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The Tokyo Portal

Location of Tokyo within Japan
Flag of Tokyo
Symbol of Tokyo

Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Located on the eastern side of the main island Honshū, Tokyo is unique among the prefectures, providing certain municipal services characteristic of a city, as defined by Japanese law.

Because it is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family, Tokyo is the de facto capital of Japan. The name Tokyo literally means eastern capital.

The twenty-three special wards of Tokyo, although each administratively a city in its own right, constitute the area informally considered as the "city of Tokyo" and are collectively one of the largest cities in the world with a total population of over 8 million people. The total population of the prefecture exceeds 12 million.

The Greater Tokyo Area, centered on Tokyo but also including Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama, is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with a population of over 35 million people. It has been the world's most populous urban area since between 1965 and 1970, and despite Japan's overall declining population, is still growing.

Selected article

Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 333 meters (1,091 ft), it is the tallest self-supporting steel structure in the world and the tallest artificial structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations. Built in 1958, the tower's main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening. FootTown, a 4-story building located directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from here, guests can visit two observation decks. The 2-story Main Observatory is located at 150 meters (492 ft), while the smaller Special Observatory reaches a height of 250 meters (820 ft). The tower acts as a support structure for an antenna. Originally intended for television broadcasting, radio antennas were installed in 1961 and the tower is now used to broadcast both signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK, TBS and Fuji TV. Japan's planned switch from analog to digital for all television broadcasting by July 2011 is problematic, however. Tokyo Tower's current height is not high enough to adequately support complete terrestrial digital broadcasting to the area. A taller digital broadcasting tower known as Tokyo Sky Tree is currently planned to open in 2011.

Selected picture

Ginza, c.1904
Credit: Underwood & Underwood

Looking north down a street in Ginza, the most important thoroughfare in Tokyo, Japan, c.1904.

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Portal:Tokyo/Anniversaries/January

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Administrative divisions of Tokyo

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