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Tokyo is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan.It is located on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands.Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo.Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan.It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace,and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family.

Tokyo has been described as one of the three "command centers" for the world economy, along with New York City and London.This city is considered an alpha+ world city, listed by the GaWC's 2008 inventory and ranked third among global cities by Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index.In 2010 Tokyo was named the second most expensive city for expatriate employees, according to the Mercer and Economist Intelligence Unit cost-of-living surveys,and named the fourth Most Liveable City and the World’s Most Livable Megalopolis by the magazine Monocle.The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world.

The Tokyo Metropolitan government administers the twenty-three special wards of Tokyo (each governed as a city), which cover the area that was the city of Tokyo, as well as 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture and the two outlying island chains.The population of the special wards is over 8 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 35 million people and the world's largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$1.479 trillion at purchasing power parity in 2008, ahead of New York City, which ranks second on the list.

Tokyo went on to suffer two major catastrophes in the 20th century, but it recovered from both.One was the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, which left 140,000 dead or missing,and the other was World War II.The Bombing of Tokyo in 1944 and 1945, with 75,000 to 200,000 killed and half of the city destroyed, was almost as devastating as the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.

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.

How to Reach

By Air

Haneda Airport offers domestic and international flights.Outside Tokyo, Narita International Airport, in Chiba Prefecture, is the major gateway for international travelers to Japan and Japan's flag carrier Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines all have a hub at this airport.

By Train

There is a frequent intercity Shinkansen service to and from Tokyo Station (Tokyo-eki) in Chiyoda, from where you can easily connect pretty much anywhere in the city on the JR Yamanote or Metro Marunouchi lines.For all northbound trains, you can also hop on at Ueno, while all westbound trains stop at Shinagawa.For non-Shinkansen services, Shibuya and Shinjuku stations offer local connections to the west.Ueno and Ikebukuro stations connect you to the northern suburbs and neighboring prefectures.

By Bus

Highway bus services link Tokyo to other cities, resort areas and the surrounding prefectures.There are JR and private bus companies. Bus service may be cheaper, but the train is probably more convenient.If you have a JR pass, then you should generally stick with the trains.Long-distance buses use a number of terminals scattered throughout the city, but the main JR depot is at Tokyo Station's Yaesu-minamiguchi exit, while Keio and some other private companies use the Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal,opposite Yodobashi Camera near the West Exit.

By Ferries

The main long-distance ferry terminal is Ariake Ferry Terminal,located on an artificial island adjacent to Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. The nearest station is Kokusai-Tenjijo-Seimon on the Yurikamome line, but it's still a bit of a hike. You can also take a direct bus from Shin-Kiba station on the Metro Yurakucho line.

Key places to visit
Tokyo National Museum, Mount Fuji, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo Dome, Ueno Park, Sumida River, Asakusa Shrine


Places to Visit

Tokyo National Museum

Is the oldest and largest museum in Japan.The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan.The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure holdings and 610 Important Cultural Property holdings (as of July, 2005).The museum also conducts research and organizes educational events related to its collection.The museum is located inside Ueno Park in Taito, Tokyo.There are restaurants and shops within the museum's premises, as well as outdoor exhibitions and a garden where visitors can enjoy seasonal views.The museum's collections focus on ancient Japanese art and Asian art along the Silk Road. There is also a large collection of Greco-Buddhist art.

Mount Fuji

Is the highest mountain in Japan at 12,389 ft.An active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–08, Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south-west of Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day.Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs,as well as visited by sightseers and climbers.It is one of Japan's "Three Holy Mountains" (Sanreizan) along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku.

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan.It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda area of Tokyo close to Tokyo Station and contains several buildings including the main palace (Kyuden), the private residences of the imperial family, an archive, museum and administrative offices.It is built on the site of the old Edo castle.The total area including the gardens is 7.41 square kilometres (2.86 sq mi).The present Imperial Palace encompasses the retrenchments of the former Edo Castle.The modern palace Kyuden for various imperial court functions is located in the old Nishinomaru,while the residence of the emperor and empress is located in the Fukiage Gardens.

Ryogoku Kokugikan

Also known as Sumo Hall, is an indoor sporting arena located in the Ryogoku neighborhood of Sumida, one of the 23 wards of Tokyo in Japan, next to the Edo-Tokyo Museum.It is the third building built in Tokyo associated with the name kokugikan.The current building was opened in 1985 and has a capacity of 13,000 people.It is mainly used for sumo wrestling tournaments (honbasho) and hosts the hatsu (new year) basho in January, the natsu (summer) basho in May, and the aki (autumn) basho in September.It also houses a museum about sumo.The venue is also used for other indoor events, such as boxing, pro wrestling, and music concerts.In past years, it has hosted the G-1 Climax, an annual tournament in New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Tokyo Dome

Is a 42,000-seat stadium located in Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo, Japan.The stadium opened for business on March 17, 1988.It was built on the site of the Velodrome which was next door to the site of the predecessor ballpark, Korakuen Stadium. Like Korakuen, the Dome hosts the Toei Superheroes live shows of the year.Tokyo Dome's original nickname was "The Big Egg", with some calling it the "Tokyo Big Egg".Its dome-shaped roof is an air-supported structure,a flexible membrane held up by slightly pressurizing the inside of the stadium.

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