|Anthem: Tokyo Metropolitan Song (東京都歌 Tōkyō-to Ka)|
Location within Japan
|Divisions||23 special wards, 26 cities, 1 district, and 4 subprefectures|
|• Governor||Yuriko Koike (TF)|
|• Metropolis||2,193.96 km2 (847.09 sq mi)|
|• Land||406.58 km2 (156.98 sq mi)|
|• Metro||13,572 km2 (5,240 sq mi)|
|Elevation||40 m (130 ft)|
|• Density||6,349/km2 (16,440/sq mi)|
|• Metro||38,140,000 – Greater Tokyo Area|
|• Metro density||2,662/km2 (6,890/sq mi)|
|• 23 Wards||9,630,254|
|(2015 per prefectural government)|
|Demonym(s)||江戸っ子 (Edokko), 東京人 (Tōkyō-jin), 東京っ子 (Tōkyōkko), Tokyoite|
|• Total||US$869 billion|
|• Per capita||US$64,269|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|Flower||Somei-Yoshino cherry blossom|
|Tree||Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba)|
|Bird||Black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus)|
Tōkyō in kanji
Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō, English: //, Japanese: [toːkʲoː] (listen)), officially Tokyo Metropolis (東京都 Tōkyō-to), is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. It has served as the Japanese capital since 1869, its urban area housing the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolis 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 as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.
Tokyo is considered to be one of the world's most important and powerful global cities. The 23 Special Wards of Tokyo were formerly Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, it merged with Tokyo Prefecture and became Tokyo Metropolis with an additional 26 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture, and the Izu islands and Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo. As of October 1, 2015, the population of Tokyo is estimated to be over 13.4 million, or about 11% of Japan's total population, making it Japan's most populous city. The latest estimate in 2019 shows the growing population of Tokyo with 13.9 million people, with the special wards 9.6 million, the Tama area 4.2 million, and the Islands 25,147. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area called the Greater Tokyo Area with over 40 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy. As of 2011[update], Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time. Tokyo ranked third (twice) in the International Financial Centres Development Index. The city is home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System.
Tokyo ranks first in the Global Economic Power Index and third in the Global Cities Index. The GaWC's 2018 inventory classified Tokyo as an alpha+ world city  – and as of 2014[update] TripAdvisor's World City Survey ranked Tokyo first in its "Best overall experience" category (the city also ranked first in the following categories: "helpfulness of locals", "nightlife", "shopping", "local public transportation" and "cleanliness of streets"). As of 2018[update] Tokyo ranked as the 2nd-most expensive city for expatriates, according to the Mercer consulting firm. and also the world's 11th-most expensive city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's cost-of-living survey. In 2015, Tokyo was named the Most Liveable City in the world by the magazine Monocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo was ranked first out of all sixty cities in the 2017 Safe Cities Index. It was also ranked the first in the 2019 safe cities index. The QS Best Student Cities ranked Tokyo as the 3rd-best city in the world to be a university student in 2016 and 2nd in 2018. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the 1979 G-7 summit, the 1986 G-7 summit, and the 1993 G-7 summit, and will host the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Cityscape
- 5 Environment
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economy
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Education
- 10 Culture
- 11 Sports
- 12 In popular culture
- 13 International relations
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 Bibliography
- 17 Further reading
- 18 External links
Tokyo was originally known as Edo (江戸), which means "estuary". Its name was changed to Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō, 東 tō "east", and 京 kyō "capital") when it became the imperial capital with the arrival of Emperor Meiji in 1868, in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word capital (京) in the name of the capital city (like Kyoto (京都), Beijing (北京) and Nanjing (南京)). During the early Meiji period, the city was also called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tokyo", making it a kanji homograph. Some surviving official English documents use the spelling "Tokei"; however, this pronunciation is now obsolete.
Pre-1869 (Edo period)
Tokyo was originally a small fishing village named Edo, in what was formerly part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified by the Edo clan, in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred from Mikawa Province (his lifelong base) to Kantō region. When he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century. But Edo was Tokugawa's home and was not capital of Japan. (That was caused by the Meiji Restoration in 1868.) The Emperor himself lived in Kyoto from 794 to 1868 as capital of Japan. During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, and in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city. The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires, earthquakes, and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. However, this prolonged period of seclusion came to an end with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Commodore Perry forced the opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, leading to an increase in the demand for new foreign goods and subsequently a severe rise in inflation. Social unrest mounted in the wake of these higher prices and culminated in widespread rebellions and demonstrations, especially in the form of the "smashing" of rice establishments. Meanwhile, supporters of the Meiji Emperor leveraged the disruption that these widespread rebellious demonstrations were causing to further consolidate power by overthrowing the last Tokugawa shōgun, Yoshinobu, in 1867. After 265 years, the Pax Tokugawa came to an end.
