Tokyo is the capital and largest city of Japan. It  is the third largest country in the world.  Only Mexico City and the Southern Korean city in Seoul have more people. About 8 1/3 million people live in Tokyo.  Many countries have fewer people than this city does.

Tokyo is the main business center of Japan as well as the home of the emperor.  The city's many banks, commercial establishments, and industries help make Japan one of the richest nations in the world.


In many ways, Tokyo seems like an American city.  It has tall buildings, freeways jammed with traffic, and more neon lights than any other city in the world!


Tokyo is one of Japan's 47 prefectures, but it is called  a metropolis (to) instead of prefecture (ken). The metropolis of Tokyo consists of 23 wards (ku) which comprise the core of the city, several more villages and cities in the West of 23-wards-Tokyo as well as a few islands in the Pacific Ocean. About eight million people live in 23-wards-Tokyo and twelve million in the whole metropolis. However, since Tokyo's suburbs extend into the neighboring prefectures, Greater Tokyo can have a population of up to 30 million people according to some statistics.

The government moved to Tokyo in the year 1603 when Tokugawa Leyasu established the Tokugawa  Bakufu in Tokyo (then called Edo). With the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Edo was renamed Tokyo (Eastern capital). The emperor moved from Kyoto to Tokyo.

Tokyo and its surroundings were almost completely destroyed in the year 1923 when the Great Kanto Earthquake hit the Kanto plain and later during World War ll.

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