what is the capital of japan now

The facility is now closed to the public, with the re-opening date Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan from 794-1868, was believed to be. New & NowOmotesando Illuminations Enjoy Diverse Culinary Culture in Tokyo · Nightlife · Japanese Bathing Culture Uncovered—A Guide to Sento. For a long time the capital of Japan, Kyoto has nurtured sensitivity and technology is now calling for the building of sustainable society and business. what is the capital of japan now

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Kyoto old capital of Japan : The short intro of Kyoto

What is the capital of japan now -

The ancient capital of Nara is located in Nara Prefecture, just south of Kyoto. It was the site of the city of Heijo-kyo, established in 710. It flourished until 784, when the capital was transferred. This epoch of Japanese history is known as the Nara Period. Heijo-kyo was built after the government passed legislation in 701 to concentrate and centralize its power. The official name of the capital was Heijo-kyo, but it was called the Capital of Nara because of its location.

Planned on grand scale, the walled city measured 4.3 km (about 2.7 miles) from east to west and 4.8 km (about 3.1 miles) from north to south. It was modeled after the Chinese capital of the time, with a wide road, 80 m (approximately 88 yd.) across, running north to south in the center, and the orderly configuration of streets in a grid pattern. The main street ran to Heijo Palace, at the innermost part of the city, which comprised the emperor's residence and government offices.

During the Nara Period the government officially supported Buddhism and a succession of large temples were built at important parts of the capital to protect the emperor and the state.

The Nara Period was also a period of flourishing ties with China. At this time the Chinese Tang dynasty had the largest empire in the world and Nara was receptive to its highly developed culture. The influx of Tang culture deeply influenced Japanese art, and plenty of lively, elegantly voluptuous sculptures have survived to the present day. Many of these have been designated National Treasures.

In 784 the capital was transferred to Nagaoka, and then again, in 794, transferred to Kyoto. After that, Kyoto flourished as the capital for more than a millennium.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara Registered as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Properties

In December 1998, the World Heritage Committee selected for registration a number of sites and historic structures in Nara, including the remains of the palace, a primeval forest, and temple buildings dating back to the period 1300 years ago when the city flourished as the capital of Japan.

Heijo Palace Site

The palace was located toward the north, in the innermost part of the ancient capital of Heijo-kyo. This is where the government of ancient Japan was carried out, in buildings such as the Daigoku-den, the scene of ceremonies and courtly politics, and Dairi, the residential quarters of the emperor.

The site is of particular historical significance because it was the lost ancient Japanese city and, along with the ruins of Dazaifu and the ruins of Taga Castle, it is one of Japan's three noted historical sites.

Kasuga Grand Shrine

Located at the foot of the sacred mountain of Mifuta, Kasuga Grand Shrine was built in 768. Mt. Mifuta was held sacred as a place where the deities descend to earth.

The four main buildings of the shrine are National Treasures and 27 other buildings have been designated Important Cultural Properties. Vermilion lacquered, the shrine buildings present a pleasing contrast to the green of the primeval forest on the mountain.

Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest

For more than 1,000 years, since 841, when the status of the sacred mountain was officially recognized, it has been forbidden to cut down any of the trees in this forest that, along with Mt. Mifuta, protects Kasuga Grand Shrine. This means that the forest is untouched by hands and remains, even now, a valuable repository of nature.

Temples

Temples which were built in the ancient capital of Heijo-kyo under the official protection of Buddhism by the government of the time have managed to survive for over a 1,000 years down to the present day. Their grandeur is a testimony to the flourishing culture of the period. Five temples were registered as World Heritage.

Todai-ji Temple

Todai-ji Temple was built during the middle of the 8th century in compliance with an imperial decree. Eight of the buildings are National Treasures, including the Kondo, a main hall also called Daibutsu-den Hall, (Great Buddha Hall) and Nandai-mon Gate (Great South Gate). Other 18 buildings are Important Cultural Properties.

