"late night messages from Tokyo"

Tokyo is the capital city of Japan, situated on the country’s main island, Honshu. The metropolitan area has a population of 35.7 million, making it the largest metropolis in the world.

Tokyo streets by night
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeTokyo streets by night - Credit: Nalilord
This mega-city grew from a small fishing village called Edo, which was fortified in the 12th century and became the centre of the country’s national government. By the 18th century it was one of the largest cities in the world and the capital of Japan, despite the Emperor’s residence being in Kyoto.

Tokyo is a seismicity, at risk from earthquakes. In 1923 an earthquake killed 142,000 people, one of the biggest disasters to strike the city.

Central Tokyo is a high-density urban area, with many skyscrapers and residential developments. To maximize land space, there is a concentration on access by high-speed rail, as opposed to car which necessitates more area taken up by roads – bullet trains are one of its most famous icons. The city is a major international financial and technological centre of business and, despite its traditions of culture and history, thought of as one of the most modern in the world.