In 1869, the 17-year-old Emperor Meiji moved to Edo, and in accordance, the city was renamed Tokyo (meaning Eastern Capital). The city was divided into Yamanote and Shitamachi. 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 officially established on May 1, 1889.
Central Tokyo, like Osaka, has been designed since about 1900 to be centered on major railway stations in a high-density fashion, so suburban railways were built relatively cheaply at street level and with their own right-of-way. Though expressways have been built in Tokyo, the basic design has not changed.
In 1943, the city of Tokyo merged with the prefecture of Tokyo to form the "Metropolitan Prefecture" of Tokyo. Since then, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government served as both the prefecture government for Tokyo, as well as administering the special wards of Tokyo, for what had previously been Tokyo City. World War II wrought widespread destruction of most of the city due to the persistent Allied air raids on Japan and the use of incendiary bombs. The bombing of Tokyo in 1944 and 1945 is estimated to have killed between 75,000 and 200,000 civilians and left more than half of the city destroyed. The deadliest night of the war came on March 9–10, 1945, the night of the American "Operation Meetinghouse" raid; as nearly 700,000 incendiary bombs rained on the eastern half of the city, mainly in heavily residential wards. Two-fifths of the city were completely burned, more than 276,000 buildings were demolished, 100,000 civilians were killed, and 110,000 more were injured. Between 1940 and 1945, the population of Japan's capital city dwindled from 6,700,000 to less than 2,800,000, with the majority of those who lost their homes living in "ramshackle, makeshift huts".
After the war, Tokyo was completely rebuilt and was showcased to the world during the 1964 Summer Olympics. The 1970s 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).
Tokyo's subway 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 "Lost Decade", 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, Tennōzu Isle, Shiodome, Roppongi Hills, Shinagawa (now also a Shinkansen station), and the Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station. Buildings of significance have been demolished for more up-to-date shopping facilities such as Omotesando Hills.
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.
The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of the northeastern coast of Honshu was felt in Tokyo. However, due to Tokyo's earthquake-resistant infrastructure, damage in Tokyo was very minor compared to areas directly hit by the tsunami, although activity in the city was largely halted. The subsequent nuclear crisis caused by the tsunami has also largely left Tokyo unaffected, despite occasional spikes in radiation levels.
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 under-represent 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 tokubetsu-ku), which until 1943 constituted the city of Tokyo, are 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 administers the whole metropolis including the 23 special wards and the cities and towns that constitute the prefecture. It is headed by a publicly elected governor and metropolitan assembly. Its headquarters is in Shinjuku Ward.
The special wards (特別区 tokubetsu-ku) of Tokyo comprise the area formerly incorporated as Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, Tokyo City was merged with Tokyo Prefecture (東京府 Tōkyō-fu) forming the current "metropolitan prefecture". As a result, unlike other city wards in Japan, these wards are not conterminous with a larger incorporated city.
While falling under the jurisdiction of Tokyo Metropolitan Government, each ward is also a borough with its own elected leader and council, like other cities of Japan. The special wards use the word "city" in their official English name (e.g. Chiyoda City).
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:
The "three central wards" of Tokyo – Chiyoda, Chūō and Minato – are the business core of the city, with a daytime population more than seven times higher than their nighttime population. Chiyoda Ward is unique in that it is in the very heart of the former Tokyo City, yet is one of the least populated wards. It is occupied by many major Japanese companies and is also the seat of the national government, and the Japanese emperor. It is often called the "political center" of the country. Akihabara, known for being an otaku cultural center and a shopping district for computer goods, is also in Chiyoda.
Tama Area (Western Tokyo)
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" for those working in central Tokyo, some of them also have a local commercial and industrial base, such as Tachikawa. Collectively, these are often known as the Tama area or Western 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 its plans to disperse urban functions away from central Tokyo.
The far west of the Tama area is occupied by the district (gun) of Nishi-Tama. Much of this area is mountainous and unsuitable for urbanization. The highest mountain in Tokyo, Mount Kumotori, is 2,017 m (6,617 ft) high; other mountains in Tokyo include Takanosu (1,737 m (5,699 ft)), Odake (1,266 m (4,154 ft)), and Mitake (929 m (3,048 ft)). Lake Okutama, on the Tama River near Yamanashi Prefecture, is Tokyo's largest lake. The district is composed of three towns (Hinode, Mizuho and Okutama) and one village (Hinohara).
