Searching for fascinating facts about Tokyo for kids, or want to learn more about Japan? Check out these 20 facts about this interesting city.
Tokyo is a beautiful city, located in Asia. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, which is an extremely interesting country in itself. There are so many interesting places to learn about.
We are going to take you through some fascinating facts about Tokyo specifically, covering World War II, the metropolitan area, fun facts about Tokyo, its history and culture including the amazing street fashion seen there. Get ready to learn about this wonderful metropolitan area, from the Shibuya crossing to the Tokyo tower.
These Tokyo facts will prove Tokyo has a fascinating geography as it's made up of lots of different islands that come to form Japan, these facts will definitely offer some great insight into Tokyo.
1. The Japanese name for Japan is 'nippon' or 'nihon', which means the sun origin. This is why Japan's flag features a red sun.
2. Tokyo became the capital city in the 19th century, after previously being called Edo.
3. Tokyo's old name, Edo, means 'the mouth of a river' in Japanese.
4. Tokyo is one of the most populated cities in the world! With around 37 million people, the metro Tokyo area is famous for being particularly congested, and full of people all the time.
5. Tokyo has a very high literacy rate that continues to rise, with a rate of more than 90%.
6. Tokyo has stunning landscapes and greenery, with gardens, many cherry blossom trees, and shrines for Buddhists. These natural beauties contrast with the human-made districts and features, with plenty of vending machines, high-rise buildings, and the Harajuku district (where the Harajuku street style originated from).
7. Vending machines are available in Tokyo every 12 metres, but they aren't quite like vending machines anywhere else. Here you can buy lots of different items, from hamburgers, to ice-cream and even clothes!
8. Tokyo's climate can vary quite a bit, getting as cold as 1 degree celsius in Winter months, to temperatures as high as 39 degrees celsius in the summer months.
9. It snows almost every year in Tokyo.
10. Tokyo has 23 different metropolitan districts, all of which are considered mini cities!
11. The Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo is one of the busiest crossings in the entire world, with around 2500 people making their way across it at any moment.
Tokyo's culture is as a diverse and varied as it is traditional and contemporary. It's bursting with places to eat, traditional and current, and an array of amazing street fashion outfits being worn (especially in the Harajuku district we mentioned earlier). There are plenty of technological advancements, all while offering beautiful natural landscapes to escape the crowds.
12. Japan has the oldest monarchy in the entire world. The family live in the Imperial Palace in, you guessed it, Tokyo. Nahurito is Japan's 126th Emperor, with his wife Masako. Nahurito became Emperor when his father, Aikihito stepped down from the position, and so gave him his crown. The Imperial Palace only opens on New Year's Eve and on the Emperor's birthday. The rest of the time it is closed to the people of Tokyo.
13. Tokyo has a rich history and fascinating blend of cultures that mix modern and traditional ideas. The contemporary aspects of Tokyo regard anime culture, robotic electronics, pop culture, fashion and high end design. Tokyo is the heart of many thriving industries and it's great for the Japanese economy. Publishing is a leading industry in Tokyo. Many companies have their headquarters in Tokyo, businesses in management, manufacturing and banking are all popular within Tokyo.
14. There's an artificial island near Tokyo across the rainbow bridge. If you go there, you could see a real life robot who is called the Unicorn Guandam! The robot stands at 19 metres tall. There are many other Robots in and around Tokyo that you could go and see including Pepper, Asimo at the Honda Welcome Plaza, and many more at the Miraikan National Museum of Science and Innovation.
15. The traditional culture of Tokyo concerns the history of rituals that were performed in the Edo period. Like Kabuki, for example. Kabuki is known for its theatrical elements and stylised performance.
16. Tea ceremonies, haiku poetry and much more form Tokyo's cultural backdrop.
17. Cherry blossom trees are the national symbol of Japan, and Tokyo hosts a cherry blossom festival annually. The festival is all about appreciating the temporary beauty of nature.
18. The Ginza District is Tokyo's busiest shopping area, often likened to New York's Times Square.
19. Tokyo has the most top-rated restaurants in the entire world! Sushi was popularised in Edo (the old name of Tokyo), by a man named Hanaya Yohei. He opened his first sushi stall in 1824.
20. Tokyo is famous for its public transport. Shinjuku station is one of the busiest and largest stations in the world, with around 3.7 million people passing through it every day. They actually have staff called the 'passenger arrangement staff' who are there to push people into the crowded carriages in an efficient way.
Tokyo's history is rich and full of interesting little facts that will surprise you. Time to learn some of the more historical facts about Tokyo.
21. Tokyo actually began as a small fishing village (called Edo). We all have to start somewhere!
22. Tokyo was destroyed by fires as a result of the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923 where 140,000 people went missing.It was also damaged greatly in World War Two, and after they lost the war Tokyo was rebuilt. The bombing of Tokyo between 1944-5 killed over 100,000 people, some even estimate to be at 200,000.
23. In 1962, Tokyo made a world record by having the largest population in the world at over 10 million.
24. The 1964 Tokyo Olympics encouraged new high rise buildings to be developed to create a more modern and sophisticated city.
Places to Visit
There are plenty of places to visit when in Tokyo, if you're planning your next trip, make sure to note down some of the places mentioned in this section (hint: Disneyland!)
25. Mount Takao is a popular hiking location, situated within an hour of Tokyo and boasting over a thousand cherry blossom trees! Once you've hiked all the way to the top, visitors are welcomed by a beer garden and an udon shop, yum!
26. Tokyo is home to many museums and art galleries, such as Tokyo National Museum and the Sumo Museum where you could learn even more about Tokyo's history.
27. Tokyo is home to Disneyland Resort, a 115 acres land theme park! It was actually the first Disneyland to be built outside of the United States, opening in 1983. They even have DisneySea which is just as magical, opening in 2001.
28. Tokyo has a host of beautiful gardens to visit, including Shinju Gyoen. It's one of the largest parks in Tokyo, featuring three separate gardens. It has a Japanese landscape garden, an English landscape garden and a French landscape garden. There are islands, bridges, ponds, pavilions and stunning trees, including the cherry blossom.
29. Tokyo has many capsule hotels. These are very small rooms the size of a large refrigerator, which have televisions, electric consoles and even WiFi. A recent sensation capsule hotel is called the Book and Bed Shinjuku where pages of book dangle from the ceiling. The venue is part library and part hotel! The kids would never get bored there, that's for sure!
30. If you like more luxury hotels and larger rooms then the Ritz Carlton is for you. The Ritz Carlton is in a 53-storey high building, the tallest in Tokyo.
31. The Tokyo Communications tower was built in 1958 and inspired by the Eiffel Tower, in Paris. It is the second tallest structure in Japan. It's also 13 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower and half of the weight by using more lightweight materials.
32. Tokyo has a ton of haunted locations too, scary! The Kiyotaki Tunnel in Kyoto is well known for its paranormal activity, for those who are brave enough to venture there.
33. Tokyo has one of the lowest crime rates in the world! It's extremely safe for tourists.
34. Tokyo is considered to be one of the best shopping locations because it is tax-free. There are plenty of shops and designers, mixed with amazing streetwear brands, any budding fashion enthusiast would love it!
Luca is a keen performer, student and writer. Based in North London and constantly surrounded by his large Cypriot family, including many young cousins, Luca is no stranger to great food and adventure. Passionate about contemporary art forms, including dance-theatre and photography, Luca loves visiting art galleries and performance venues.