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About Tokyo










Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō?, "Eastern Capital") (Japanese: [toːkʲoː],English /ˈtki./), officially Tokyo Metropolis (東京都 Tōkyō-to?), is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan.

Tokyo is the capital and largest city of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world. It is the seat of theEmperor of Japan and the Japanese government. Tokyo is in the Kantō region on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Formerly known as Edo, it has been the de facto seat of government since 1603 when Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters. It officially became the capital afterEmperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from the old capital of Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture (東京府 Tōkyō-fu?)and the city of Tokyo (東京市 Tōkyō-shi?).

Tokyo is often referred to and thought of as a city, but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of both a city and a prefecture; a characteristic unique to Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolitan government administers the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo (each governed as an individual city), which cover the area that was formerly the City of Tokyo before it merged and became the subsequent metropolitan prefecture in 1943. The metropolitan government also administers 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture and the two outlying island chains. The population of the special wards is over 9 million people, with the total population of the prefecture exceeding 13 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area with upwards of 37.8 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy. The city hosts 51 of the Fortune Global 500companies, the highest number of any city. The city is also home to various television networks like Fuji TV and the Tokyo Broadcasting System.

The city is considered an alpha+ world city—as listed by the GaWC's 2008 inventory—and in 2014, Tokyo was ranked first in the "Best overall experience" category of TripAdvisor's World City Survey (the city also ranked first in the following categories: "Helpfulness of locals", "Nightlife", "Shopping", "Local public transportation" and "Cleanliness of streets"). In 2013, Tokyo was named the third most expensive city for expatriates, according to the Mercer consulting firm, and the world's most expensive city, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's cost-of-living survey.In 2009 Tokyo was named the third Most Liveable City by the magazineMonocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world.







Tokyo Metropolis
Clockwise from top: Nishi-Shinjuku, Rainbow Bridge, National Diet Building, Shibuya, Tokyo Skytree
Clockwise from top: Nishi-Shinjuku, Rainbow Bridge, National Diet Building, Shibuya, Tokyo Skytree
Flag of Tokyo
Official seal of Tokyo
Official logo of Tokyo
Anthem: Tokyo Metropolitan Song (東京都歌Tokyo Toka?)
Location of Tokyo in Japan
Location of Tokyo in Japan
Satellite photo of Tokyo's 23 Special wards taken by NASA's Landsat 7
Satellite photo of Tokyo's 23 Special wards taken byNASA's Landsat 7
Tokyo is located in Japan
Location of Tokyo in Japan
Coordinates: 35°41′N 139°41′E








Geography and administrative divisions

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

The mainland portion of Tokyo lies northwest of Tokyo Bay and measures about 90 km (56 mi) east to west and 25 km (16 mi) north to south. The average elevation in Tokyo is 40 m (131 ft). 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 (多摩地域) stretching westwards.

Also 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 (620 mi) away from the mainland. Because of these islands and the mountainous regions to the west, Tokyo's overall population density figures far underrepresent the real figures for the urban and suburban regions of Tokyo.

Under Japanese law, Tokyo is designated as a to (都), translated as metropolis. Its administrative structure is similar to that of Japan's other prefectures. The 23 special wards (特別区 -ku), which until 1943 constituted the city of Tokyo, are now separate, self-governing municipalities, each having a mayor, a council, and the status of a city.

In addition to these 23 special wards, Tokyo also includes 26 more cities (市 -shi), five towns (町 -chō or machi), and eight villages (村 -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 located in Shinjuku Ward.

Okutama Hinohara Ōme Hinode Akiruno Hachiōji Machida Mizuho Hamura Fussa Musashimurayama Tachikawa Akishima Hino Tama Higashiyamato Higashimurayama Kodaira Kokubunji Kunitachi Fuchū Inagi Kiyose Higashikurume Nishitōkyō Koganei Musashino Mitaka Komae Chōfu Nerima Suginami Setagaya Itabashi Nakano Toshima Shinjuku Shibuya Meguro Kita Bunkyo Chiyoda Chūō Minato Shinagawa Ōta Adachi Arakawa Taitō Katsushika Sumida Koto Edogawa Saitama Prefecture Yamanashi Prefecture Kanagawa Prefecture Chiba Prefecture Special wards of Tokyo Western Tokyo Nishitama District Tokyo Metropolis Map.svg








National parks




Ogasawara National Park, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site

As of March 31, 2008, 36% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks (second only to Shiga Prefecture), namely the Chichibu Tama Kai,Fuji-Hakone-Izu, and Ogasawara National Parks (the last a UNESCO World Heritage Site); Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park; and Akikawa Kyūryō,Hamura Kusabana Kyūryō, Sayama, Takao Jinba, Takiyama, and Tama KyūryōPrefectural Natural Parks.

Ueno Park is well known for its museums: Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science, Shitamachi Museum and National Museum for Western Art, among others. There are also art works and statues at several places in the park. There is also a zoo in the park, and the park is a popular destination to view cherry blossoms.












Architecture in Tokyo has largely been shaped by Tokyo's history. Twice in recent history has the metropolis been left in ruins: first in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake and later after extensive firebombing in World War II. Because of this, Tokyo's urban landscape consists mainly of modern and contemporary architecture, and older buildings are scarce.Tokyo features many internationally famous forms of modern architecture including Tokyo International Forum, Asahi Beer Hall, Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building and Rainbow Bridge. Tokyo also features two distinctive towers: Tokyo Tower and the new Tokyo Skytree which is the tallest tower in Japan and the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Tokyo also contains numerous parks and gardens.There are four national parks in Tokyo Prefecture, including the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which includes all of the Izu Islands.

Panoramic view of Shinjuku and Mount Fuji taken from Bunkyo Civic Center
View over central Tokyo from the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
Cherry blossoms at the Tokyo Imperial Palace
High-rise office buildings as seen from the Tokyo Imperial Palace.
















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