30 Interesting and Fun Facts About Tokyo, Japan [Explained]

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Tokyo is known for many great things, but its true uniqueness comes from the combination of ancient Japanese customs and high-tech advancements, which can both be seen in the city. Locals have stayed true to their ancient values even in the modern world, and that is one of most the incredible facts about Tokyo. The beautiful Shinto temples, neon lights on the streets, cherry blossoms, and bustling markets all make it one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

Like all other cities in Japan, the capital is organized, well-designed, clean, and efficient, which is a great feat, especially for a city that is as big as Tokyo. These fun facts about Tokyo will help you understand the history and culture of the city.

Historical Facts About Tokyo

Tokyo may not be as bustling in the old days as it is now, but the region has been inhabited for thousands of years. Japan is one of the oldest countries in the world. For almost 2600, the same imperial family has ruled the country, which means that there are a lot of interesting historical facts about Tokyo.

Hiroshima And Nagasaki Weren’t The Only Cities Damaged In WWII


Usually, when Japan is mentioned while talking about WWII, people either talk about Pearl Harbor or the atomic bombs. However, Japan’s fate in WWII was much worse than people thought. 

In addition to Hiroshima and Nagasaki being obliterated, there were other cities that suffered massive causalities, and Tokyo was one of them. The city was bombed ruthlessly for two days, and these bombings resulted in the deaths of around 130,000 people. 

It Was Originally Called Edo


The name Tokyo was first used at the end of the 19th century. Before that, the region was known as Edo, and it wasn’t an exceptionally bustling city as we see it today. It was just a small fishing village; however, with time, the small fishing village turned into the metropolis that we now know as Tokyo.

It Has Hosted The Olympics More Than Once


Tokyo has never hosted the Winter Olympics; however, the city has the honor of hosting the Summer Olympics twice. Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964 and then again in 2020. However, due to the pandemic, the 2020 Olympics was postponed to 2021.

This wasn’t the first time Tokyo had faced problems in hosting the Olympics. The 1940 Olympic Games were also supposed to be held in Tokyo. However, the games were canceled due to the second world war.  

Since 1947 Tokyo Has Been Further Divided Into 23 Special Wards 

Tokyo is a big city not just in terms of population but also in terms of area. The Japanese capital covers a total area of 2187.42 sq km which is further divided into 23 special wards. Each of these special wards is part of Tokyo, but they also have their own local governments. 

That said, the city didn’t always have 23 wards. Previously it had 35 wards which were then merged and reorganized in 1947 after the world war. This resulted in the 23 wards that we see today.

Cultural Facts About Tokyo

The Japanese culture is unique and vibrant, and it is very strongly embedded in every aspect of people’s lives. Here are some cultural facts about Tokyo.

Akihabara The Center For Anime And Manga

Akihabara, often referred to as “Akiba,” is a vibrant district in Tokyo that has gained worldwide recognition as a center for manga and anime culture. It has become a haven for enthusiasts and fans of Japanese pop culture. 

Akihabara is known for its numerous shops, stores, and specialty stores that offer a wide range of manga, anime merchandise, electronics, video games, and collectibles. The district is also home to themed cafes, maid cafes, and arcades that cater to the interests of manga and anime enthusiasts. 

Akihabara’s influence on manga and anime extends beyond its commercial offerings, as it often serves as the backdrop for fictional stories and settings in popular works within the genre. It is definitely one of the most interesting facts about Tokyo, and also artistic in its own right.

Sushi Is Very Popular In Tokyo


Like the rest of Japan, sushi is quite popular in Tokyo as well. There are many restaurants that sell Kaiten Sushi which means conveyer belt sushi. As the name suggests, this sushi is served with the help of a conveyer belt. Visitors sit down alongside a conveyer belt, and plates with sushi arrive in front of them on a conveyer belt for their selection. This is a very convenient and quick way to enjoy your food.

Tokyo Has Thousands Of Shinto Temples


The majority of the residents in Tokyo either affiliate themselves with Buddhism or Shintoism. Some people follow practices from both religions. There are others who don’t affiliate themselves with any religion, but Shintoism and Buddhism are quite prevalent in Japanese society. 

This is why there are thousands of temples and shrines in Tokyo and all over Japan. Some of them have developed into famous Japanese landmarks that visitors come from all over the world to see.

Suicide Prevention Lights

Japan has flourished a lot in the last few decades, but there is one problem that they haven’t been able to resolve, and that is the high number of suicides. Thousands of people commit suicide every year in the country. It is one of the unfortunate facts about Japan.

The famous suicide forest Aokigahara is only two hours away from Tokyo. As a preventive measure, The government has installed blue lights in Tokyo metro stations and other areas, as blue light is said to have a calming effect on the human mind. The goal is to make people feel calm and relaxed so that they would give up the idea of suicide. 

Vending Machines In Tokyo


Vending machines are a big part of the Japanese culture. You can find some of the most interesting things being sold in vending machines, including canned cakes. 

One of the most incredible facts about Tokyo is that you will find vending machines at almost every corner. Japan has an estimate whopping 5 million vending machines scattered throughout the country, that is one vending machine for 23 citizens!

