Tokyo (Japan) is the capital of the Land of the Rising Sun and the most populated metropolitan area in the world. It is also one of Japan’s 47 prefectures, itself consisting of 23 districts and other cities and towns west of the centre.
The Izu and Ogasawara islands are also part of Tokyo.
Before 1868, Tokyo was known as Edo. In the 16th century, it was just a small town with a castle. Edo became the political centre of Japan in 1603, when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his feudal government there. A few decades later, Edo became one of the most populated cities in the world. With the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the capital was moved from Kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo, ‘Eastern Capital’.
Today, Tokyo offers an unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and restaurants to its visitors. The city’s history can be appreciated in districts such as Asakusa, and in many museums, temples and historical gardens. Contrary to common perception, the city also offers a number of interesting green spaces.
Getting around Tokyo (Japan)
Tokyo is covered by a dense network of trains, subways and bus lines operated by about a dozen different companies. The railway lines operated by JR East are the most convenient for getting around central Tokyo.
The most important railway line in Tokyo is the JR Yamanote Line, a loop line connecting multiple districts of the city. The city’s 13 underground lines are operated by two different companies and run largely within the Yamanote circular line. Most suburban train lines start at one of the six main stations on the Yamanote Line (Tokyo, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa).
JR TOKYO LINES
Yamanote Line the loop connecting most of the suburban railway lines.
Keihin-Tohoku Line is parallel to the Yamanote Line from the east side.
Chuo/Sobu Line (Local) turns inside the loop of the Yamanote Line but very slowly.
Chuo Line (Rapid) turns inside the loop of the Yamanote Line quickly.
Saikyo Line turns parallel to the Yamanote Line loop from the west side.
Shinkansen the two stations are Tokyo and Shinagawa.
TOKYO UNDERGROUND LINES
Tokyu Railway serves the south-western part of Tokyo and Kanagawa.
Tobu Railway serves Saitama and Tochigi (Nikko).
Seibu Railway serves the Tokyo Tama region and Saitama.
Keio Railway serves the Tokyo Tama region.
Odakyu Railway serves Kanagawa and connects Hakone.
Keisei Railway serves Chiba and connects Narita Airport.
Keikyu Railway serves Haneda Airport and Kanagawa.
Tsukuba Express connects Akihabara with the city of Tsukuba (Ibaraki).
SPECIAL TOKYO TICKETS AND PASSES
SUICA a prepaid card that can be bought at any station. This card does not offer discounts but convenience in using transport. For more information click here.
Tokyo Subway Ticket unlimited use of the subways. Cost: 1 Day 800 yen – 2 Days 1,200 yen – 3 Days 1,500 yen.
Tokunai Pass is a one-day pass that allows you to use the JR lines in central Tokyo. Cost: 750 yen.