Tokyo's government also administers the twenty-three special wards of Tokyo, each governed as a city, that cover the area that was once the city of Tokyo in the eastern part of the prefecture. The population of the special wards is over 8 million people while the total population of the prefecture exceeds 12 million. The prefecture is the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, the world's most populous metropolitan area with 35 to 39 million people (depending on definition) and the world's largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$1.479 trillion at purchasing power parity in 2008.
described by Saskia Sassen as one of
the three "command centers" for the world
economy, along with London and New York City.
This city is considered an alpha+ world city
, listed by the GaWC's 2008
inventory and ranked fourth among global cities by Foreign Policy
's 2008 Global Cities
Index. In 2009 Tokyo was named the
world's most expensive
for expatriate employees, according to the Mercer
and Economist Intelligence Unit
cost-of-living surveys and named the third Most Liveable City and
the World’s Most Livable Megalopolis by the magazine
the seat of the Japanese
government and the Imperial
Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial
Tokyo was originally known as Edo
estuary. Its name was changed to Tokyo (Tōkyō
(east) + kyō
(capital)) when it became the imperial
capital in 1868. During the early Meiji period, the city was also
called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same Chinese
characters representing "Tokyo". Some surviving official English
documents use the spelling "Tokei"; however, this pronunciation is
Tokyo was originally a small fishing village named Edo.
Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle.
In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu
made Edo his base and when
he became shogun
in 1603, the town became the
center of his nationwide military government. During the subsequent
, Edo grew into one of the
largest cities in the world with a population topping one million
by the 18th century. It became the de facto capital of Japan even
while the emperor lived in Kyoto
, the imperial
capital.After about 263 years, the shogunate was overthrown under
the banner of restoring imperial
. In 1869, the 17-year-old Emperor
moved to Edo. Tokyo was already the nation's political and
cultural center, and the emperor's residence made it a de
facto imperial capital as well with the former Edo Castle becoming the Imperial Palace.
The city of Tokyo
was established, and continued to be the capital until it was
abolished as a municipality in 1943 and merged with the
"Metropolitan Prefecture" of Tokyo.
Central Tokyo, like Osaka
, has been designed
since about 1900 to be centered around major train stations in a
high-density fashion , so suburban railways were built relatively
cheaply at street level and with their own right-of-way
. This differs from many
cities in the United
States that are low-density and automobile-centric.
have been built
in Tokyo, the basic design has not changed.
Tokyo went on to suffer two major catastrophes in the 20th century,
but it recovered from both. One was the 1923 Great Kantō
earthquake, which left 140,000 dead or missing, and the other
was World War II. The bombing of
Tokyo in 1944 and 1945, with 75,000 to 200,000 killed and half of the city
destroyed, were almost as devastating as the atomic bombs of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.
After the war,
Tokyo was completely rebuilt, and showcased to the world during the
1964 Summer Olympics
brought new high-rise developments such as Sunshine 60, a new and controversial airport at Narita in 1978 (some
distance outside city limits), and a population increase to about
11 million (in the metropolitan area).
and commuter rail
network became one of the busiest in the world as more and more
people moved to the area. In the 1980s, real estate prices
skyrocketed during a real estate and debt bubble
. The bubble burst in the
early 1990s, and many companies, banks, and individuals were caught
with mortgage backed debts while real estate was shrinking in
value. A major recession followed, making the 1990s Japan's
" from which it is
now slowly recovering.Tokyo still sees new urban developments on
large lots of less profitable land. Recent projects include Ebisu Garden Place, Tennozu Isle, Shiodome, Roppongi Hills, Shinagawa (now
also a Shinkansen station), and the
Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station. Buildings of significance are demolished for
more up-to-date shopping facilities such as Omotesando
Land reclamation projects in Tokyo have
also been going on for centuries. The most prominent is the Odaiba area, now a
major shopping and entertainment center.
