Tokyo Facts – 5 Interesting Facts about Tokyo
Tokyo. The capital city of Japan. Once nothing more than a small fishing village by the name of Edo, Tokyo is now the political and economic center of Japan, and also the seat of the country’s government. Known for its rich culture, prolific trade and commerce, cutting edge architecture, and amazing people, Tokyo is now one of the most important cities in the entire world. As you continue down this article, we will reveal 5 great facts about Tokyo that you may find quite interesting. After all, we found these Tokyo facts to be very interesting.
Tokyo: A Metropolis City
Located at the head of Tokyo Bay, is the metropolis city itself. Please note that if you’re looking for a quiet, serene, and peaceful cityscape, look elsewhere. Tokyo is a bustling city center with millions of people, all going about their daily lives. Many businesses, both local and foreign have the headquarters of their countrywide operations situated in the city. This makes Tokyo one of the largest and most essential business hubs on the planet.
Next you have the city itself, a peculiar mixture of traditional values and traditions, clashing with modern technology and contemporary design. This gives Tokyo a very specific aesthetic of its own that you won’t find anywhere else. Massive technology conglomerates rub shoulders with traditional Japanese shrines and temples. The colorful alternative fashion of the youth is met with the plainer, more reserved style of the city’s older population. Men and women go about their day, children go to schools, businesses open their doors to new customers, and young adults hang out at local cafes and eateries. All the while, Tokyo the city marches on in the background, a radiant gem shining with a neon glow.
Surprising Traits of Tokyo City
You would think that with such a crowded, busy city center, you’d be met with dirty streets, vandalized walls, and a sanitation system that just can’t keep up with the ever growing demand. The reality is exactly the opposite, however. The city streets are surprisingly clean and garbage-free. This comes as a surprise, seeing how there aren’t any more garbage bins or trash receptacles than in any other city. So just where does all the trash and garbage go? Well, put simply, individuals who are not in the habit of discarding their garbage outside will simply take their trash back home with them. This means less waste and pollution on the streets, and a higher standard of living for all citizens.
If the attention to detail regarding trash disposal is any indication, the people of Tokyo are very particular about rules and regulations. In fact, when you touch down on Narita Airport, one of the first signs you see bears the words: Welcome to Japan. Please respect the rules. This shows that the people have a profound respect for authority and the rules, which has allowed them to progress so far as a society and reach such amazing heights.
Development of Tokyo
If the architecture and buildings of Tokyo seem ultramodern and contemporary, it’s because the city has undergone vast overhauls in recent years. This was necessary as much of the city’s landscape was destroyed, whether by natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, which the city is prone to, or extensive bombing during World War II. This meant that Tokyo saw the construction of numerous new buildings and structures around the turn of the century. With that came a shift in the basic concept of development and construction and the city experienced a shift to larger, urban, high-rise residential areas and commercial buildings. The constant threat of natural disasters also meant that these high rises and skyscrapers ad to be designed and constructed accordingly. Safety measures were implemented even during the design phase for new projects, with special care being taken to construct them using modern, cutting edge methods, aimed at minimizing the risk, in case of any calamities.
This theme of modern technology and innovation is very much ingrained in the city and country’s identity. Some of the most well-known household brands and technology conglomerates were founded and are based in Tokyo and Japan. Brands the likes of Sony, who made the first commercially successful portable music player called the Walkman, Toshiba, who marketed some of the very first laptops in the world, and JVC, known for pioneering the VHS recorder, a pre cursor to modern day home entertainment systems all have their roots in this industrious country. Other multi-national tech companies, such as Sharp, Hitachi, Canon, Nikon, Nintendo, Panasonic, Epson, Fujitsu, and innumerable others all operate out of Japan and have major operations in the city of Tokyo. All this to say that Japan, and subsequently Tokyo, are among the world’s most technologically advanced places.
Another main stay of Japanese economy is the heavy industry and automotive industry that the country is world famous for. Cars, motorcycles, trucks, commercial vehicles, construction equipment, ships, trains, airplanes… all of these and so many more are designed, built, and manufactured there. Automotive giants, such as Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Acura, Nissan, Mazda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Daihatsu, and Isuzu all originate from this country and many have their headquarters in the city of Tokyo.
