Tokyo is the capital of Japan and the largest city here, concentrating about 10% of the country’s population. The city is situated in the middle of the archipelago's main island, Honshu. Here the seat of the government and residence of the Emperor of Japan is located. The metropolitan area of the city, the largest in the world, is home to about 30 million people. Four train and subway stations ensure transportation to more than two million passengers every day, while in its central areas (in the "districts") the population density reaches 20 000 inhabitants per square meter. The city covers an area of 2187 km ².
The most imposing construction here is the television tower, 333 m high, located in the western part of the city. Downtown, the post office, different ministries, central station, and the imperial palace surrounded by medieval walls and water ditches can be found. To the north, the Meiji and Nihon university area extends, along with the transportation museum and Ueno-cu Park with Tokyo University, numerous museums and zoo. To the east, the Kannon Temple dating from the eighteenth century and the Asakusa district are located. To the south of the main district, there is the Hibya park with the headquarters of the supreme court, while to the south-east there can be found the famous Ginza, the district of luxury, modern hotels and shopping centers. In contrast to this district, there is the Shinjuku area, called "the end of the world", a neighborhood where poverty and misery used to prevail not long ago; nowadays, it has become a modern district with over 1 million inhabitants.
Tokyo is also the most important commercial and educational center of the country, with over 400 higher education institutions, 117 universities, 247 libraries, the Japanese Academy (1879), 185 theaters, 2,000 temples, 160,000 restaurants and 55,000 taxis registered. Tokyo is also a very large port on the Pacific Ocean, which communicates directly with another major port, Yokohama.
The industrial function of this megalopolis is enormous. It concentrates together with Kawasaki and Yokohama about a third of the country's industrial production, with traffic exceeding 80 million tons annually. Tokyo is the capital of the third industrial power in the world, and one of the leading centers of global finance, along with New York and London. The economy of Tokyo is similar to that of Canada or Spain.
Tokyo is united with Kawasaki by a continuous mass of factories, urban buildings, and working-class neighborhoods. Here there are located thousands of factories, whose smoke and toxic gases make it impossible sometimes to admire the splendid silhouette of Fuji-yama, Japan's sacred volcano, which is formed from a volcanic cone with a height of 3376 m and has not erupted since 1707. "The Holy Mountain" is the highest peak in this country. Concerning volcanoes, there are 196 volcanoes in Japan, of which 30 are still active. Earthquakes and volcanoes ready to erupt are the greatest threats to Japan.
The most visitors get intimidated by the speed with which everything happens here. A very pleasant way to get acquainted with the city is to walk on the streets full of shops and neon lights. It is very easy to travel here, even if you have very limited knowledge of Japanese. However, basic knowledge won’t hurt for asking directions, ordering something at a restaurant or shopping.
By Maria Morari
The best cities to visit in Japan .
The place where the past meets the present and variety is limitless, Japan is an ancient civilization that fascinates the experienced world wanderer with its ancient culture and life concepts, breathtaking scenery and achievements of the modern world.
A land of dazzling contrasts, with sky-scrapers standing beside imperial palaces, Japan is an amazing country worth exploring and discovering! Check out our selection of the best cities to visit while in Japan!