Various plans have
been proposed for transferring national government functions from
Tokyo to secondary capitals in other regions of Japan, in order to
slow down rapid development in Tokyo and revitalize economically
lagging areas of the country. These plans have been controversial
within Japan and have yet to be realized.
Geography and administrative divisions
mainland portion of Tokyo lies northwest of Tokyo Bay and measures about 90 km east to west and
25 km north to south. Chiba Prefecture borders it to the east, Yamanashi to the west, Kanagawa to the south, and Saitama to the north.
Mainland Tokyo is further
subdivided into the special wards (occupying the eastern half) and
the Tama area ( ) stretching westwards.
within the administrative boundaries of Tokyo Metropolis are two
island chains in the Pacific Ocean directly south: the Izu Islands, and the Ogasawara Islands, which stretch more than 1,000 km away from
Because of these islands and mountainous
regions to the west, Tokyo's overall population density figures far
underrepresent the real figures for urban and suburban regions of
Under Japanese law
, Tokyo is designated
as a to
( ), translated as metropolis
. Its administrative structure is
similar to that of Japan's other prefectures
. Within Tokyo lie dozens of
smaller entities, most of them conventionally referred to as
cities. It includes twenty-three
( -ku) which until 1943 comprised the city of Tokyo
but are now separate,
self-governing municipalities, each with a mayor and a council, and
having the status of a city. In addition to these 23
municipalities, Tokyo also encompasses 26 more cities (市
-shi), five towns ( -chō or machi),
and eight villages ( -son or -mura), each of which has a local
government. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is headed by a
publicly elected governor and metropolitan assembly. Its headquarters are in the ward of Shinjuku.
They govern all of Tokyo,
including lakes, rivers, dams, farms, remote islands, and national parks
in addition to its neon
jungles, skyscrapers and crowded subways.
The twenty-three special wards
A Map of Tokyo's 23 Special
The special wards
) of Tokyo comprise the area formerly
incorporated as Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, Tokyo City was merged
with forming the current "metropolitan prefecture". As a result,
unlike other city wards
these wards are not part of any larger incorporated city.Each ward
is a municipality
own elected mayor and assembly like the other cities of Japan. The
wards differ from other cities in having a unique administrative
relationship with the prefectural government. Certain municipal
functions, such as waterworks, sewerage, and fire-fighting, are
handled by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. To pay for the added
administrative costs, the prefecture collects municipal taxes,
which would usually be levied by the city.The special wards of
Tokyo are as follows:
The "three core wards" of Tokyo are Chiyoda
A Map of cities in western part of
To the west of the special wards, Tokyo Metropolis consists of
cities, towns and villages that enjoy the same legal status as
those elsewhere in Japan.
While serving as "bed towns
those working in central Tokyo, some of these also have a local
commercial and industrial base. Collectively, these are often known
as the Tama Area or Western
Mainland portion of Tokyo
Twenty-six cities lie within the western part of Tokyo:
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has designated Hachiōji,
Tachikawa, Machida, Ōme and Tama New Town as regional centers of
the Tama area, as part of their plans to disperse urban functions
away from central Tokyo.
Districts, towns and villages
The far west is occupied by the district (gun
) of Nishitama
. Much of this area is mountainous
and unsuitable for urbanization. The highest mountain in Tokyo, Mount
2,017 m high; other mountains in Tokyo include Takasu
(1737 m), Odake (1266 m), and Mitake
(929 m). Lake Okutama, on the Tama River near Yamanashi Prefecture, is Tokyo's largest lake.
Tokyo has numerous outlying islands, which extend as far as
1850 km from central Tokyo. Because of the islands' distance
from the administrative headquarters of the metropolitan government
in Shinjuku, local offices administer them.
Islands are a group of volcanic islands and form part of
the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. The islands in order from closest to Tokyo
are Izu Ōshima, Toshima, Niijima,
Shikinejima, Kozushima, Miyakejima, Mikurajima, Hachijojima, and Aogashima.
