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Facts about Tokyo for Kids


  • Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area in the world.
  • It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family.
  • Tokyo is in the Kantō region 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 often thought of as a city but is commonly referred to as a “metropolitan prefecture”.
  • The Tokyo metropolitan government administers the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo (each governed as an individual city), which cover the area that was formerly the City of Tokyo before it merged and became the subsequent metropolitan prefecture.
  • The metropolitan government also administers 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture and the two outlying islandchains.
  • Tokyo was already the nation’s political and cultural center, and the emperor’s residence made it a de facto imperial capital as well, with the former Edo Castle becoming the Imperial Palace.
  • Central Tokyo, like Osaka, has been designed since about 1900 to be centered on major railway stations in a high-density fashion, so suburban railways were built relatively cheaply at street level and with their own right-of-way.
  • After the war, Tokyo was completely rebuilt, and was showcased to the world during the 1964 Summer Olympics.
  • 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.
  • The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of the northeastern coast of Honshu was felt in Tokyo.
  • Mainland Tokyo is further subdivided into the special wards (occupying the eastern half) and the Tama area (多摩地域) stretching westwards.
  • Also within the administrative boundaries of Tokyo Metropolis are two island chains in the Pacific Ocean directly south: the Izu Islands, and the Ogasawara Islands, which stretch more than 1,000 km away from the mainland.
  • Within Tokyo lie dozens of smaller entities, including many cities, the 23 special wards, districts, towns, villages, a quasi-national park, and a national park.
  • Because of the islands’ distance from the administrative headquarters of the metropolitan government in Shinjuku, local offices administer them.
  • Ueno Park is well known for its museums: Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science, Shitamachi Museum and National Museum for Western Art, among others.
  • The former city of Tokyo and the majority of mainland Tokyo lie in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with hot humid summers and generally mild winters with cool spells.
  • Tokyo is a major international finance center, houses the headquarters of several of the world’s largest investment banks and insurance companies, and serves as a hub for Japan’s transportation, publishing, and broadcasting industries.