Tokyo has numerous outlying islands, which extend as far as 1,850 km (1,150 mi) from central Tokyo. Because of the islands' distance from the administrative headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in Shinjuku, local subprefectural branch offices administer them.
The Izu 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, Nii-jima, Shikine-jima, Kōzu-shima, Miyake-jima, Mikurajima, Hachijō-jima, and Aogashima. The Izu Islands are grouped into three subprefectures. Izu Ōshima and Hachijojima are towns. The remaining islands are six villages, with Niijima and Shikinejima forming one village.
The Ogasawara Islands include, from north to south, Chichi-jima, Nishinoshima, Haha-jima, Kita Iwo Jima, Iwo Jima, and Minami Iwo Jima. Ogasawara also administers two tiny outlying islands: Minami Torishima, the easternmost point in Japan and at 1,850 km (1,150 mi) the most distant island from central Tokyo, and Okinotorishima, the southernmost point in Japan. Japan's claim on an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) surrounding Okinotorishima is contested by China and South Korea as they regard Okinotorishima as uninhabitable rocks which have no EEZ. The Iwo chain and the outlying islands have no permanent population, but hosts Japan Self-Defense Forces personnel. Local populations are only found on Chichi-Jima and Haha-Jima. The islands form both Ogasawara Subprefecture and the village of Ogasawara, Tokyo.
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 Kyūryō Prefectural Natural Parks.
A number of museums are located in Ueno Park: Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science, Shitamachi Museum and National Museum for Western Art, among others. There are also artworks 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.
Tokyo is near the boundary of three plates, making it an extremely active region for smaller quakes and slippage which frequently affect the urban area with swaying as if in a boat, although epicenters within mainland Tokyo (excluding Tokyo's 2,000 km–long island jurisdiction) are quite rare. It is not uncommon in the metro area to have hundreds of these minor quakes (magnitudes 4–6) that can be felt in a single year, something local residents merely brush off but can be a source of anxiety not only for foreign visitors but for Japanese from elsewhere as well. They rarely cause much damage (sometimes a few injuries) as they are either too small or far away as quakes tend to dance around the region. Particularly active are offshore regions and to a lesser extent Chiba and Ibaraki.
Infrequent powerful quakes
Tokyo has been hit by powerful megathrust earthquakes in 1703, 1782, 1812, 1855, 1923, and much more indirectly (some liquefaction in landfill zones) in 2011; the frequency of direct and large quakes is a relative rarity. The 1923 earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 8.3, killed 142,000 people, the last time the urban area was directly hit. The 2011 quake focus was hundreds of kilometers away and resulted in no direct deaths in the metropolitan area.
The former city of Tokyo and the majority of mainland Tokyo lie in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with hot, humid summers and generally cool winters with cold spells. The region, like much of Japan, experiences a one-month seasonal lag, with the warmest month being August, which averages 26.4 °C (79.5 °F), and the coolest month being January, averaging 5.2 °C (41.4 °F). The record low temperature is −9.2 °C (15.4 °F) on January 13, 1876, while the record high is 39.5 °C (103.1 °F) on July 20, 2004. The record highest low temperature is 30.3 °C (86.5 °F) on August 12, 2013, making Tokyo one of only seven observation sites in Japan that have recorded a low temperature over 30 °C (86.0 °F). Annual rainfall averages nearly 1,530 millimetres (60.2 in), with a wetter summer and a drier winter. Snowfall is sporadic, but does occur almost annually. Tokyo also often sees typhoons every year, though few are strong. The wettest month since records began in 1876 was October 2004, with 780 millimetres (30 in) of rain, including 270.5 mm (10.65 in) on the ninth of that month; the last of four months on record to observe no precipitation is December 1995. Annual precipitation has ranged from 879.5 mm (34.63 in) in 1984 to 2,229.6 mm (87.78 in) in 1938.
