Impressions of Tokyo

By Christina Kim - March 03, 2016


When the name Japan is mentioned, a lot of things would rush to one's mind.
Technology, modernization, fast-paced living, metropolitan city, high standards of living and almost everything related to the advancement.

It is common for Japan to be viewed as such since they are one of the most advanced cities in the world.
It is almost as if Japan is moving in a different dimension altogether when it comes to their own levels of standardization.
At least from our side of the world, Japan is definitely an hour ahead (though that is probably not in the context contributing to the factor of modernization but it did shape that perception; even if it was geographically so).

Japan though, has not just the wonders of modern technology but has also beautifully and carefully maintained the ancient traditions and their longtime culture; well-preserved in some of the cities, though the famed one would be the ancient capital, Kyoto.

There is just too many to see in Japan, and to make a trip to this country would require careful planning if one were aiming to see everything, not to mention budget and most importantly, the luxury of time, for this is one country with a vast offering.

There is no better place to see Japan as a whole than the capital itself; of course.


Facts on Tokyo


The largest city in Japan, which makes it rightfully the capital, and one of the 47 prefectures; located in the Kanto region on the southeastern side of Honshu, one of the main islands and the four biggest islands in Japan.

The Izu islands and Ogasawara islands are part of Tokyo too, and The Greater Tokyo Area is the world's most populous metropolitan area.

There are 23 Special Wards of Tokyo; individually running as a city of their own, and 39 municipalities governed by Tokyo. 
While the population of the Wards make up 9 million, the entire prefecture exceeds more than 13 million.
In fact, as mentioned, the prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area.

The entire Tokyo metropolis was formed in 1943; as a result of merging both the city of Tokyo(東京市 Tōkyō-shi) and the former prefecture of Tokyo(東京府 Tōkyō-fu).

Tokyo was officially made capital in 1868; taking over from Kyoto which was formerly the capital as Meiji shifts his seat to the new place.

Formerly known as Edo, it was also in 1868 that Tokyo was renamed to reflect its change to become the new capital following the move from Kyoto.

Interesting Facts and Trivia


Now while we know Tokyo as a city, did you know that actually that was more of a perception and impression rather than the fact?

Tokyo, while known to the world as a city (and even an important one at that) is actually, and officially known as a "metropolitan prefecture".
It is an interesting concept and unique only to Tokyo.

The governing of Tokyo is in the form of combining and weaving both the characteristics of both a city and a prefecture; while different yet blends together in a combination of its elements.
It is indeed a very unique form of governance in this case.

Another interesting thing is the origins of Tokyo.

Origins of Tokyo


Today we may think of Tokyo as this big model city which the world looks at admirably, at how far it has come and how it has flourished into its status of enormity.

However, Tokyo started off as a small fishing village, formerly known as Edo (they changed the name to Tokyo in 1868, as mentioned earlier).

It makes sense, looking at the overview of Japan as a whole which is mainly composed of islands that Tokyo would start living off the sea.

The name Edo (江戸) means estuary; which is a partly enclosure area with one or more rivers flowing into it while with direct access to the open sea.

The name Tokyo was then used to replace Edo, in 1868, when it was made the official capital.

It is deciphered by two parts; To () which means east and kyo() to mean capital, in fulfillment of the East Asian traditions to include the name 'capital' () in the name of their capital cities.
Hence, the name Tokyo, directly translated would mean "East Capital" - 東京.

Tokyo was also known, or rather, referred to as Tokei during the early days of Meiji's reign, and some of the old English archived documents could still spot the name Tokei being used.

Some of the older generation would still refer to Tokyo as Tokei as well.

Tokyo in the World
1. World's Largest Urban Agglomeration Economy
2. The Greater Tokyo Area is the World's Most Populous Metropolitan Area
3. Highest number of Fortune 500 companies in the world (51 companies in Tokyo)
4. 3rd in Global Economic Power Index
5. 4th in Global Cities Index
6. Most Michelin Stars in a City
7. 1st in the World's Safe Cities Index
8. World's 11th Most Expensive City
9. World's 11th Most Expensive City for Expatriates
10. One of the World's Most Livable Cities


It is home to a huge population of Japanese and is also where the Emperor of Japan resides as well, while welcoming millions of tourists eager to get a peek of the beautiful and much raved about city.

As you can see, there are just so many prefectures in Tokyo alone, that it is simply not possible to cover everything on a trip (unless I spend years here).

Therefore, there will be two main cities covered here in my Japan travel stories; and in Tokyo alone, I will be covering three districts, along with guides and tips on traveling in Japan.

This is a city which lives up to its expectations and captures your attention at the very first impression; keeping you hooked on to discovering more of its offerings.
It is a city that never stops impressing anyone who steps foot in it.

From the skyscrapers to the convenience of transportation and even admiration for its advanced technology, Tokyo did not disappoint.

Oh, did I also mention that the Japanese are by far the most polite, courteous, friendly and helpful people in the world as well?


The streets are even one of the cleanest and it is even of the safest cities to walk around in.

There is no doubt Tokyo is just deserving of that world class fame and spotlight.


Stay tune for more posts...

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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