What Is The Capital Of Japan?

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what is the capital of Japan

The capital of Japan is Tokyo. Tokyo is the heart of Japan’s government and management but also as a leading force in the world’s economy and culture. In 1868, it became the nation’s capital, taking over from Kyoto. Tokyo is famous for its advanced technology, lively entertainment scene, and deep historical roots. It merges old Japanese traditions with the modern look of its cities. The capital also holds the seat of the emperor along with being the administrative center. Read more about what is the capital of Japan and more about Tokyo. 

About Tokyo: The capital of Japan

The city of Tokyo historically, dates back more than four centuries. Originally, it was known as Edo, it started as a fishing village. Over time, it expanded and developed into a bustling city. Its rapid growth accelerated with the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate by military leader Tokugawa Leyasu in 1603. This period showed a shift as Edo emerged as the heart of Japanese politics and culture, having a population of over a million by the 1750s.

Tokyo, the capital of Japan

During the era of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the Emperor lived in Kyoto, which was the then-official capital of Japan. Following the Shogunate’s collapse and the beginning of the Edo Period, the Emperor returned to Kyoto. However, after the Shogunate’s downfall, the Emperor relocated to Edo, which was later renamed Tokyo and was officially declared the capital of Japan.

Timeline of Tokyo
1603The Shogunate Government (Tokugawa Shogunate) is established by Tokugawa Ieyasu, in the town of Edo, beginning the Edo era.
1657Over 100,000 lives were taken by a major eruption of fire.
1854Japan ended the seclusion policy with the Treaty of Peace and Amity signed between the U.S and Japan.
1867Tokugawa Shogunate’s last shotgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned, returning the power of governance to the Emperor.
1868New Meiji government formed, and its era began. Edo was officially renamed Tokyo.
1885Cabinet system was established. Ito Hirobumi became the first Prime Minister.
1920Japan becomes one of the original members of the League of Nations.
1923The Great Kanto Earthquake disaster takes the lives of nearly 140,000 people and destroyed nearly 300,000 houses.
1941Pacific War begins and Port of Tokyo starts operating.
1945March 10: Tokyo was hit by the heaviest air raid with suffering and population dropping to 3.49 million (half of 1940 levels).
1962Tokyo looks forward to the start of a high economic growth period.
1964Tokyo Olympic Games held.
2006The 10-Year Plan of Tokyo’s Big Change formulated.
2008The C40- Conference on Climate Change was held in Tokyo. 
2013Tokyo was selected to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Geography and Economy of Tokyo

Tokyo is a bustling metropolis, situated in the southern Kanto region, is at the heart of a vast archipelago of islands. 

  • It is framed by the Edogawa River to the east and is surrounded by mountains to the west. 
  • The city is divided into three main zones: the 23 ‘wards’ or districts, the broader ‘tama’ area encompassing greater Tokyo, and the islands associated with Tokyo.

23-Special Ward Area

  • The 23-special ward area covers the economic, political and cultural aspects of Japan. It is home to government offices, major corporations and commercial facilities, situated in the city’s heart. 

Tama Area

  • This zone is highly urbanized, encircling the 23 wards, yet it also embraces a picturesque natural environment with rivers, lakes and green spaces. Additionally, its strong industrial base and wealth of human resources, along with surrounding high-tech industries, universities and research institutes make it a sophisticated and urban area.
what is the capital of Japan, Tokyo

The Islands

  • This region is rich in natural beauty, with an abundance of marine resources. The islands also are used as a major economic zone. They offer a diverse and remarkable natural beauty, along with a unique historical and cultural heritage.
  • Tokyo is home to an estimated population of 13.491 million, representing about 11% of Japan’s total population and holding the title of having the largest population among all the 47 prefectures.

In terms of Economy, Tokyo stands as – 

  • As a key financial centre, Tokyo is home to the main offices of big companies and is a key spot for global trade. 
  • Japan ranks as the fourth-largest economy globally in terms of nominal gross domestic product (GDP), following the United States, China, and Germany.
  • In 2022, Japan accounted for 4.2% of the global economy on a nominal scale. 

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Culture of Tokyo

  • The city’s varied areas offer something for everyone, from the busy shopping areas of Shibuya and Ginza to the historic Asakusa district with its ancient temples.
  • Famous sites include the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the historic Meiji Shrine, and the Tokyo Tower. It is also renowned for traditional performing arts such as Rakugo, Noh and Kabuki. 
  • Tokyo houses the majority of authors, reporters, and influential figures.
  • The city’s most prestigious cultural landmarks, such as the National Diet Library, the Tokyo National Museum, the National Theatre, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, are located near national government buildings or in Ueno.
  • The culture of Tokyo is a blend model of traditional and modern Asian culture. 


What is the largest city in Japan?

Tokyo is the largest city in Japan

What is Japan famous for?

Japan is mostly famous for its samurai swords, castles, and cherry blossoms and is also famous for its Anime TV series and drama.

Which language is used in Tokyo?

Japanese is the official language used in Tokyo.

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