Kofuku-ji Temple

Kofuku-ji Temple was moved to Nara from the site of the previous capital Asuka when the capital was transferred in 710. The 50.8 m (56 yd.) high Five-storied Pagoda and three other temple buildings are National Treasures. Other two buildings are Important Cultural Properties.

Gango-ji Temple

One of the oldest Buddhist temples, Gango-ji Temple was transferred from the former capital of Asuka to Nara in 710, when Heijo-kyo became the capital. Two buildings, the Gokurakubo-hondo (Main Hall) and Zen hall, are National Treasures and four are Important Cultural Properties.

Yakushi-ji Temple

Yakushi-ji Temple was originally built in 640 by the emperor as a way of praying for his wife's recovery from illness in Asuka. The temple was moved to Nara when the capital was transferred to Heijo-kyo. Enshrined in the temple is a statue of the Yakushi Nyorai, a manifestation of the power of health and healing. Two buildings, the East Pagoda and Toin-do Hall (East Hall), are National Treasures and one is an Important Cultural Property.

Toshodai-ji Temple

Toshodai-ji Temple was built in 759 by the priest Ganjin, who was invited from China to teach the precepts of Buddhism. The emperor and empress of the day came to the temple to receive instruction. Five buildings, including the Kondo (Golden Hall) and the Kodo (Lecture Hall), are National Treasures and other two are Important Cultural Properties.



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Источник: https://web-japan.org/atlas/historical/his12.html

Tokyo

This article is about the Japanese prefecture and its city. For other uses, see Tokyo (disambiguation).

Capital and largest city of Japan

Metropolis in Kantō, Japan

Tokyo

東京都

Tokyo Metropolis

Clockwise from top: Nishi-Shinjuku skyscrapers and Mount Fuji, Rainbow Bridge, National Diet Building, Tokyo Station in Marunouchi, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower

Anthem: "Tokyo Metropolitan Song"
(東京都歌, Tōkyō-to Ka)
Location within Japan

Location within Japan

Coordinates: 35°41′23″N139°41′32″E / 35.68972°N 139.69222°E / 35.68972; 139.69222Coordinates: 35°41′23″N139°41′32″E / 35.68972°N 139.69222°E / 35.68972; 139.69222
CountryJapan
RegionKantō
IslandHonshu
CapitalTokyo[1]
Divisions23 special wards, 26 cities, 1 district, and 4 subprefectures
 • BodyTokyo Metropolitan Government
 • GovernorYuriko Koike (TF)
 • Representatives42
 • Councillors11
 • Total2,194.07 km2 (847.14 sq mi)
Area rank45th in Japan
Highest elevation

[3]

2,017 m (6,617 ft)
Lowest elevation0 m (0 ft)
 • Total14,043,239
 • Rank1st in Japan
 • Density6,363/km2 (16,480/sq mi)
 • Metro

[5]

37,468,000 (2018, Greater Tokyo Area) 1st in the world
Demonym(s)Tokyoite
 • Total, nominal¥106.6 trillion
(US$1.0 trillion)
 • Per capita¥7.7 million
(US$70,000)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (Japan Standard Time)
ISO 3166-2

JP-13

FlowerYoshino cherry
TreeGinkgo
BirdBlack-headed gull
Websitewww.metro.tokyo.lg.jp

Tokyo (Japanese: 東京, Tōkyō[toːkʲoː] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Tokyo Metropolis (Japanese: 東京都, Tōkyō-to), is the capital[7] and most populous prefecture of Japan. Located at the head of Tokyo Bay, the prefecture forms part of the Kantō region on the central Pacific coast of Japan's main island of Honshu. Tokyo is the political and economic center of the country, as well as the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the national government. As of 2021, the prefecture has an estimated population of 14.04 million.[4] The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with an estimated 37.468 million residents in 2018.[5]