|Climate data for Kitanomaru Park, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1875–present|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.6
|Average high °C (°F)||9.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.2
|Average low °C (°F)||0.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−9.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||52.3
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||5
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm)||5.3||6.2||11.0||11.0||11.4||12.7||11.8||9.0||12.2||10.8||7.6||4.9||114.0|
|Average snowy days||2.8||3.7||2.2||0.2||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.8||9.7|
|Average relative humidity (%)||52||53||56||62||69||75||77||73||75||68||65||56||65|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||184.5||165.8||163.1||176.9||167.8||125.4||146.4||169.0||120.9||131.0||147.9||178.0||1,876.7|
|Average ultraviolet index||2||3||5||7||9||10||10||10||8||5||3||2||6|
|Source: Japan Meteorological Agency and Weather Atlas|
The western mountainous area of mainland Tokyo, Okutama also lies in the humid subtropical climate (Köppen classification Cfa).
|Climate data for Ogouchi, Okutama town, Tokyo, 1981–2010 normals|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.8
|Average high °C (°F)||6.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−9.3
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||44.1
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||147.1||127.7||132.2||161.8||154.9||109.8||127.6||148.3||99.1||94.5||122.1||145.6||1,570.7|
|Source: Japan Meteorological Agency|
Tokyo's offshore territories' climates vary significantly from the city. The climate of Chichijima in Ogasawara village is on the boundary between the tropical savanna climate (Köppen classification Aw) and the humid subtropical climate (Köppen classification Cfa). It is approximately 1,000 km south of the Greater Tokyo Area resulting in different climatic conditions.
|Climate data for Chichijima, Ogasawara, Tokyo, 1981–2010 normals|
|Record high °C (°F)||26.1
|Average high °C (°F)||20.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||18.4
|Average low °C (°F)||15.7
|Record low °C (°F)||10.1
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||65.3
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.5 mm)||10.3||9.1||10.8||9.9||11.7||9.3||8.4||11.0||11.6||13.0||11.1||11.8||128|
|Average relative humidity (%)||66||68||73||79||83||86||82||82||82||80||75||70||77|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||136.4||131.4||154.7||148.2||159.8||198.9||250.3||211.0||200.9||179.1||140.9||126.8||2,038.4|
|Source: Japan Meteorological Agency|
Tokyo's easternmost territory, the island of Minamitorishima in Ogasawara village, is in the tropical savanna climate zone (Köppen classification Aw). Tokyo's Izu and Ogasawara islands are affected by an average of 5.4 typhoons a year, compared to 3.1 in mainland Kantō.
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 both Japan and the world, and the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Mori Building Co started work on Tokyo's new tallest building which is set to be finished on March 2023. The project will cost 580 billion yen ($5.5 billion).
Tokyo has enacted a measure to cut greenhouse gases. Governor Shintaro Ishihara created Japan's first emissions cap system, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emission by a total of 25% by 2020 from the 2000 level. Tokyo is an example of an urban heat island, and the phenomenon is especially serious in its special wards. According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the annual mean temperature has increased by about 3 °C (5.4 °F) over the past 100 years. Tokyo has been cited as a "convincing example of the relationship between urban growth and climate."
In 2006, Tokyo enacted the "10 Year Project for Green Tokyo" to be realised by 2016. It set a goal of increasing roadside trees in Tokyo to 1 million (from 480,000), and adding 1,000 ha of green space 88 of which will be a new park named "Umi no Mori" (sea forest) which will be on a reclaimed island in Tokyo Bay which used to be a landfill. From 2007 to 2010, 436 ha of the planned 1,000 ha of green space was created and 220,000 trees were planted bringing the total to 700,000. In 2014, road side trees in Tokyo have increased to 950,000, and a further 300 ha of green space has been added.
As of October 2012, the official intercensal estimate showed 13.506 million people in Tokyo with 9.214 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 Chiyoda, Chūō, and Minato, whose collective population as of the 2005 National Census was 326,000 at night, but 2.4 million during the day.
In the year 1889, the Home Ministry recorded 1,375,937 people in Tokyo City and a total of 1,694,292 people in Tokyo-fu. In the same year, a total of 779 foreign nationals were recorded as residing in Tokyo. The most common nationality was English (209 residents), followed by American nationals (182) and Chinese nationals (137).
Tokyo has the largest metropolitan economy in the world. According to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Greater Tokyo Area (Tokyo-Yokohama) of 38 million people had a total GDP of $2 trillion in 2012 (at purchasing power parity), which topped that list.
Tokyo is a major international finance center; it houses the headquarters of several of the world's largest investment banks and insurance companies, and serves as a hub for Japan's transportation, publishing, electronics and broadcasting industries. During the centralized growth of Japan's economy following World War II, 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.