Izu Ōshima and Hachijojima are
towns. The remaining islands are six villages, with Niijima and
Shikinejima forming one
Ogasawara Islands include, from north to south, Chichi-jima, Nishinoshima, Haha-jima, Kita Iwo
Jima, and Minami Iwo Jima. Ogasawara also administers two tiny outlying
Torishima, the easternmost point in Japan and at
1,850 km the most distant island from central Tokyo, and
southernmost point in Japan. The last island is contested by the
Republic of China as being only uninhabited rocks.
chain and the outlying islands have no permanent population, but
host Japanese Self-Defense
personnel. Local populations are only found on Chichi-jima and Haha-jima.
The islands form the village of
There are several national parks within Tokyo, among them:
Population of Tokyo
||Juveniles (age 0-14)
Working (age 15-64)
Retired (age 65+)
|1.461 million (11.8%)
8.546 million (69.3%)
2.332 million (18.9%)
|1 Estimates as of October 1, 2007.
² as of January 1, 2007.
|³ as of 2005 National Census.
4 as of January 1, 2006.
As of October 2007, the official intercensal estimate
million people in Tokyo with 8.653 million living within Tokyo's 23
wards. During the daytime, the population swells by over 2.5
million as workers and students commute from adjacent areas. This
effect is even more pronounced in the three central wards of
, and Minato
, whose collective population as of the
2005 National Census was 326,000 at night, but 2.4 million during
the day. The entire prefecture had 12,790,000 residents in October
2007 (8,653,000 in 23 wards), with an increase of over 3 million in
the day. Tokyo is at its highest population ever, while that of the
23 wards peak official count was 8,893,094 in the 1965 Census, with
the count dipping below 8 million in the 1995 Census. People
continue to move back into the core city as land prices have fallen
As of 2005, the most common foreign nationalities found in Tokyo
are Chinese (123,661), Korean (106,697), Filipino (31,077),
American (18,848), British (7,696), Brazilian (5,300) and French
The 1889 Census recorded 1,389,600 people in Tokyo City
, Japan's largest city at the
Climate and seismology
Tokyo lies in the humid
zone (Koppen climate classification
), with hot humid summers and generally mild winters
with cool spells. Annual rainfall averages 1,380 mm
(55 inches), with a wetter summer and a drier winter. Snowfall
is sporadic, but does occur almost annually. Tokyo is an example of
an urban heat island
; the city's
population is a significant contributor to its climate. Tokyo has
been cited as a "convincing example of the relationship between
urban growth and climate". Tokyo also often sees typhoons each
year, though few are strong. The last one to hit was Fitow
Tokyo was hit by powerful earthquakes
1703, 1782, 1812, 1855 and 1923. The 1923 earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 8.3, killed
Tokyo has enacted a measure to cut greenhouse gases. Governor
first emissions cap system
aiming to reduce greenhouse gas
emission by a total of 25 percent by 2020 from the 2000
Heat island phenomenon
In Tokyo, particularly in the special wards, the problem of the
heat island phenomenon is serious. According to the Tokyo
Metropolitan Government, the annual mean temperature has increased
by about 3°C over the past 100 years.
one of the three world finance "command
centers", along with New
York and London.
Tokyo has the largest metropolitan economy in the world.
to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Tokyo urban area
(35.2 million people) had a total GDP of US$1.479 trillion in 2008
(at purchasing power
parity), ranking again as the largest urban agglomeration GDP in the
world. As of 2008, 47 of the companies listed on
the Global 500 are based in
Tokyo, almost twice that of the second-placed city (Paris).
Tokyo is a major international finance center, houses the
headquarters of several of the world's largest investment banks
companies, and serves as a hub for
, and broadcasting
industries. During the centralized
growth of Japan's economy following World
, many large firms moved their headquarters from cities
such as Osaka
(the historical commercial
capital) to Tokyo, in an attempt to take advantage of better access
to the government. This trend has begun to slow due to ongoing
population growth in Tokyo and the high cost of living there.
Big Mac Index
shows that workers in
Tokyo are earning the highest salary in the world.