Originally a fishing village, named Edo, the city became a prominent political center in 1603, when it became the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate. By the mid-18th century, Edo was one of the most populous cities in the world at over one million. Following the end of the shogunate in 1868, the imperial capital in Kyoto was moved to the city, which was renamed Tokyo (literally "eastern capital"). Tokyo was devastated by the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, and again by Allied bombing raids during World War II. Beginning in the 1950s, the city underwent rapid reconstruction and expansion, going on to lead Japan's post-war economic recovery. Since 1943, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has administered the prefecture's 23 special wards (formerly Tokyo City), various bed towns and suburbs in the western area, and two outlying island chains.

Tokyo is the largest urban economy in the world by gross domestic product, and is categorized as an Alpha+ city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Part of an industrial region that includes the cities of Yokohama, Kawasaki, and Chiba, Tokyo is Japan's leading center of business and finance. In 2019, it hosted 36 of the Fortune Global 500 companies.[8] In 2020, it ranked fourth on the Global Financial Centres Index, behind New York City, London, and Shanghai.[9] Tokyo has the world's tallest tower, Tokyo Skytree,[10] and the world's largest underground floodwater diversion facility, MAOUDC.[11] The Tokyo Metro Ginza Line is the oldest underground metro line in East Asia (1927).[12]

The city has hosted multiple international events, including the 1964 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics and three G7 Summits (1979, 1986, and 1993). Tokyo is an international center of research and development and is represented by several major universities, notably the University of Tokyo. Tokyo Station is the central hub for Japan's Shinkansen bullet train system, and the city is served by an extensive network of rail and subways. Notable districts of Tokyo include Chiyoda (the site of the Imperial Palace), Shinjuku (the city's administrative center), and Shibuya (a commercial, cultural and business hub).

Etymology[edit]

Tokyo was originally known as Edo (江戸), a kanji compound of 江 (e, "cove, inlet") and 戸 (to, "entrance, gate, door").[13] The name, which can be translated as "estuary", is a reference to the original settlement's location at the meeting of the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay. During the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the name of the city was changed to Tokyo (東京, from 東 "east", and 京kyō "capital"), when it became the new imperial capital,[14] in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word capital (京) in the name of the capital city (for example, Kyoto (京都), Keijō (京城), Beijing (北京), Nanjing (南京), and Xijing (西京)).[13] During the early Meiji period, the city was sometimes called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tokyo", making it a kanji homograph. Some surviving official English documents use the spelling "Tokei";[15] however, this pronunciation is now obsolete.[16]

History[edit]

Main articles: History of Tokyo and Timeline of Tokyo

Pre-1869 (Edo period)[edit]

Main article: Edo

Tokyo was originally a small fishing village called Edo, in what was formerly part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified by the Edo clan, in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu moved from Mikawa Province (his lifelong base) to the Kantō region. When he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century.[17] But Edo was still the home of the Tokugawa shogunate and not the capital of Japan (the Emperor himself lived in Kyoto from 794 to 1868).[18] During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, and in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city.[19] The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires, earthquakes, and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. However, this prolonged period of seclusion came to an end with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Commodore Perry forced the opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, leading to an increase in the demand for new foreign goods and subsequently a severe rise in inflation.[20] Social unrest mounted in the wake of these higher prices and culminated in widespread rebellions and demonstrations, especially in the form of the "smashing" of rice establishments.[21] Meanwhile, supporters of the Meiji Emperor leveraged the disruption that these widespread rebellious demonstrations were causing to further consolidate power by overthrowing the last Tokugawa shōgun, Yoshinobu, in 1867.[22] After 265 years, the Pax Tokugawa came to an end.