Tokyo emerged as a leading international financial center (IFC) in the 1960s and has been described as one of the three "command centers" for the world economy, along with New York City and London. In the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index, Tokyo was ranked as having the fifth most competitive financial center in the world (alongside cities such as London, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Sydney, Boston, and Toronto in the top 10), and third most competitive in Asia (after Singapore and Hong Kong). The Japanese financial market opened up slowly in 1984 and accelerated its internationalisation with the "Japanese Big Bang" in 1998. Despite the emergence of Singapore and Hong Kong as competing financial centers, the Tokyo IFC manages to keep a prominent position in Asia. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is Japan's largest stock exchange, and third largest in the world by market capitalization and fourth largest by share turnover. In 1990 at the end of the Japanese asset price bubble, it accounted for more than 60% of the world stock market value. Tokyo had 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 prefectures. 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. Komatsuna and spinach are the most important vegetables; as of 2000, Tokyo supplied 32.5% of the komatsuna sold at its central produce market.
With 36% of its area covered by forest, Tokyo has extensive growths of cryptomeria and Japanese cypress, especially in the mountainous western communities of Akiruno, Ōme, Okutama, Hachiōji, Hinode, and Hinohara. Decreases in the price of timber, 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. Most of Tokyo's fish production comes from the outer islands, such as Izu Ōshima and Hachijō-Jima. Skipjack tuna, nori, and aji are among the ocean products.
Tourism in Tokyo is also a contributor to the economy. In 2006, 4.81 million foreigners and 420 million Japanese visits to Tokyo were made; the economic value of these visits totaled 9.4 trillion yen according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Many tourists visit the various downtowns, stores, and entertainment districts throughout the neighborhoods of the special wards of Tokyo; particularly for school children on class trips, a visit to Tokyo Tower is de rigueur. Cultural offerings include both omnipresent Japanese pop culture and associated districts such as Shibuya and Harajuku, subcultural attractions such as Studio Ghibli anime center, as well as museums like the Tokyo National Museum, which houses 37% of the country's artwork national treasures (87/233).
The Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The Tsukiji market holds strong to the traditions of its predecessor, the Nihonbashi fish market, and serves some 50,000 buyers and sellers every day. Retailers, whole-sellers, auctioneers, and public citizens alike frequent the market, creating a unique microcosm of organized chaos that still continues to fuel the city and its food supply after over four centuries. It moved to the new Toyosu Market in October 2018.
Tokyo, as the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, is Japan's largest domestic and international hub for rail and ground. However, its airspace has been under the US military's exclusive rights after World War II and some flight routes are returned to Japan. Public 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 feeder role. There are up to 62 electric train lines and more than 900 train stations in Tokyo.
As a result of World War II, Japanese planes are forbidden to fly over Tokyo. Therefore, Japan constructed airports outside Tokyo. Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture is the major gateway for international travelers to Japan. Japan's flag carrier Japan Airlines, as well All Nippon Airways, have a hub at this airport. Haneda Airport on the reclaimed land at Ōta, offers domestic and international flights.
Various islands governed by Tokyo have their own airports. Hachijō-jima (Hachijojima Airport), Miyakejima (Miyakejima Airport), and Izu Ōshima (Oshima Airport) have services to Tokyo International and other airports.
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 Line loop that circles the center of downtown Tokyo. Two different 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 and one tram route. Local, regional, and national services are available, with major terminals at the giant railroad stations, including Tokyo, Shinagawa, and Shinjuku.
Expressways link the capital to other points in the Greater Tokyo area, the Kantō region, and the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku. In order to build them quickly before the 1964 Summer Olympics, most were constructed above existing roads. 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 foreign ports.
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, Tokyo University of Science, Sophia University, and Keio University. Some of the biggest national universities in Tokyo are:
- Hitotsubashi University
- National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- Ochanomizu University
- Tokyo Gakugei University
- Tokyo Institute of Technology
- Tokyo International University
- Tokyo Medical and Dental University
- Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
- Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
- Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
- Tokyo University of the Arts
- University of Electro-Communications
- University of Tokyo
There is only one non-national public university: Tokyo Metropolitan University. There are also a few universities well known for classes conducted in English and for the teaching of the Japanese language, including the Globis University Graduate School of Management, International Christian University, Sophia University, and Waseda University
Tokyo is also the headquarters of the United Nations University.