Tokyo was rated by the Economist
as the most expensive (highest cost-of-living
) city in the world for
14 years in a row ending in 2006. This analysis is for living a
Western corporate executive lifestyle, with items like a detached
house and several automobiles.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange
Japan's largest stock exchange
second largest in the world by market capitalization
largest by share turnover. In 1990 at the end of the Japanese asset price bubble
accounted for more than 60% of the world stock market value.
8,460 ha (20,900 acres) of agricultural land as of 2003,
according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries, placing it last among the nation's
The farmland is concentrated in Western Tokyo.
Perishables such as vegetables, fruits, and flowers can be
conveniently shipped to the markets in the eastern part of the
prefecture. Japanese leaf spinach
are the most important vegetables;
as of 2000, Tokyo supplied 32.5% of the Japanese leaf spinach sold
at its central produce market.
With 36% of its area covered by forest, Tokyo has extensive growths
and Japanese cypress
, especially in the
mountainous western communities of Akiruno, Ōme, Okutama, Hachiōji,
Hinode, and Hinohara. Decreases in the price of lumber, increases
in the cost of production, and advancing old age among the forestry
population have resulted in a decline in Tokyo's output. In
addition, pollen, especially from cryptomeria, is a major allergen
for the nearby population centers.
Tokyo Bay was once a major source of fish. Presently, most of
Tokyo's fish production comes from the outer islands, such as Izu
Ōshima and Hachijōjima. Skipjack tuna
, and aji
are among the ocean products.
Tourism in Tokyo
is also a
contributor to the economy.
the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, is Japan's largest domestic and international hub
for rail, ground, and air transportation.
transportation within Tokyo is dominated by an extensive network of
clean and efficient trains and subways run by a variety of
operators, with buses, monorails and trams playing a secondary
Ōta, one of the 23 special wards,
International Airport ("Haneda") offers mainly domestic flights.
Tokyo, Narita International Airport, in Chiba Prefecture, is the major gateway for international travelers
to Japan. All Nippon
, Air Japan
and Northwest Airlines
have a hub at the
Various islands governed by Tokyo have their own airports.
Hachijōjima (Hachijojima Airport), Miyakejima (Miyakejima Airport), and Izu Ōshima
Airport) have service to Tokyo International and other
Map of Tokyo Subway system, with
transfer stations labeled
Rail is the primary mode of transportation in Tokyo, which has the
most extensive urban railway network in the world and an equally
extensive network of surface lines. JR East
operates Tokyo's largest
railway network, including the Yamanote
loop that circles the center of downtown Tokyo. Two
organizations operate the subway network: the private Tokyo Metro
and the governmental Tokyo Metropolitan
Bureau of Transportation
. The metropolitan government and
private carriers operate bus routes. Local, regional, and
national services are available, with major terminals at the giant
railroad stations, including Tokyo and Shinjuku.
Expressways link the capital to other points
in the Greater Tokyo area, the Kantō region, and the islands of
Kyūshū and Shikoku.
Other transportation includes taxis operating in the special wards
and the cities and towns. Also long-distance ferries serve the
islands of Tokyo and carry passengers and cargo to domestic and
Tokyo has many universities, junior colleges, and vocational
schools. Many of Japan's most prestigious
universities are in Tokyo, including University of Tokyo, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo
Institute of Technology, Waseda University, and Keio University.
Some of the biggest national universities
in Tokyo are:
There is only one non-national public
There are also a few universities well-known for classes conducted
in English and for the teaching of the Japanese language. They
For an extensive list, see List of universities in
Publicly run kindergartens, elementary
(years 1 through 6), and junior high schools
(7 through 9) are
operated by local wards or municipal offices. Public high schools
in Tokyo are run by the Tokyo
Metropolitan Government Board of Education
and are called
"Metropolitan High Schools". Regardless, Tokyo has many private
schools from kindergarten through high school.