Food & Dining in Tokyo
Another interesting, dare we say delectable, feature of the Tokyo lifestyle is the world class food and dining. With a whopping 11 three-star Michelin restaurants, the most of any city in the world, Tokyo does not lack for fine dining opportunities and fantastic food and beverage options. Some local delicacies include ramen (noodle soup served in meat or fish broth), soba (buckwheat noodles), tempura (made with battered and deep fried sea-food and vegetables), yakitori (broiled chicken skewers), and of course sushi, which consists of vinegared rice alongside sea-food, usually served raw, and vegetables. With many options for both world class, three course meals, as well as fast and affordable street food, Tokyo has all of your food and drink needs covered. Another point of interest is that Tokyo street food is actually known for being quite nutritious and healthy, at a comparatively low price, so you can grab a quick bite at a local kiosk or cart and rest assured that it’s certified fresh and prepared hygienically.
A Travel Destination
For those who wish to do some sightseeing in Tokyo, fear not, for this city has some amazing sights and landmarks that are sure to be of interest to you. Let’s start with the Sensō-ji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. The temple itself is wonderful to behold and has a large, five-story pagoda called the Asakusa Shinto shrine located next to it, alongside some shops where you can buy many traditional goods. Another great place to visit is the Tokyo Skytree. One of the tallest structures in the world at 2,080 ft, the Tokyo Skytree commands an impressive view of the city from its observation deck. We also highly recommend visiting Tokyo Disneyland, a 115 acre theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Interestingly it was the first Disney Park to be built outside the United States and is largely built in the same style as the Florida Magic Kingdom and California Disneyland. And of course, the greatest attraction of all would have to be the majestic Mount Fuji. At 12,388 ft, it’s the tallest peak in all of Japan and is known for its conical form. This mountain is a must-see for you on your trip.
So that’s Tokyo in a nutshell. A great place to visit on vacation or just to see the spectacular city for yourself and marvel at the splendid architecture, scenery, food, industry, people, and sites.
5 Tokyo Facts: Here are 5 Interesting Facts about Tokyo
With so many things to see and do, it can be quite overwhelming for first time visitors. As such, we have compiled a list of five interesting and quirky facts about Tokyo that you might find interesting. These should help you get familiar with the city while also giving you some background on Tokyo and Japan. Or maybe you just want to know some weird details about Tokyo. If that seems like something you’d be interested in, read on for our list of five amazing facts about Tokyo.
1. Tokyo is the Biggest Metropolitan Area in the World
Tokyo has long been known for its giant crowds and throngs of people. But did you know that it’s in fact the most populous city in the world? With almost 40 million people, Tokyo has the largest populations of any city on the planet. But with the area of the city and its surrounding towns, villages and prefectures accounting for less than 2% of the country’s entire landmass, the city can grow quite crowded. Space itself has become something of a commodity in Tokyo. One interesting result of the scarcity of space is the introduction of capsule hotels, a concept native to Japan. These are a collection of small bed rooms called capsules, or pods as they are often referred to as in Western society, that are just barely big enough to accommodate one person. These pods are designed to cater to individuals staying overnight, who do not need, or simply cannot afford larger, more conventional hotel rooms. They are extremely functional, cost effective solutions. The drawbacks of the small space are that you don’t have much, if any room to store your belongings. This means that people who stay at these hotels usually find alternate means of storing their luggage, such as station lockers, or other storage facilities.
2. In Tokyo, Vending Machines are Everywhere!
Remember when we said that these would be some quirky facts and details about Tokyo? Well, this might just be the quirkiest. The city of Tokyo is known for having the most vending machines anywhere in the world. One appalling statistic states that you can find a vending machine literally every 12 feet in Tokyo. Another statistic claims that there is one vending machine for every 23 people in Japan. That means whenever you feel like getting a candy bar, a bag of chips, a water bottle or maybe a nice thirst quenching soda, you need not walk too far. But that’s not all. Japan and Tokyo are known for having strange and unusual snacks and treats. So say you go up to a vending machine to get a candy bar, a can of soda, a box of cookies, or maybe a pack of chewing gum. You’ll find that these snacks inhabit the vending machine alongside some other weird and exotic treats. For example, the local Japanese snack known as natto. This is a slimy, fermented soybean treat that is rich in nutrition and flavor. Locals consider this a breakfast ’super-food’, but it’s an acquired taste for foreigners. Next, you might see an oblong, yellowish green, greenish yellow thing that looks almost exactly like a banana. That’s because it’s, in fact, a banana. A banana in vending machine, freshly stocked and perfectly ripe. Another weird but surprisingly useful vending machine item in Tokyo, is umbrellas. There are entire vending machines dedicated to dispensing the masses with an umbrella. Got caught in a massive, unexpected downpour? Just pop 600 yen into the vending machine and receive a large, vinyl umbrella to shield you from the rain.
