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Tokyo is Japan's capital and the country's largest city.
Every description of Tokyo suffers from the speed at which this superlative metropolis unintentionally surpasses itself. Whereas yesterday twelve million people were living on 828 square miles (2,145 squared km), today it is possibly already fourteen million. 
Whereas the Sunshine City skyscraper with its 787 feet (240 m) was until recently the tallest concrete building, a short time later the twin towers of the New City Hall have achieved a further 10 feet (3m). And if it is rumbling more than usual in the Tokyo underground, this can just as suddenly completely change.
Tokyo - Japan
Earthquakes and conflagrations have contributed to the fact that in the Japanese metropolis there is nothing that could be called an historic old city. No longer any trace of the dwellings of early twelfth century aristocratic settlers. No shops from the eighteenth century when Tokyo was still known as Edo, but already had a million inhabitants. Everything burnt down, collapsed, was pulled down or built over long ago. In 1923 140, 000 people, almost all the principal buildings and 700,000 houses fell victim to the worst tremor to date. A similar inferno with more than 80,000 dead was the result of an American air attack in 1945.
The sheer level of energy is the most striking aspect of Japan's capital city. Tokyo is a place where the urgent rhythms of consumer culture collide with the quieter moments that linger from older traditions. It's hectic madness leavened by the most Zenic of calms. While it's true the exciting vibe has a somewhat depressing flip side - shoebox housing estates and office blocks traversed by overhead expressways crowded with traffic - Tokyo remains a glittering example of the 'miracle' of post-WWII Japan.

Tokyo - Japan

The history of the city of Tokyo stretches back some 400 years. Originally named Edo, the city started to flourish after Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Tokugawa Shogunate here in 1603. As the center of politics and culture in Japan, Edo grew into a huge city with a population of over a million by the mid-eighteenth century. Throughout this time, the Emperor resided in Kyoto, which was the formal capital of the nation. The Edo Period lasted for nearly 260 years until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when the Tokugawa Shogunate ended and imperial rule was restored. The Emperor moved to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo. Thus, Tokyo became the capital of Japan.
Tokyo - Japan
Tokyo's rise to importance can be largely attributed to two men: Tokugawa Ieyasu and Emperor Meiji. In 1603, after unifying the warring states of Japan, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu founded Edo (now Tokyo) his base. As a result, the city developed rapidly and grew to become one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century.
IIt became the de facto capital of Japan even while the emperor lived in Kyoto, the imperial capital.
After about 263 years, the shogunate was overthrown under the banner of restoring imperial rule. In 1869, the figurehead 17-year-old Emperor Meiji moved to Edo, which was renamed "Tokyo" ("Eastern Capital") the year before. Tokyo was already the nation's political, economic, and cultural center, and the emperor's residence made it a de facto imperial capital as well with the former Edo Castle becoming the Imperial Palace. The city of Tokyo was established, and continued to be the capital until it was abolished as a municipality in 1943 and merged with the "Metropolitan Prefecture" of Tokyo.
Tokyo - Japan
Tokyo is known for its many museums. Located in Ueno Park are the Tokyo National Museum, the country's largest museum and specializing in traditional Japanese art; the National Museum of Western Art; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, which contains collections of Japanese modern art as well as over 10,000 Japanese and foreign films. Ueno Park also contains the National Museum of Science and the municipal zoo. Other museums include the Nezu Art Museum in Aoyama; the Edo-Tokyo Museum in the Sumida Ward across the Sumida River from the center of Tokyo; and the National Diet Library, National Archives, and the National Museum of Modern Art which are located near the Imperial Palace.
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The weather throughout the four main islands that make up Japan is generally temperate, with four distinct seasons. The weather can get very hot during the summer months, particularly in the South. May, June and July are the wettest months, and June, July and August are hotter and more humid. In the south winters are cool but sunny, but as one moves further north temperatures drop and snow falls. The island of Hokkaido in the far north of Japan is bitterly cold in the winter, with snow guaranteed.
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