Kidai Shōran (熈代勝覧), 1805. It illustrates scenes from the Edo period taking place along the Nihonbashiin Tokyo.
  • Gallery
  • Famous Edo Places. Yamanote (above) Nihonbashi (center) and Shitamachi (below) (circa 1858)

  • Suruga street with Mount Fuji by Hiroshige (1856)

1869–1943[edit]

Main articles: Tokyo City and Tokyo Prefecture

In 1869, the 17-year-old Emperor Meiji moved to Edo, and in accordance, the city was renamed Tokyo (meaning Eastern Capital). The city was divided into Yamanote and Shitamachi. Tokyo was already the nation's political and cultural center,[23] 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 officially established on May 1, 1889.

The Tokyo Metro Ginza Line portion between Ueno and Asakusa was the first subway line built in Japan and East Asia completed on December 30, 1927.[12] Central Tokyo, like Osaka, has been designed since about 1900 to be centered on major railway stations in a high-density fashion, so suburban railways were built relatively cheaply at street level and with their own right-of-way. Though expressways have been built in Tokyo, the basic design has not changed.[citation needed]

Tokyo went on to suffer two major catastrophes in the 20th century: the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, which left 140,000 dead or missing; and World War II.[24]

1943–1945[edit]

Main article: Bombing of Tokyo

In 1943, the city of Tokyo merged with the prefecture of Tokyo to form the "Metropolitan Prefecture" of Tokyo. Since then, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government served as both the prefecture government for Tokyo, as well as administering the special wards of Tokyo, for what had previously been Tokyo City. World War II wreaked widespread destruction of most of the city due to the persistent Alliedair raids on Japan and the use of incendiary bombs. The bombing of Tokyo in 1944 and 1945 is estimated to have killed between 75,000 and 200,000 civilians and left more than half of the city destroyed.[25] The deadliest night of the war came on March 9–10, 1945, the night of the American "Operation Meetinghouse" raid;[26] as nearly 700,000 incendiary bombs rained on the eastern half of the city, mainly in heavily residential wards. Two-fifths of the city were completely burned, more than 276,000 buildings were demolished, 100,000 civilians were killed, and 110,000 more were injured.[27][28] Between 1940 and 1945, the population of Japan's capital city dwindled from 6,700,000 to less than 2,800,000, with the majority of those who lost their homes living in "ramshackle, makeshift huts".[29]

  • Gallery
  • Aftermath of Tokyo Bombing in March 1945

1945–present[edit]

After the war, Tokyo became the base from which the United States under Douglas MacArthur administered Japan for six years. Tokyo struggled to rebuild as occupation authorities stepped in and drastically cut back on Japanese government rebuilding programs, focusing instead on simply improving roads and transportation. Tokyo did not experience fast economic growth until the 1950s.[30]

After the occupation of Japan ended in 1952, Tokyo was completely rebuilt and was showcased to the world during the 1964 Summer Olympics. The 1970s and the 1980s brought new high-rise developments. In 1978, Sunshine 60—the tallest skyscraper in Asia until 1985, and in Japan until 1991[31]—and Narita International Airport were constructed, and the population increased to about 11 million in the metropolitan area.[32] The Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum has historic Japanese buildings that existed in the urban landscape of pre-war Tokyo.

Tokyo's subway and commuter rail network became one of the busiest in the world[33] as more and more people moved to the area. In the 1980s, real estate prices skyrocketed during a real estate and debt bubble. The bubble burst in the early 1990s, and many companies, banks, and individuals were caught with mortgage-backed debts while real estate was shrinking in value. A major recession followed, making the 1990s Japan's "Lost Decade",[34] from which it is now slowly recovering.

Tokyo still sees new urban developments on large lots of less profitable land. Recent projects include Ebisu Garden Place, Tennōzu Isle, Shiodome, Roppongi Hills, Shinagawa (now also a Shinkansen station), and the Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station. Buildings of significance have been demolished for more up-to-date shopping facilities such as Omotesando Hills.[35]

Land reclamation projects in Tokyo have also been going on for centuries. The most prominent is the Odaiba area, now a major shopping and entertainment center. Various plans have been proposed[36] for transferring national government functions from Tokyo to secondary capitals in other regions of Japan, to slow down rapid development in Tokyo and revitalize economically lagging areas of the country. These plans have been controversial[37] within Japan and have yet to be realized.