Publicly run kindergartens, elementary schools (years 1 through 6), and primary schools (7 through 9) are operated by local wards or municipal offices. Public secondary schools in Tokyo are run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education and are called "Metropolitan High Schools". Tokyo also has many private schools from kindergarten through high school:
- Aoba-Japan International School
- The British School in Tokyo
- Jingumae International Exchange School
- K. International School Tokyo
- Tokyo International School
- Canadian International School
- Tokyo West International School
- St. Mary's International School
- New International School
Tokyo has many museums. In Ueno Park, there is the Tokyo National Museum, the country's largest museum and specializing in traditional Japanese art; the National Museum of Western Art and Ueno Zoo. Other museums include the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Odaiba; the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Sumida, across the Sumida River from the center of Tokyo; the Nezu Museum in Aoyama; and the National Diet Library, National Archives, and the National Museum of Modern Art, which are near the Imperial Palace.
Tokyo has many theatres for performing arts. These include national and private theatres for traditional forms of Japanese drama. Noteworthy are the National Noh Theatre for noh and the Kabuki-za for Kabuki. Symphony orchestras and other musical organizations perform modern and traditional music. The New National Theatre Tokyo in Shibuya is the national centre for the performing arts, including opera, ballet, contemporary dance and drama. Tokyo also hosts modern Japanese and international pop, and rock music at venues ranging in size from intimate clubs to internationally known areas such as the Nippon Budokan.
Many different festivals occur throughout Tokyo. Major events include the Sannō at Hie Shrine, the Sanja at Asakusa Shrine, and the biennial Kanda Festivals. 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. Once cherry blossoms bloom in spring, many residents gather in Ueno Park, Inokashira Park, and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden for picnics under the blossoms.
Cuisine in Tokyo is internationally acclaimed. In November 2007, Michelin released their first guide for fine dining in Tokyo, awarding 191 stars in total, or about twice as many as Tokyo's nearest competitor, Paris. As of 2017, 227 restaurants in Tokyo have been awarded (92 in Paris). Twelve establishments were awarded the maximum of three stars (Paris has 10), 54 received two stars, and 161 earned one star.
Tokyo, with a diverse array of sports, is home to two professional baseball clubs, the Yomiuri Giants who play at the Tokyo Dome and Tokyo Yakult Swallows at 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 1969, both of which play at Ajinomoto Stadium in Chōfu, and FC Machida Zelvia at Nozuta Stadium in Machida. Basketball clubs include the Hitachi SunRockers, Toyota Alvark Tokyo and Tokyo Excellence.
Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, thus becoming the first Asian city to host the Summer Games. The National Stadium, also known as the Olympic Stadium, was host to a number of international sporting events. In 2016, it was to be replaced by the New National Stadium. With a number of world-class sports venues, Tokyo often hosts national and international sporting events such as basketball tournaments, women's volleyball tournaments, tennis tournaments, swim meets, marathons, rugby union and sevens rugby games, football, American football exhibition games, judo, and karate. Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, in Sendagaya, Shibuya, is a large sports complex that includes swimming pools, training rooms, and a large indoor arena. According to Around the Rings, the gymnasium has played host to the October 2011 artistic gymnastics world championships, despite the International Gymnastics Federation's initial doubt in Tokyo's ability to host the championships following the March 11 tsunami. Tokyo was also selected to host a number of games for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics on September 7, 2013.
In popular culture
As the largest population center in Japan and the site of the country's largest broadcasters and studios, Tokyo is frequently the setting for many Japanese movies, television shows, animated series (anime), web comics, light novels, video games, and comic books (manga). In the kaiju (monster movie) genre, landmarks of Tokyo are usually destroyed by giant monsters such as Godzilla and Gamera.
Some Hollywood directors have turned to Tokyo as a backdrop for movies set in Japan. Postwar examples include Tokyo Joe, My Geisha, Tokyo Story and the James Bond film You Only Live Twice; recent examples include Kill Bill, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Lost in Translation, Babel, Inception, and Avengers: Endgame.
Japanese author Haruki Murakami has based some of his novels in Tokyo (including Norwegian Wood), and David Mitchell's first two novels number9dream and Ghostwritten featured the city. Contemporary British painter Carl Randall spent 10 years living in Tokyo as an artist, creating a body of work depicting the city's crowded streets and public spaces.
Tokyo is the founder member of the Asian Network of Major Cities 21 and is a member of the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations. Tokyo was also a founding member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
Sister cities, sister states, and friendship agreements
- List of cities proper by population
- List of cities with the most skyscrapers
- List of tallest structures in Tokyo
- List of development projects in Tokyo
- List of largest cities
- List of metropolitan areas in Asia
- List of most expensive cities for expatriate employees
- List of urban agglomerations in Asia
- List of urban areas by population
- Tokyo dialect
- Yamanote and Shitamachi
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