The Tokyo Metropolis
The seat of the Japanese government and imperial power, Tokyo is one of Japan's 47 prefectures and among the world's most prominent metropolises. Located in Honshu, Japan's largest island, Tokyo lies in the Kantō region on the island's southeastern side. Made the capital of Japan in 1868 by Emperor Meiji's decision to move his seat from Kyoto to Tokyo (then called Edo), Tokyo became the country's premier city in 1943 after the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo were brought together to form the Tokyo Metropolis. It is for this reason that Tokyo is officially governed as a metropolitan prefecture instead of a simple city, something that is unique to Tokyo.
Tokyo is administered special wards by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. These special wards are 23 municipalities, each governed as an individual city, and all of them encompassing the area that had been the city of Tokyo before it was merged and made a metropolitan prefecture in 1943. The special wards boast a population of over 9 million people, while the prefecture's total population is over 13 million. In 2011, Tokyo was host to 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any of the world's cities at the time. Furthermore, Tokyo has twice ranked third in the International Financial Centres Development IndexEdit. Additionally, Tokyo has also ranked first in the Global Economic Power Index and third in the Global Cities Index. The city is also notable for hosting the 1964 Olympics, and the G7 summit in 1979, 1986 and 1993.
Furthermore, Tokyo is at the center of the mysterious and sudden disappearance of the Kaiba-Senju Corporation. It's founder and CEO, Yoshi Senju was a highly revered visionary whose genius and celebrity became widely known throughout the country. But like the Kaiba-Senju, he has since disappeared and become the subject of several conspiracy theories, the most prominent being that Yoshi has taken all the financial and technological resources amassed during his time as the Kaiba-Senju CEO and embarked on a more lucrative business venture in outer space, with several bloggers claiming to have family members chosen for Yoshi Senju's supposed space initiative.
Geography of Tokyo
Tokyo's mainland is northwest of Tokyo Bay and stretches roughly 90 km (56 mi) from east to west and 25 km (16 mi) from north to south. In addition to featuring an average elevation of 40 meters (131 feet), Tokyo is bordered to the east by it's Chiba Prefecture, to the west by Yamanashi, the south by Kanagawa, and the north by Saitama. Mainland Tokyo is also subdivided into the special wards occupying it's eastern half, and the Tama area encompassing it's western area. Additionally, the administrative boundaries of the Tokyo Metropolis hold two island chains in the Pacific Ocean directly south; the Izu Islands, and the Ogasawara Islands, which extended over 1,000 km (620 mi) from the mainland.
As a result of these islands and the mountainous regions to the west, Tokyo's overall population density figures do not represent the real figures for the urban and suburban corners of Tokyo. In addition to Tokyo's 23 special wards, the metropolis also holds 26 more cities, five towns, and eight villages, each of which holds a local government. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which administers the entire metropolis, is led by a publicly elected governor and metropolitan assembly headquartered in Shinjuku, one of the 23 special wards.
Lying west of the 23 special wards are the 26 cities of Western Tokyo:
Additionally, the far west of Western Tokyo is occupied by the Nishi-Tama district, a mountainous area unsuitable for urbanization. Mount Kumotori, Tokyo's tallest mountain, is 2,017 meters (6,617 feet) high. The metropolis' other mountains include Takasu (1,737 meters/5,699 feet), Odake (1,266 meters/4,154 feet), and Mitake (929 meters/3,048 feet). Close to the Yamanashi Prefecture is Tokyo's largest lake, Lake Okutama.
Home to many outlying islands stretching as far as 1,850 km (1,150 mi) from central Tokyo, the metropolis has administered local sub-prefectural branch offices to administer the islands due to their distance from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's headquarters in Shinjuku. Japan's islands are noted for including the Izu Islands, a group of volcanic islands that form part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Other islands include the Ogasaware Islands.
Over 30% of Tokyo's land area is designated as Natural Parks, specifically the Fuji-Hakonze-Izu, Chichibu Tama Kai, and Ogasaware National Parks, Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park, and many others. Several museums are located in Ueno Park: Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science, Shitamachi Museum and National Museum for Western Art. Tokyo is also noted for the breathtaking cherry blossoms in the city's parks.
Economy & Culture
Not only is Tokyo the leading industrial center in Japan, featuring a highly diversified manufacturing base, but it also holds the largest metropolitan economy in the world. And whereas heavy industries are more densely based elsewhere, Tokyo is more known for it's focus on light industry e.g. the production of electronic equipment. Tokyo was once prominently home to the Kaiba-Senju Corporation, a highly promising tech-based corporation founded by genius and tech visionary, Yoshi Senju. Prior to it's mysterious disappearance, the Kaiba-Senju was responsible for technological innovations such as lossless data compression, the Aethrium Argonauts, and was making it's mark in Tokyo's economy before suddenly vanishing.
Other than it's focus on electronic equipment, Tokyo is Japan's management and finance center. Corporations with headquarters or branches or production sites in other parts of the country often have large offices in Tokyo, Marunouchi being the location of many of these. The close relationship between government and business in Japan makes a Tokyo an advantageous location. To the north of Marunouchi is Otemachi, where Japan's leading financial institutions and insurance companies are located. Otemachi is also home to NTT, the communications giant. Furthermore, Tokyo is also the site of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, located in Kabutocho.
As Japan's cultural center, Tokyo reflects a unique cultural identity that's identified in many of it's traditional arts like origami and kabuki (complex dramas performed in elaborate costumes). The large number of festivals, rituals, observances and celebrations in Tokyo are also all part of Japanese culture. Starting from the traditional New Year visits to shrines, the Tokyo calendar is full of various festivals and observances, the matsuris (religious festivals) with their mikoshis (portable shrines), and the cherry blossom viewing in the month of April being the most popular.
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