Interesting Facts About Tokyo

January 2, 2017 | Carl Wyndham

Interesting Facts About Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is officially known as the Tokyo Metropolis. This is one of the worlds most densely populated cities. The number of interesting facts about this city is endless but here are our top forty facts about Tokyo.

Tokyo Facts

1. Its Prefect

Tokyo is often referred to as a city, but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture," which is different from a city and combines elements of a city and a prefecture. The Tokyo metropolitan government administers the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo. These Special Wards contain the districts that have become world famous for their different characteristics. To make things even more confusing, Japanese people will refer to each district as a city. Good luck finding your way around the city...I mean district...I mean ward?Sky view of Tokyo - 2013Koichi Oda, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

2. Harajuku Style

The Harajuku district of Tokyo is famous for its alternative street fashion.  This trendy district is also said to show the expression of the youth of Tokyo.  Each of the independently owned shops and cafes have their own feel which creates a unique composition.

Harajuku girls, Tokyo - 2006Peter Van den Bossche, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

3. Skytree

Tokyo Skytree was announced as the tallest tower in the world in 2010. The Skytree features the world’s highest skywalk as well as presents a very beautiful view to its less daring visitors. The name of this tower was decided by popular vote winning by a landslide with 30% of total votes.

Taito City, Tokyo, JapanWillian Justen de Vasconcellos ,Pexels

4. They are all beautiful

The cherry blossom is the national symbol of Japan. These trees flower for one or two weeks a year starting in April. This period is known as Hanami, the long standing tradition of welcoming spring. This festival is about appreciating the temporary beauty of nature.

Shizunai Cherry blossom - 2014Bill Franklin, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons


5. A-2

Vending machines are available in Tokyo at every 12 meter distance. You can buy anything from hamburgers to clothes, candies to cold drinks, Milk packs to ice cream the list goes on! And you probably thought America was the vending capital of the world. Nope!

Hand pressing a button on vending machines for snacks.Ground Picture , Shutterstock

6. Otoro

Tokyo is a city that loves its seafood. There is a wholesale fish market called Tsukiji. This is the busiest and largest fish market in the world. Live tuna auctions are the main attraction, which take place every morning at 5 am sharp. This is a major tourist attraction and free visitor tickets are given to the public every morning at 4 am.

Tsukiji fish market - TokyoGreg Palmer, Flickr

7. Traffic? What traffic?

Tokyo is known for its extremely busy public transportation as made famous on youtube. Shinjuku station is the largest and busiest railway station in the world. Average of 3.70 million passengers is pass through the station each day.

Shinjuku Station, TokyoMarc Smith, Flickr

8. The Eiffel oh wait....

Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower in the Shiba-koen district of Minato Ward, Tokyo. It gets repainted every 5 years and almost 7500 gallons of paint are used. This process takes almost a full year and is completed completely by hand.

Tokyo Japan City Skyline - 2014Derrick Brutel, Flickr

9. Ours is bigger

Finished in 1958, Tokyo tower is 78 years younger than the Eiffel tower, the tower that inspired its design. Although Tokyo Tower is 13 meters higher than the Eiffel tower, the modern materials used in its construction make it half of the Eiffel Tower’s weight.

Tokyo tower - Tokyo Japan -, Picryl


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10. Where are the noodles?

The district of Hachiōji, Tokyo, is home to Mount Takao, the most visited mountain in the world. Mt. Takao rewards its climbers (hikers) for reaching the summit by hosting them at a mountain top Udon shop and bar. The summit is known for its natural beauty and thousand-mile views.

Mount Takao: Aerial Tramway - 2012D.Thomas Johnson ,Flickr


11. Nom

Tokyo is home to some of the most expensive and acclaimed restaurants in the world. With 14 Michelin three-star restaurants, Tokyo has more top-rated restaurants than any other city, surpassing even Paris.

Tokyo Sukiyaki Restaurant - 2013Streets of Washi ,Flickr

12. This will do

Tokyo's Ritz Carlton is home to one of the expensive rooms in the world. This mega-suite will run you USD $20 000 per night. The room was designed by Frank Nicholson and features custom furniture, Frette linens, and a dining room that seats 16.

Morning at Ritz Carlton Tokyo 45 - 2007MATSUYORI Itsumi, Wikimedia Commons

13. 1,2,3 HEAVE

Oshiya or ‘the Pushers’ are hired to literally push the millions of passengers aboard the train system during rush hours. When they were first brought in at Shinjuku Station, they were called "passenger arrangement staff" and were largely made up of students working part-time. Nowadays, station staff and/or part-time workers fill these roles during morning rush hours on many lines.


Rush hour at Ueno station, Yamanote line.Chris 73, Wikimedia Commons

14. Let's go somewhere we can be alone

There are more than 35 million residents in Tokyo that makes it largest and busiest metropolitan area in the world.

