Tokyo Facts and Information
Where is Tokyo?
Tokyo is the capital of Japan. It is one of the most populous city in the world with a population of 13.5 million. It is situated in the Kanto region, on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. It is the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government.
Who founded Tokyo?
Tokyo was formerly known as Edo. Edo means estuary in Japanese. It had been the de facto seat of the government since 1603 when Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu seized power. He was one of the three unifiers of Japan.
In 1868, with the arrival of Emperor Meiji, the name was changed to Tokyo. In 1943, the prefecture of Tokyo and Tokyo city were merged to form the Tokyo Metropolis.
What is Tokyo’s culture like?
Tokyo’s culture is a mix of the traditional and the new. The contemporary culture boasts of anime, fashion, design, high end robotic electronics and pop culture.
The traditional culture and rituals of Tokyo have been carried from the Edo period. The different districts in Tokyo have their own cultural backdrop. Performing arts such as Kabuki – za, Noh, Rakugo, the making of ukiyo-e prints, the writing of the short haiku poetry, tea ceremonies, all form a part of Tokyo’s cultural backdrop.
Tokyo also has beautifully landscaped gardens, streets lined with cherry blossoms, buddhist shrines and people enjoy dressing in the traditional kimono. The people of Tokyo honour omotenashi, the Japanese sincerity in showing hospitality to visitors.
Which are the famous heritage places to visit in Tokyo?
- The Imperial Palace, in the Marunouchi district, was built in the Edo period. It is still in use by Imperial family.
- Sensō-ji Temple, in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, is a shrine built for the Buddhist Goddess of Compassion, Kannon. It dates back to 645 AD.
- Ueno Park and Zoo, is the largets green space in Tokyo. The zoo was opened in 1882.
- The National Museum of Tokyo, has impotant Japanese and Chinese artworks and artefacts dating from 7th to 14th centuries.
- The Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, was built in 1915. Destroyed in WW2, it was rebuilt in 1958.
12 Fun Tokyo facts you should know!
- Tokyo Metropolis has its own flag, which was adopted in 1964.
- It is the largest urban clustering of economy. It hosts 51 of the Fortune 500 companies.
- It is host to the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
- Tokyo has capsule hotels, that are the size of a large refrigerator and have televisions, wifi and an electric console.
- Tokyo is made of 23 different wards or metropolitan areas or districts which are all distinct. And all districts are referred to as city!
- Tokyo is home to 14 Michelin three star restaurants.
- Tokyo’s Ritz Carlton has one of the most expensive rooms in the world, at USD 20,000.
- Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest street crossings in the world. Around 2500 people cross at any given time.
- The Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower, in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It is inspired by the Eiffel Tower and built in 1958.
- The Tokyo Skytree is a 634 meter tall broadcasting and observation tower built in 2012 and is in the Sumida district.
- Tokyo is famous for it’s varied cuisine, which include Ramen, Okonomiyaki, Udon, Sushi, Yuba, Soba, Tempura, Gyoza, Yakiniku.
- The National Museum of Western Art, built by the Swiss architect, Le Corbusier has works by some of the finest European artists like Rodin, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Degas from the collection of the Japanese businessman Kojiro Matsukata.
Note: Don’t forget to check out Interesting Facts about Japan.