Robot Hotels And Restaurants In Tokyo

Japan is really big on technology. This is why you can find Robot hotels and restaurants in Tokyo. In these hotels, you would find robots working at the reception, robots greeting you at the main lobby, and robots serving you food. 

The food, however, is usually made by humans, although you probably have seen viral videos of robots preparing fried rice or coffee. The Ginza branch of the Henn Na Hotel is certified as the world’s first hotel with working robots. This is definitely a unique experience for everyone, especially for foreigners.

Simple Facts About Tokyo For Kids

Knowing more about Tokyo and Japan as a whole can be great for kids. They will understand that in addition to anime, Japan offers many other things to the world as well. Here are some fun facts about Tokyo to pique the interest of young ones.

Themed Cafes In Tokyo Are Very Common

There are themed hotels and cafes for a range of things in Tokyo. Whether you are a fan of Pokemon or you like Vampires, or other popular media characters, you can find hotels and restaurants pertaining to your favorite shows and characters. 

One of the most popular themes in Tokyo is cat cafes. You can find several of these throughout Tokyo. These themed cafes allow people to experience popular media and trends in a different and unique way.

The First Disneyland Outside USA

Disneyland opened its first international branch in Tokyo in April 1983. it has since become one of the most visited theme parks in the world, attracting millions of visitors annually. The success of Tokyo Disneyland paved the way for the establishment of other Disneyland parks outside of the United States, such as Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disneyland. The park has around 20000 employees, which shows you the size of Tokyo Disneyland. 

It Was Not Always The Capital Of Japan 

Many people know Tokyo as the capital of Japan today, where most of the political activities in the country take place. However that was not always the case.

Traditionally, the capital used to be the place where the emperor resided. For centuries, the cultural city of Kyoto was the capital of Japan. It changed when the country wanted to move towards a newer vision of the modern world.

It Is The Largest City In The World


Tokyo has a population of around 38 million which makes it the most populous city in the world. In contrast, entire countries like Venezuela, Netherlands, and Australia have a lower population level. 

With such a high population level, you might think that Tokyo would be too crowded to live in; however, that is not the case. The Japanese are known for being timely and organized, and most things in the city reflect that; which is why the city does not seem as packed. However, you will still face insane crowds in peak times, just like other metropolis.

Useful Tokyo Facts For Travelers

Tokyo is a must-visit city for avid travelers. If you are looking to go on a holiday to Japan and you want to experience ancient Japanese culture while also enjoying modern technology, then Tokyo is the place to be. 

Tokyo Tower: Japan’s Very Own Eiffel Tower


France isn’t the only place you can see the Eiffel Tower. You can also find a similar structure in Tokyo. The Tokyo Tower is a communication tower that was modeled on the Eiffel Tower. It is the second tallest structure in the entire country, slightly taller than the original Eiffel Tower. 

The Tokyo Tower has been painted white and red/orange as buildings and structures above a certain height have to be painted such colors under the Civil Aeronautics Act. 

It Is One Of The Safest Cities In The World

When people travel to other countries, they usually try to research different things like the exchange rate, the culture, and how safe their destination is.

If you are planning on visiting Tokyo, then you don’t have to worry as much about safety and security. It has been repeatedly named one of the safest cities in the world. Tokyo is often followed by Singapore in the second number and another Japanese city Osaka in the third spot.

It Has The Most Number Of Michelin Stars

The Japanese capital might just be Gordon Ramsay’s favorite city because of this incredible Tokyo fact. There are around 203 restaurants with Michelin Stars in the metropolis. 

This is the most for any city in the entire world. If you are a foodie, then Tokyo would be a great place for you to visit. Apart from traditional Japanese food, you can also find plenty of international cuisines in the culinary scene.

Tax-Free Shopping In Tokyo


There are many stores in Tokyo that offer tax-free shopping to both locals and tourists. This makes it an attractive place to shop for certain items. Not only does this support local businesses, but it also helps the country get more tourists. 

In order to qualify for tax-free shopping, you have to spend 5000 yen or more. (Check before visiting, as it can change) Make sure to keep your passport with you when you go shopping as some store owners might ask for your passport to give you a discount.

Tokyo Was One Of The First Cities To Have Capsule Hotels


Osaka may be the first city in the world to have capsule hotels, but Tokyo quickly adopted the practice and became one of the pioneering cities to promote the concept of capsule hotels. 

These capsules are designed to maximize efficiency and provide a budget-friendly option for travelers or locals in need of a place to sleep for a night. Today, capsule hotels remain popular in Tokyo and have even evolved to offer more amenities and modern comforts to cater to a wider range of guests.

The Fashion Capital Of Asia


When you hear the words Fashion Capital, the first city that might pop up in your head would likely be Paris. However, Tokyo isn’t that far behind. 

Tokyo is very justifiably called the fashion capital of Asia. One of the biggest fashion events to happen in Tokyo every year is the Rakuten Fashion Week. Over the past few years, Rakuten Fashion Week has been gaining a lot of popularity on the global stage. 

