Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō) is the enormous and wealthy capital of Japan, overflowing with culture, commerce and, most of all, people. The core of the most populated urban area in the world, Tokyo is a fascinating and dynamic metropolis that brings high-tech visions of the future side by side with glimpses of old Japan. From modern electronics and gleaming skyscrapers to cherry blossoms and the Imperial Palace, this is a city that represents the entire sweep of Japanese history and culture. Tokyo truly has something for every traveller.
Huge and varied in its geography, with over 2,000 square kilometers to explore, Tokyo Metropolis (東京都 Tōkyō-to) spans not just the city, but rugged mountains to the west and subtropical islands to the south. Tokyo Metropolis legally contains 23 regions (区 ku), which refer to themselves as "cities"; to avoid confusion, Wikivoyage refers to them as "wards" of Tokyo, which is much more common in English. This article concentrates on the 23 central wards near the bay, while the western cities and the islands are covered in a separate article.
The geography of central Tokyo is defined by the JR Yamanote Line (see Get around). The center of Tokyo — the former area reserved for the Shogun and his samurai — lies within the loop, while the Edo-era downtown (下町 shitamachi) is to the north and east. Sprawling around in all directions and blending in seamlessly are Yokohama, Kawasaki and Chiba, Tokyo's suburbs. Read more