The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of the northeastern coast of Honshu was felt in Tokyo. However, due to Tokyo's earthquake-resistant infrastructure, damage in Tokyo was very minor compared to areas directly hit by the tsunami,[38] although activity in the city was largely halted.[39] The subsequent nuclear crisis caused by the tsunami has also largely left Tokyo unaffected, despite occasional spikes in radiation levels.[40][41]

On September 7, 2013, the IOC selected Tokyo to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Tokyo thus became the first Asian city to host the Olympic Games twice.[42] However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Olympic Games were ultimately postponed to 2021. It is also unclear how the city will deal with an increasing number of issues, urging scholars to offer possible alternatives approaches to tackle the most urgent problems.[43]

Geography and government[edit]

Main article: Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Satellite photo of Tokyo in 2018 taken by ESA Sentinel-2

The mainland portion of Tokyo lies northwest of Tokyo Bay and measures about 90 km (56 mi) east to west and 25 km (16 mi) north to south. The average elevation in Tokyo is 40 m (131 ft).[44]Chiba Prefecture borders it to the east, Yamanashi to the west, Kanagawa to the south, and Saitama to the north. Mainland Tokyo is further subdivided into the special wards (occupying the eastern half) and the Tama area (多摩地域) stretching westwards. Tokyo has a latitude of 35.65 (near the 36th parallel north), which makes it more southern than Rome (41.90), Madrid (40.41) and New York City (40.71).[45]

Also within the administrative boundaries of Tokyo Metropolis are two island chains in the Pacific Ocean directly south: the Izu Islands, and the Ogasawara Islands, which stretch more than 1,000 km (620 mi) away from the mainland. Because of these islands and the mountainous regions to the west, Tokyo's overall population density figures far under-represent the real figures for the urban and suburban regions of Tokyo.[46]

Under Japanese law, the prefecture of Tokyo is designated as a to (都), translated as metropolis.[47] Tokyo Prefecture is the most populous prefecture and the densest, with 6,100 inhabitants per square kilometre (16,000/sq mi); by geographic area it is the third-smallest, above only Osaka and Kagawa. Its administrative structure is similar to that of Japan's other prefectures. The 23 special wards (特別区, tokubetsu-ku), which until 1943 constituted the city of Tokyo, are self-governing municipalities, each having a mayor, a council, and the status of a city.

In addition to these 23 special wards, Tokyo also includes 26 more cities (市 -shi), five towns (町 -chō or machi), and eight villages (村 -son or -mura), each of which has a local government. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government administers the whole metropolis including the 23 special wards and the cities and towns that constitute the prefecture. It is headed by a publicly elected governor and metropolitan assembly. Its headquarters is in Shinjuku Ward.

Tokyo Metropolis Map.svg

Municipalities[edit]

Map of Nishi-Tama District in green
Map of the Izu Islands in black labels
Map of the Ogasawara Islands in black labels

See also: List of cities in Tokyo Metropolis by population

Since 2001, Tokyo consists of 62 municipalities: 23 special wards, 26 cities, 5 towns and 8 villages. Any municipality of Japan has a directly elected mayor and a directly elected assembly, each elected on independent four-year cycles. 23 of Tokyo's municipalities cover the area that had been Tokyo City until WWII, 30 remain today in the Tama area (former North Tama, West Tama and South Tama districts), 9 on Tokyo's outlying islands.