The age old saying goes: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But what if you’re out and about one fine evening and suddenly, a random doctor appears out of nowhere, syringe at the ready, a malign grin on his face. You reach into your bag, desperate for your daily apple, only to discover that you neglected to pack one today. How could you be so foolish?!
Fret not. Tokyo has many vending machines spread out across the city that offer apples, both whole and sliced, in convenient, plastic bags. So take out an apple slice, munch on the delicious fruit and watch the evil doctor slither back into his lair. You live to fight another day.
Other strange vending machines include ones for milk, popcorn, and even a mystery treasure vending machine that can give you a smartphone or a new handheld games console, or a small flashlight or a small plastic piggy bank.
Last, but most certainly not least, we have perhaps the quirkiest vending machine of all, and definitely our favorite so far. We’re talking of course, about the Pokémon vending machine. Ranging from 550 yen all the way up to 1500 yen, you can find key-chains, plush toys, action figures, trading cards and a number of other Pokémon themed collectibles and toys. All while being guided by a hologram of Pikachu.
3. Tokyo has the Busiest Mass-Transit System in the World
With the biggest urban railway network and most used train and bus services in the world, Tokyo is renowned for its highly efficient and advanced mass transit system. It spans more than 200 miles and serves 8.7 million passengers every day. That works out to roughly 3.2 million per year. These passengers use this essential service for commuting to their jobs, schools, and businesses. You would think that the railway system experiences many delays and cancellations. After all, the sheer number of people using the service alone might cause some unexpected circumstances or delays. The truth is quite different actually. The Tokyo train network, while being the most complicated in the world, is also the most efficient one on Earth. In fact, it hardly ever experiences any such issues and there are a number of measures in place to ensure any delays are dealt with swiftly and effectively.
One famous incident of a train leaving the station 20 seconds early made worldwide headlines as the railway company apologized for the discrepancy. Normally, if a train is not on time or experiences an issue, the passengers are given a delay certificate, which can be shown to their employers as proof that the passengers were not at fault. It’s this dedication to a perfect system that has allowed Japan’s train schedule to be so reliable.
4. Tokyo has a Vibrant Alternative Fashion Scene.
The city of Tokyo is known for its fringe fashion and clothing trends. These are mostly prominent in the Harajuku district where teenagers and young adults sport their favorite fashion trends and clothes. Here, you’ll see many of Tokyo’s youth walking about in colorful street-wear fashions and vogues. The district is also a well-known hang out spot for cosplayers, dressed in popular costumes seen in movies, TV shows and animation. The district has developed a literal sub-culture of dressing up and is participated in by not only teens but individuals of all ages and backgrounds. It has often been described as the ultimate center for extreme teenage style and fashion, where everyone is free to express themselves through their outfits, dresses and costumes.
5. Tokyo Displays More Neon Lights than Anywhere Else in the World.
When someone mentions Tokyo, many people instantly visualize a night sky filled with neon lights and signs of all shapes, sizes and colors. These signs have become a staple of the city’s streets, businesses and, advertisements. The word ‘Tokyo’ itself has become synonymous with bright neon lights, billboards, business signs and advertisements. Entire streets and main roads in Tokyo are bathed in the soft glow of these lights, creating a beautiful scene that has become part of the city’s identity and helps it stand out among the rest of the world.
Our Conclusion on these Interesting Facts about Tokyo
Tokyo really is one of the most interesting places in the world and holds in store so much more than we could ever fit into this one article. We talked a bit more about Tokyo, here, where the focus was on finding healthy Japanese food. We also mentioned Tokyo in this article, when we answered the question, “how much does a trip to Japan cost?”. But with all that said, there are still so many sights, landmarks, and awesome places to visit and learn about, with regards to Tokyo. And, there are so many vending machines to try out, as well. We sincerely hope this article that touches on some of the interesting facts about Tokyo, served as a good source of knowledge for your upcoming vacation. So get a ticket for Tokyo and the experience of a lifetime.