Tokyo is the capital of Japan as well as the most populous area in Japan, as well as the largest metropolitan area in the world by population (33.750.000 in urban and surrounding areas).
Approximately 12 million people live in Tokyo and hundreds of thousands of others go away every day from the surrounding area to work and do business in Tokyo. Tokyo is the political, economic, cultural and academic center in Japan and the residence of the Japanese emperor and the seat of state government, and is also the main business and financial center for the whole of East Asia.
Tokyo has far fewer skyscrapers than any other city of its size due to its earthquake construction rules. Buildings in Tokyo consist mostly of low-rise apartments (6 to 10 floors) and small family homes. Tokyo is also the location of the world’s most complex mass transportation system and is known for its hectic work hours.
Tokyo literally means “eastern capital” in Japanese, the exact opposite of the old western capital of Kyoto, called “saikyo”, meaning “western capital” for a short period of time in the 19th century. Until the 1870s, Tokyo was named “Edo”. When the imperial center moved from Kyoto to Edo, its name was changed.
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