  • The special wards (特別区, tokubetsu-ku) of Tokyo comprise the area formerly incorporated as Tokyo City. The special wards use the word "city" in their official English name (e.g. Chiyoda City). The wards differ from other cities in having a unique administrative relationship with the prefectural government. Certain municipal functions, such as waterworks, sewerage, and fire-fighting, are handled by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. To pay for the added administrative costs, the prefecture collects municipal taxes, which would usually be levied by the city.[48] The "three central wards" of Tokyo – Chiyoda, Chūō and Minato – are the business core of the city, with a daytime population more than seven times higher than their nighttime population.[49] Chiyoda Ward is unique in that it is in the very heart of the former Tokyo City, yet is one of the least populated wards. It is occupied by many major Japanese companies and is also the seat of the national government, and the Japanese emperor. It is often called the "political center" of the country.[50]Akihabara, known for being an otaku cultural center and a shopping district for computer goods, is also in Chiyoda.
  • To the west of the special wards, Tokyo Metropolis consists of cities, towns, and villages that enjoy the same legal status as those elsewhere in Japan. While serving as "bed towns" for those working in central Tokyo, some of them also have a local commercial and industrial base, such as Tachikawa. Collectively, these are often known as the Tama area or Western Tokyo. The far west of the Tama area is occupied by the district (gun) of Nishi-Tama. Much of this area is mountainous and unsuitable for urbanization. The highest mountain in Tokyo, Mount Kumotori, is 2,017 m (6,617 ft) high; other mountains in Tokyo include Takanosu (1,737 m (5,699 ft)), Odake (1,266 m (4,154 ft)), and Mitake (929 m (3,048 ft)). Lake Okutama, on the Tama River near Yamanashi Prefecture, is Tokyo's largest lake. The district is composed of three towns (Hinode, Mizuho and Okutama) and one village (Hinohara). The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has designated Hachiōji, Tachikawa, Machida, Ōme and Tama New Town as regional centers of the Tama area,[51] as part of its plans to relocate urban functions away from central Tokyo.
  • Tokyo has numerous outlying islands, which extend as far as 1,850 km (1,150 mi) from central Tokyo. Because of the islands' distance from the administrative headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in Shinjuku, local subprefectural branch offices administer them. The Izu Islands are a group of volcanic islands and form part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. The islands in order from closest to Tokyo are Izu Ōshima, Toshima, Nii-jima, Shikine-jima, Kōzu-shima, Miyake-jima, Mikurajima, Hachijō-jima, and Aogashima. The Izu Islands are grouped into three subprefectures. Izu Ōshima and Hachijojima are towns. The remaining islands are six villages, with Niijima and Shikinejima forming one village. The Ogasawara Islands include, from north to south, Chichi-jima, Nishinoshima, Haha-jima, Kita Iwo Jima, Iwo Jima, and Minami Iwo Jima. Ogasawara also administers two tiny outlying islands: Minami Torishima, the easternmost point in Japan and at 1,850 km (1,150 mi) the most distant island from central Tokyo, and Okinotorishima, the southernmost point in Japan.[52] Japan's claim on an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) surrounding Okinotorishima is contested by China and South Korea as they regard Okinotorishima as uninhabitable rocks which have no EEZ.[53] The Iwo chain and the outlying islands have no permanent population, but hosts Japan Self-Defense Forces personnel. Local populations are only found on Chichi-Jima and Haha-Jima. The islands form both Ogasawara Subprefecture and the village of Ogasawara, Tokyo.
