Tokyo scene from a park.

Fun Facts About Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital city of the island nation of Japan, “Land of the Rising Sun”. Tokyo is a bustling metropolis and is considered to be one of the world’s most populous places. Check out some interesting facts about Tokyo.

Packed train, Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo is a prefecture.

Tokyo is often referred to as a city, but it is actually a known and governed as a “metropolitan prefecture”.

Packed train, Tokyo, Japan. | Jack French

A prefecture is used as the translation for todōfuken, which are the main subdivisions of Japan. The country has 43 prefectures which is different from a city and combines elements of a city and a subdivision. The Tokyo metropolitan government administers 23 Special Wards of Tokyo that contain districts having their own unique characteristics.

Tokyo was once called Edo.

Tokyo first settled around 3000 BC. It was just a small fishing village and was named Edo, literally meaning “estuary”. The name was changed to Tokyo, (Tōkyō, 東 tō”east”, and 京 kyō “capital”) when it was considered as the imperial capital upon the arrival of Emperor Meiji in 1868.

Tokyo has plentiful vending machines.

You will find a vending machine every 12 meters in the vibrant metropolis.  You can buy almost anything from a vending machine. There are practical and eco-friendly vending machines that offer you charges on electric cars and a good selection of ebooks. But it approaches the realm of the bizarre to see vending machines for the unthinkable, such as live lobsters!

Neon lights of Tokyo, Japan.

Cram aboard a train.

Trains or rail transport in Japan is an important means of commuter transport between major cities and urban areas in the country.

Neon lights of Tokyo, Japan. | Kevin Poh

The Shinkansen network or bullet trains that presently link most of Japan’s major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu with the Hokkaido links. Shinjuku, Tokyo, is also one of the major economic hubs of Japan and has one of the busiest train stations in the world. Oshiya or ‘the Pushers’ are hired to literally push the millions of passengers aboard the train system during rush hours.

Light up your life with neon lights in Tokyo.

Tokyo is known to have the most neon signs than any other place in the world. It’s a trademark image of the Japanese metropolis where entire streets are full of neon signs.