Tokyo is perhaps one of the most unique capital cities on the planet! Home to some of Japan’s most intriguing tourist hotspots, there are plenty of fascinating facts to uncover here. Why not read on and learn these fun facts about Tokyo before you take a trip out East?
1. It’s only been called Tokyo for 40+ years.
Tokyo went by a completely different name until 1980! Citizens would know the city by the name of Edo until this date.
2. It’s a haven for foodies!
3. The skyscrapers here are amazing.
Tokyo plays host to some of the tallest and most majestic buildings on the planet. The incredible Skytree, for example, offers the highest ‘skywalk’ in the world, and claimed the record for world’s tallest tower a few years ago.
4. The native tongue is widely spoken out here.
While you may think that English is widely-spoken across most capital cities, Tokyo is something of an exception. Most people in the city speak Japanese, as you might otherwise expect. It’s therefore worth reading up on a few phrases before you visit.
5. Mountain views from far away!
You can see the towering majesty of Mount Fuji from the city – but only a few days per year. In fact, around 285 days a year, you can’t see it at all thanks to the weather!
6. Stay in your own capsule!
Tokyo is home to many incredible tourist innovations. For example, those visitors who want to stay somewhere relatively affordable, yet practical, can avoid luxury suites and head to a ‘capsule’ hotel. This is where visitors can book and slide into comfy capsules – with on-board entertainment!
Alternatively, if you have a spare £15,000 to spend per night, you can stay at the most expensive suite in Tokyo’s Ritz Carlton Hotel!
7. Vending machines as far as the eye can see!
Tokyo is full of vending machines. It’s convenient for ad-hoc shopping! Believe it or not, around 3% of Japan’s total power budget goes towards vending machine facilities. Statistics also claim that you’ll find a vending machine in Tokyo every 12 meters.
8. Tokyo got there first – as far as Disney was concerned.
Tokyo has its own Disneyland, and it was in fact the first international park opened by Disney – long before EuroDisney opened in France.
9. It’s a tight squeeze, as cities go.
There are thought to be 35 million people living in Tokyo – that’s not much elbow room!
Tokyo’s transport gets so busy that some staff work to actually cram passengers onto shuttles to ensure everyone can get on!
10. Cities like these don’t come much cleaner.
Tokyo is also one of the cleanest, best-respected cities on the planet, despite its high population. It has a very low vandalism rate, and it’s clear that its citizens want to keep it clean and tidy!
11. Paris proves to be an inspiration.
The world famous Tokyo Tower takes inspiration from Paris’ Eiffel Tower, and it gets a fresh lick of paint every five years. However, it’s a painstaking process – as it’s all done by hand, and it can take a year to finish each coat.
But what exactly does the Tokyo Tower do? It’s actually an observation deck, though it is used for communications, too.
12. There’s nowhere bigger.
Tokyo is home to over 36 million people (spread over 3 districts) and is the largest metropolitan city in the world.
13. Some areas are no-go!
Tokyo’s Imperial Palace is a massive attraction for tourists visiting Japan. However, the area is mostly closed to the public. However, some areas remain open on New Year’s Day and the Emperor’s birthday.
14. Get on the right track!
Shinjuku station is the busiest and largest railway station on Earth. It is estimated that an average of 3.7 million passengers pass through the railway station each day.
15. Elbow to elbow crossing!
The Shibuya Crossing is believed to be the busiest intersection on the planet. An estimated 1000 people cross at the same time during peak hours, coming and going from all directions.
16. It’s an extremely safe city to visit.
One of the safest cities to travel to as a tourist is Tokyo. Crimes against tourists in Tokyo are very rare, and the city has one of the lowest crime rates per capita.
17. Be sure to bring your shades!
Compared to any other city in the world, Tokyo has the most neon lights.
18. There’s some pretty exclusive steak out here!
Located in the Shinbashi district of Tokyo, Aragawa is a steak restaurant that is widely known around the world for its fine beef. The charcoal-broiled Sanda Beefsteak is the signature dish of the restaurant and is considered one of the best steak dishes on the planet.
FAQs about Tokyo
What should I avoid doing in Tokyo?
In Tokyo, to avoid being rude, you should avoid tipping, blocking escalators, and even being a loud chatter on the phone!
Is it expensive to visit Tokyo?
That all depends on your budget - on average, a tourist may expect to spend $140 per day!
What food is Tokyo best known for?
When you visit Tokyo, be sure to sample the wagyu beef, the tempura and - of course - the sushi!
Do you know any interesting facts about Tokyo? Share them in the comments below!