Cherry Blossom Trees In Tokyo


One of the most celebrated facts about Tokyo is the blooming cherry blossom trees that are truly a sight to behold. These beautiful flowers can only be seen for a few weeks, around March and April time. So if you are ever thinking about visiting Tokyo, try doing it in March or April. 

The trees look as stunning in the daytime as they do in the nighttime with all the beautiful lights nearby. It’s a pity that during World War II, many of the cherry blossom trees in Tokyo were destroyed. Nevertheless, you can still find pretty incredible scenery here during the right season. 

Common Facts About Tokyo

The World Famous Shibuya Crossing


This fact about Tokyo might just blow your mind. On average, how many people do you see cross an intersection in your city? Probably not that many. Less than a hundred would be normal.

However, if you were at Shibuya Crossing, you could see a whopping 2,500 people cross the intersection each time the traffic signal turns green. This is what makes Shibuya crossing the busiest crossing in the world. It also shows the level of organization and discipline that people in Tokyo have to handle that mass without falling into total chaos.

Tokyo Skytree Is One Of The Tallest Structures In The World


Tokyo is home to the Tokyo Skytree. Standing at a height of 634 meters, it holds the title of the tallest self-supporting tower in the world. 

The Tokyo Skytree was completed in 2012 and serves as a major tourist attraction, offering panoramic views of the city from its observation decks. It also functions as a broadcasting tower, transmitting television and radio signals. 

The tower’s unique design combines modern architectural elements with traditional Japanese aesthetics, making it an iconic symbol of Tokyo’s skyline.

Buildings Are Designed To Withstand Strong Earthquakes


Natural disasters happen all the time, but there are few that become part of history. The 2011 Japan Tsunami was one of them. Tsunamis happen when there is an earthquake underwater, and unfortunately, Japan is prone to earthquakes. 

This is why buildings in Tokyo are designed in such a way that they can withstand strong earthquakes. The city is prone to earthquakes, but the government hasn’t spared any expense in making sure they don’t damage the buildings or the people.

Tokyo Is Prepared For Floods

Japan is an island country which means that it is always at risk of flooding. These natural disasters are certainly some of the unfortunate facts about Tokyo amidst all its positives, but the people have taken action to really defend against them.

There are around five massive underground reservoir structures under the city of Tokyo. These structures have been built to protect the city from flooding and tsunamis. All flood-prone countries can probably benefit from similar structures underneath their country.

Largest Fish Market In The World

Tsukiji Fish Market was the largest wholesale fish market in the world. It’s a title that this market has held for decades. However, in 2018, the wholesale fish market was transferred to a newly built Toyosu market. The area still has restaurants and retail stores and is a popular tourist destination.

Other Interesting Facts About Tokyo

There is a good reason why the city is on many people’s bucket list. Here are some other fascinating facts about Tokyo. 

Tokyo Marathon Is One Of The Six Major Marathons In The World


Tokyo Marathon holds the distinction of being one of the six major marathons in the world. Established in 2007, it has grown in prominence and popularity over the years, attracting elite runners and participants from all around the globe. 

The Tokyo Marathon is known for its fast and flat course that winds through the city’s iconic landmarks and scenic routes. The event typically takes place in late February or early March, drawing enthusiastic spectators and creating a festive atmosphere throughout the city. 

With its status as one of the World Marathon Majors, the Tokyo Marathon has become a highly anticipated event that showcases Tokyo’s vibrant running culture and brings together athletes of all abilities.

Financial Headquarter Of The Country


It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Tokyo is the financial hub of the country. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in Asia in terms of Market Capitalization. The stock exchange was merged with Osaka Securities Exchange to form the Japan stock exchange group.

In addition to the powerful stock exchange, Tokyo is also home to the headquarters of several multinational companies, including Honda Motors, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Sony, and many others.  

There Are Neon Lights Everywhere


Tokyo is renowned for its vibrant and dazzling cityscape, particularly at night when the neon lights illuminate the streets. The city boasts one of the highest concentrations of neon lights in the world, creating a visually stunning and electric atmosphere. 

The iconic districts of Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ginza are particularly known for their mesmerizing neon signs, which can be found in shops, entertainment establishments, and other buildings. This dazzling display of lights has become an integral part of Tokyo’s identity, attracting tourists from around the globe who travel to Tokyo to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.

The People Have To Be Pushed Into Metro Trains


One common observation about the Tokyo metro system is the high level of congestion during peak hours. Due to the large population and limited space, it is not uncommon for metro trains to be extremely crowded. 

As a result, station staff is sometimes employed to push passengers into the trains to ensure everyone can board. While it may seem unusual to some, it is a necessary measure to maintain efficiency and prevent delays in Tokyo’s bustling transportation network.

Discovering More Fun Facts About Tokyo

Every region has its own unique culture, and experiencing the culture firsthand will offer a new way to look at the locals and their lifestyles. These are just some interesting facts about Tokyo that offer a glimpse of the local history, culture, and practices there. 

Boasting a good mix of ancient tradition, heritage, and modern amenities, Tokyo makes for an amazing travel destination. You will also be mesmerized by the level of discipline and organization when you visit.




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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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