Flag, name w/o suffixFull name District or
Subprefecture
Area (km2) Population Map LPE code
(w/o checksum)
JapaneseTranscriptionTranslation
Flag of Adachi, Tokyo.svgAdachi足立区Adachi-kuAdachi WardN/A 53.25 674,067 Adachi-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13121
Flag of Arakawa, Tokyo.svgArakawa荒川区Arakawa-kuArakawa Ward 10.16 213,648 Arakawa-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13118
Flag of Bunkyo, Tokyo.svgBunkyō文京区Bunkyō-kuBunkyō Ward 11.29 223,389 Bunkyo-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13105
Flag of Chiyoda, Tokyo.svgChiyoda千代田区Chiyoda-kuChiyoda Ward 11.66 59,441 Chiyoda-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13101
Flag of Chuo, Tokyo.svgChūō中央区Chūō-kuChūō Ward
(Central Ward)
10.21 147,620 Chuo-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13102
Flag of Edogawa, Tokyo.svgEdogawa江戸川区Edogawa-kuEdogawa Ward
(Edo River Ward)
49.9 685,899 Edogawa-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13123
Flag of Itabashi, Tokyo.svgItabashi板橋区Itabashi-kuItabashi Ward 32.22 569,225 Itabashi-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13119
Flag of Katsushika-ku, Tokyo.svgKatsushika葛飾区Katsushika-kuKatsushika Ward
(after Katsushika District)
34.8 447,140 Location of Katsushika ward Tokyo Japan.svg13122
Flag of Kita, Tokyo.svgKita北区Kita-kuKita Ward
(North Ward)
20.61 345,063 Kita-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13117
Flag of Koto, Tokyo.svgKōtō江東区Kōtō-kuKōtō Ward 40.16 502,579 Koto-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13108
Flag of Meguro, Tokyo.svgMeguro目黒区Meguro-kuMeguro Ward 14.67 280,283 Meguro-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13110
Flag of Minato, Tokyo.svgMinato港区Minato-kuMinato Ward
(Harbor/Port District)
20.37 248,071 Minato-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13103
Flag of Nakano, Tokyo.svgNakano中野区Nakano-kuNakano Ward 15.59 332,902 Nakano-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13114
Flag of Nerima, Tokyo.svgNerima練馬区Nerima-kuNerima Ward 48.08 726,748 Location of Nerima ward Tokyo Japan.svg13120
Flag of Ota, Tokyo.svgŌta大田区Ōta-kuŌta Ward 60.66 722,608 Ōta-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13111
Flag of Setagaya, Tokyo.svgSetagaya世田谷区Setagaya-kuSetagaya Ward 58.05 910,868 Setagaya-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13112
Flag of Shibuya, Tokyo.svgShibuya渋谷区Shibuya-kuShibuya Ward 15.11 227,850 Shibuya-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13113
Flag of Shinagawa, Tokyo.svgShinagawa品川区Shinagawa-kuShinagawa Ward 22.84 392,492 Shinagawa-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13109
Flag of Shinjuku, Tokyo.svgShinjuku新宿区Shinjuku-kuShinjuku Ward 18.22 339,211 Shinjuku-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13104
Flag of Suginami, Tokyo.svgSuginami杉並区Suginami-kuSuginami Ward 34.06 570,483 Suginami-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13115
Flag of Sumida, Tokyo.svgSumida墨田区Sumida-kuSumida Ward 13.77 260,358 Location of Sumida ward Tokyo Japan.svg13107
Flag of Taito, Tokyo.svgTaitō台東区Taitō-kuTaitō Ward 10.11 200,486 Taitō-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13106
Flag of Toshima, Tokyo.svgToshima豊島区Toshima-kuToshima Ward
(after Toshima District)
13.01 294,673 Toshima-ku in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13116
Flag of Akiruno, Tokyo.svgAkirunoあきる野市Akiruno-shiAkiruno City 73.47 80,464 Akiruno in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13228
Flag of Akishima, Tokyo.svgAkishima昭島市Akishima-shiAkishima City 17.34 111,449 Akishima in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13207
Flag of Chofu, Tokyo.svgChōfu調布市Chōfu-shiChōfu City 21.58 240,668 Chofu in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13208
Flag of Fuchu, Tokyo.svgFuchū府中市Fuchū-shiFuchū City
(provincial capital city)
29.43 260,891 Fuchu in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13206