Tokyo has many museums. In Ueno Park there are four national museums: Tokyo
National Museum, the country's largest museum and specializing in
traditional Japanese art; the National
Museum of Western Art; and the Tokyo
National Museum of Modern Art, with its collections of Japanese modern art as well as over 40,000 Japanese and
foreign films. Also in Ueno Park are the National Museum of Science
and the public
zoo. Other museums include the Nezu Art
Museum in Aoyama; the Edo-Tokyo
Museum in Sumida across the Sumida River from the center of Tokyo; and the National
Diet Library, National Archives, and the National
Museum of Modern Art, which are located near the Imperial
Tokyo has many theaters for the performing arts as well. These
include national and private theaters for traditional forms of
Japanese drama (like noh
) as well as modern dramas. Symphony orchestras
and other musical organizations perform Western and traditional
music. Tokyo also hosts modern Japanese and Western
pop and rock
music at venues ranging in size from intimate clubs to
internationally known arenas like the Nippon Budokan.
Many different festivals occur throughout Tokyo
events include the Sannō at Hie Shrine, the Sanja at Asakusa Shrine, and the biennial Kanda
The last features a parade with elaborately
decorated floats and thousands of people. Annually on the last
Saturday of July, an enormous fireworks
display over the Sumida
River attracts over a million viewers.
cherry blossoms, or sakura, bloom in
spring, many residents gather in Ueno Park, Inokashira
Park, and the Shinjuku Gyoen National
Garden for picnics under the blossoms.
, a neighborhood in Shibuya
, is known internationally for its
youth style and fashion.
Cuisine in Tokyo is internationally acclaimed. In November 2007,
Michelin released their guide for
fine dining in Tokyo, garnering 191 stars in total, or about twice
as many as its nearest competitor, Paris.
Eight establishments were awarded the maximum of three stars (Paris
has 10), 25 received two stars, and 117 earned one star. Of the
eight top-rated restaurants, three offer traditional Japanese fine
dining, two are sushi
houses and three serve
with a diverse array of sports, is home to two professional
baseball clubs, the Yomiuri Giants (Tokyo Dome) and Tokyo Yakult
Swallows (Meiji-Jingu Stadium) .The Japan
Sumo Association is also headquartered in Tokyo at the Ryōgoku
Kokugikan sumo arena where three official sumo tournaments are held annually (in January, May,
and September). Football
clubs in Tokyo include F.C. Tokyo and Tokyo Verdy,
both of which play at Ajinomoto Stadium in Chōfu.
Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics
. National Stadium,
also known as Olympic Stadium, Tokyo is host to a number of international sporting
events. With a number of world-class sports venues,
Tokyo often hosts national and international sporting events such
as tennis tournaments, swim meets, marathons, American football
exhibition games, judo, karate, etc. Tokyo
Metropolitan Gymnasium, in Sendagaya, Shibuya, is a large sports complex
that includes swimming pools, training rooms, and a large indoor
Tokyo in popular media
As the largest population center in Japan and the location of the
country's largest broadcasters and studios, Tokyo is frequently the
setting for many Japanese movies, television shows, animated series
, and comic books (manga
In the kaiju
(monster movie) genre,
landmarks of Tokyo are routinely destroyed by giant monsters such
Some Hollywood directors have turned to Tokyo as a filming location
for movies set in Tokyo. Well-known examples from the postwar era
include Tokyo Joe
, My Geisha
, and the James Bond
film You Only Live Twice
well-known contemporary examples include Kill Bill
, The Fast and the Furious:
and Lost in Translation
Japanese films that use Tokyo as their setting include:
Architecture in Tokyo
largely been shaped by Tokyo's history. Twice in recent
history has the metropolis been left in ruins: first in the
Kantō earthquake and later after extensive
firebombing in World War II.
Because of this, Tokyo's current urban
landscape is one of modern and contemporary architecture, and older
buildings are scarce.
Tokyo also contains numerous
parks and gardens
Tokyo has eleven sister
addition, Tokyo has a "partnership" agreement with London, United
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