Tokyo city at night.Tony Wu, Pexels

15. Kobe

Aragawa, a world renown steak restaurant is located in the basement of an office tower in the Shinbashi district of Tokyo. Aficionados of the world’s finest beef might want to put this restaurant in Japan on their bucket list. Aragawa’s signature dish: The charcoal-broiled Sanda Beefsteak, is considered one of the best steaks in the world. Diners eat at cherry-wood tables beside silk tapestries and under chandeliers imported from Sweden. The average price of a meal for two at Aragawa is about $800.

Roast beef with oven-baked potatoes - 2008cyclonebill, CC BY-SA 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

16. Tax haven

Tokyo is one of the best shopping destinations in the world. Tourists can take advantage of tax free shopping, which is available to foreign tourists at licensed stores when making purchases of over 5000 yen. A passport is required when shopping tax-free.

Two smiling female friends window shopping - Tokyo JapanMichael H, Getty Images


17. ShiBOOYA

Shibuya Crossing is said to be the busiest crossing in the world. As many as 2500 people can be seen crossing the street at the same time. This spectacle is said to be similar to watching marbles being spilled out of a box.

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo - JapanMagnus D, Flickr

18. War just gets in the way

Tokyo was originally set to host the Summer Olympic Games in 1940, but the privilege ended up being awarded to Helsinki before the games were cancelled due to World War II.

1940 Summer Olympics Tokyo - souvenir hand flagDaderot, Wikimedia Commons

19. Disney claims this land

Tokyo Disneyland was Disney’s first park outside the US. The resort employs over 20,000 people.

CASTLE IN TOKYO DISNEYLAND - 2017Øyvind Holmstad, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

20. Run. Jump. Swim. Climb.

Tokyo's Imperial Palace is a major tourist attraction but the vas majority of it is actually closed to the public. Only the members of the Imperial Household Agency are allowed to go inside the other areas. Some special areas are opened for citizens on the Emperor's birthday and the New Year. If you want to try to get into the restricted areas you will have to swim across the moat and scale a nearly vertical rock wall.

Tokyo Imperial Palace - 2017Lars1512, CC0, Wikimedia Commons

21. Would you like a box?

A capsule hotel is a type of hotel developed in Japan that features a large number of extremely small "rooms" (capsules) intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require the services offered by more conventional hotels. These capsules can sometimes include TV’s and wifi.

Capsules in capsule hotel - 2006LHOON, Flickr

22. Thats kinda creepy

Tokyo is said to have a ton of haunted locations. Kiyotaki Tunnel in Kyoto is very well known as a hotspot for paranormal activity. It is said to have been be built under horrifically inhumane conditions with 'slaves', the tunnel has a reputation for corpses being buried within the walls.

The tunnel which looks like a spotted design.ryuurikyou, Shutterstock


23. This land is ours!

As old as people claim it to be, the Komagata Dozeu restaurant has managed to survive earthquakes and bombings and has maintained their business on the very same plot of earth for six generations.

The Komagata Dozeu is the Weather loach restaurant. - 2011Aimaimyi, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

24. Peace

Tokyo Is One Of The Safest Cities To Travel To. Crimes against tourists are extremely rare. It actually has one of the lowest crime rates per capita of any major city in the world.

Police officer of Japan - 2011Spaz Tacular from Germany, CC BY 2.0 ,Wikimedia Commons

25. The hills are alive

Tokyo Has More Neon Signs Than Any Other City In The World. A trademark image in Tokyo is entire streets full of neon lights!

The gate to w:Kabukicho - 2006Ons, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

26. Hidden in plain sight

Don’t count on seeing Mt. Fuji. Although it's well within viewing distance of the city, the mountain is only visible about 80 days a year!

Mt.Fuji, JapanMomentum Dash, Flickr

27. Sardines

On May 5, 2011, Tokyo's Shiodome Nihon TV Studios recorded one of the greatest human feats of all time, when 21 members of the Caless Dance School squeezed into a Mini Cooper. This set the world record for most people inside a Mini Cooper.

Austin Cooper S (Mini Cooper) - 2016Pedro Ribeiro Simões, CC BY 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

28. Respect the belly

Ryōgoku District is known for its ‘fat men’. This is actually because this district is the home to the Ryōgoku Sumo Hall as well as many Sumo academies. Sumo wrestlers are highly respected in Japanese culture.

Sumo Signrumpleteaser, Flickr

29. No English

On the whole Japanese people don’t speak many other languages and whilst Tokyo is a very large city, English is not widely spoken. Ordering goods or services, booking a cinema ticket or even arrange medical treatments can be very difficult if you do not know any Japanese, so it is essential to learn the basics of the language.

A group of people walking across a cross walk - Tokyo Scene, Pycryl

30. Tokyo

Tokyo first settled around 3000 BC. Back when Tokyo was just a small fishing village is was named Edo. It's name was changed to Tokyo in 1868 when it became the imperial capital of Japan. The name Tokyo translates to "Eastern Capital"

Left Screen (Third enciente of Edo Castle,  Kanda, Merchant's shop in Edo). - 17th centuryUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons


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