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What is it like in Tokyo? Arguably, you can try looking for a place similar to it the world over, but you will not find anything quite like Tokyo. Here is where harmony and symmetry blend the old and traditional with the mega-retail centers, ambitious skyscrapers, and futuristic technology seamlessly. The densely inhabited city that sits on earthquake-prone land has tested the resilience of the city metropolis time and again. Admirably, despite challenges, the unwavering can-do spirit of Tokyo and its locals shine and inspire the rest of the world – that is what it is like in Tokyo. In this article, you’ll learn what it is like in Tokyo and why it should be in your travel bucket list.

What is it like in Tokyo?: Facts You Need to Know

The impressive landscape of the city metropolis glimmering against the night sky is a sight straight out of the imaginings of forward thinking, future-centric designers and builders. Tucked away in the shadow of megastructures and towering skyscrapers, the quaint charm of the old world Nippon is alive, well and evident.

23 Municipalities

Made up of 23 municipalities, which collectively make up the heart of the metropolitan prefecture that is uniquely what it is like in Tokyo, it possesses a distinction which is unlike any of the major cities of the world. The municipality’s spread out over the land and is clustered in this region of Japan originally known as Edo.

When the Emperor Meiji transferred his seat of emperorship from Kyoto to Edo in 1868, the metropolis was soon after renamed Tokyo. Its status was only fairly recently declared in 1943, after the merger of the Tokyo prefecture and the city of Tokyo transformed the region and grew to be one of the largest metropolis we presently know.

The metropolitan government of Tokyo manages the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo, governing each ward as a separate city. Aside from the 23 special wards the Tokyo metropolitan government oversees, it also administers to two island chains of the region and 39 other municipalities in the west end of the Tokyo prefecture.

Tokyo Metropolis

All these tiny city clusters were collectively pooled together to make up what is now the vibrant and ever burgeoning Tokyo Metropolis. To illustrate and understand the method of governance better, these 23 special wards of Tokyo can be likened to the boroughs of New York City or the London boroughs, and operates much in a similar manner.

The city of Tokyo is officially governed as a metropolitan prefecture which has distinction, and greatly differs, from the methods of administration and mechanics of operations of a city. Tokyo has, with admirable grace, continues to evolve, combining a plethora of elements and ingredients which make up a city metropolis that enviable as it is inspiring. It stands out as a shining example of how the mix of winning ingredients of passion, imagination, ambition, respect toward self and others, reverence in use of resources, and decided commitment to progress.

What it is like in Tokyo has consistently been recognized as an economic power seat, sitting on top rank in the Global Economic Power Index. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network, in 2008, listed Tokyo as an alpha world city, playing a major role in the global economic system. Studies and observation have proven that the backbone of a good economy is the provision of roads which allow for transport accessible because allows for convenient access to vital point to point destinations.

Tokyo’s Rich History

To further answer the question, what it is like in Tokyo, we need to take a look back at their rich history. Between a long span of period from 1185 to 1868, the land of the Rising Sun and all its inhabitants were headed by the military dictatorship of the shogun and the shogunate.


During this period they launched military campaigns on those who resisted the governance of the imperial court in Kyoto. The imperial court had little authority over the shoguns, since the office of the shogun ruled much like a viceroy, exercising their authority over the people of the land on behalf of the monarchy. In truth, shoguns wielded more power. Even the reigning Emperor of those bygone times took directives from the office of the shogun until the end of feudalism.


The bustling, and equally tranquil city of what it is like in Tokyo was once called Edo, which means “estuary” because of its close proximity to the delta. Edo became the high perch of power ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate. The bakufu of Tokugawa lorded over Japan from 1603 to 1868 and it richly burgeoned under the leadership, becoming a contender as one of the largest cities in the world. The city sought the pleasures of life and lived the ukiyo culture.

The culture of the Floating World first came about in the licensed red-light district in Yoshiwara. The district was teeming with kabuki theatres, tea houses, and bordellos which the prominent middle class frequented. The ukiyo way of life found its way in the nearby cities of Kyoto and Osaka.

The Japanese

Every country has their own special characteristics and unique qualities that make them distinct and one of a kind and Japan is no different. Although Japanese people are pretty polite and will not call you out on something they may find offensive, Japanese people will surely be impressed with the homework you’ve done.

Apart from the customs that are uniquely Japanese, there are things about the culture that you would find interesting as well as utilitarian for your quick visit there. We hope you learn what it is like in Tokyo, and how great the city is. For more info and travel tips, visit the blog section of this website.

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