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Tokyo (/ˈtki/ TOH-kee-oh, /-kj/ -⁠kyoh; Japanese: 東京, Tōkyō [toːkʲoː] (About this soundlisten)), officially Tokyo Metropolis (東京都, Tōkyō-to), is the capital and most populous prefecture of Japan. Located at the head of Tokyo Bay, the prefecture forms part of the Kantō region on the central Pacific coast of Japan's main island of Honshu. Tokyo is the political and economic center of the country, as well as the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the national government. In 2019, the prefecture had an estimated population of 13,929,280. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.393 million residents as of 2020.

Originally a fishing village named Edo, the city became a prominent political center in 1603, when it became the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate. By the mid-18th century, Edo was one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population numbering more than one million. Following the end of the shogunate in 1868, the imperial capital in Kyoto was moved to the city, which was renamed Tokyo (literally "eastern capital"). Tokyo was devastated by the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, and again by Allied bombing raids during World War II. Beginning in the 1950s, the city underwent rapid reconstruction and expansion, going on to lead Japan's post-war economic recovery. Since 1943, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has administered the prefecture's 23 special wards (formerly Tokyo City), various bed towns in the western area, and two outlying island chains.

Tokyo is the largest urban economy in the world by gross domestic product, and is categorized as an Alpha+ city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Part of an industrial region that includes the cities of Yokohama, Kawasaki, and Chiba, Tokyo is Japan's leading center of business and finance. In 2019, it hosted 36 of the Fortune Global 500 companies. In 2020, it ranked fourth on the Global Financial Centres Index, behind New York City, London, and Shanghai.

The city has hosted multiple international events, including the 1964 Summer Olympics and three G7 Summits (1979, 1986, and 1993); it will also host the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tokyo is an international center of research and development and is represented by several major universities, notably the University of Tokyo. Tokyo Station is the central hub for Japan's Shinkansen bullet train system, and the city is served by an extensive network of rail and subways. Notable districts of Tokyo include Chiyoda (the site of the Imperial Palace), Shinjuku (the city's administrative center), and Shibuya (a commercial, cultural and business hub).

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Special wards (特別区, tokubetsu-ku) are a special form of municipalities in Japan under the 1947 Local Autonomy Law. They are city-level wards: primary subdivisions of a prefecture with municipal autonomy largely comparable to other forms of municipalities.

Although the autonomy law today allows for special wards to be established in other prefectures, to date, they only exist in the Tokyo Metropolis which consists of 23 special wards and 39 other, ordinary municipalities (cities, towns and villages). The Special wards of Tokyo (東京特別区, Tōkyō tokubetsu-ku) occupy the land that was Tokyo City in its 1936 borders before it was abolished under the Tōjō Cabinet in 1943 to become directly ruled by the prefectural government, then renamed to "Metropolitan". During the Occupation of Japan, municipal autonomy was restored to former Tokyo City by the establishment of special wards, each with directly elected mayor and assembly, as in any other city, town or village in Tokyo and the rest of the country. Minority, mostly leftist calls for a restoration of Tokyo City (東京市復活, Tōkyō-shi fukkatsu) were not answered. The question of whether special wards actually are municipalities with full local autonomy rights at all remained a political and legal issue for decades. Read more...

General images

The following are images from various Tokyo-related articles on Wikipedia.
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  • German map of Tokyo from 1896.

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  • The Ginza Line, Asia's oldest subway line, first opened in 1927

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  • Graves of the 47 Ronin at Sengakuji Temple

  • Kabuki theatre district in Edo, 1820

  • Map of operators in Greater Tokyo Area

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  • Tokyo streets at night

    Tokyo streets at night

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  • This marker in Nihonbashi is the place from which distances along highways

    This marker in Nihonbashi is the place from which distances along highways are reckoned

  • Marunouchi

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  • Tokyo-Wan Ferry Shirahama-maru

  • Asakusa

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    Tokyo Tower, built in 1958 from recycled military tanks

  • Former Edo Castle, now the Tokyo Imperial Palace

  • Sakuradamon Gate of Edo Castle where Ii Naosuke was assassinated in 1860.

  • Kyoto Tower

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