Flag of Fussa, Tokyo.svgFussa福生市Fussa-shiFussa City 10.16 58,393 Fussa in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13218
Flag of Hachioji, Tokyo.svgHachiōji八王子市Hachiōji-shiHachiōji City 186.38 579,330 Hachioji in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13201
Flag of Hamura, Tokyo.svgHamura羽村市Hamura-shiHamura City 9.9 55,596 Hamura in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13227
Flag of Higashikurume, Tokyo.svgHigashikurume東久留米市Higashi-Kurume-shiHigashi-Kurume City
East Kurume City
(as opposed to Kurume City, Western Japan)
12.88 116,869 Higashikurume in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13222
Flag of Higashimurayama, Tokyo.svgHigashimurayama東村山市Higashi-Murayama-shiHigashi-Murayama City
East Murayama City
(after Murayama Region)
17.14 150,984 Higashimurayama in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13213
Flag of Higashiyamato Tokyo.svgHigashiyamato東大和市Higashi-Yamato-shiHigashi-Yamato City
(here: Tokyo's Yamato City)[54]
(as opposed to Kanagawa's Yamato City)
13.42 85,229 Higashiyamato in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13220
Flag of Hino, Tokyo.svgHino日野市Hino-shiHino City 27.55 185,133 Hino in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13212
Flag of Inagi, Tokyo.svgInagi稲城市Inagi-shiInagi City 17.97 87,927 Hino in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13225
Flag of Kiyose Tokyo.svgKiyose清瀬市Kiyose-shiKiyose City 10.23 74,495 Kiyose in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13221
Flag of Kodaira, Tokyo.svgKodaira小平市Kodaira-shiKodaira City 20.51 194,757 Kodaira in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13211
Flag of Koganei, Tokyo.svgKoganei小金井市Koganei-shiKoganei City 11.3 121,516 Koganei in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13210
Flag of Kokubunji, Tokyo.svgKokubunji国分寺市Kokubunji-shiKokubunji City
(provincial temple city)
11.46 122,787 Kokubunji in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13214
Flag of Komae, Tokyo.svgKomae狛江市Komae-shiKomae City 6.39 81,671 Komae in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13219
Flag of Kunitachi, Tokyo.svgKunitachi国立市Kunitachi-shiKunitachi City 8.15 75,867 Kunitachi in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13215
Flag of Machida, Tokyo.svgMachida町田市Machida-shiMachida City 71.8 429,040 Machida in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13209
Flag of Mitaka, Tokyo.svgMitaka三鷹市Mitaka-shiMitaka City 16.42 189,168 Mitaka in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13204
Flag of Musashimurayama, Tokyo.svgMusashimurayama武蔵村山市Musashi-Murayama-shiMusashi-Murayama City
(as opposed to Murayama City, Dewa Province)
15.32 70,649 Musashimurayama in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13223
Flag of Musashino, Tokyo.svgMusashino武蔵野市Musashino-shiMusashino City
(after Musashino Region)
10.98 143,686 Musashino in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13203
Flag of Nishitokyo, Tokyo.svgNishitōkyō西東京市Nishi-Tōkyō-shiNishi-Tokyo City
(Western Tokyo City)
15.75 200,102 Nishitokyo in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13229
Flag of Ome, Tokyo.svgŌme青梅市Ōme-shiŌme City 103.31 136,071 Ome in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13205
Flag of Tachikawa, Tokyo.svgTachikawa立川市Tachikawa-shiTachikawa City 24.36 184,183 Tachikawa in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13202
Flag of Tama, Tokyo.svgTama多摩市Tama-shiTama City
(after Tama district/area/river)
21.01 147,953 Tama in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13224
Flag of Hinode, Tokyo.svgHinode日の出町Hinode-machiHinode TownNishi-Tama
(Western Tama)
28.07 17,141 Hinode in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13305
Flag of Hinohara, Tokyo.svgHinohara檜原村Hinohara-muraHinohara Village 105.41 2,194 Hinohara in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13307
Flag of Mizuho, Tokyo.svgMizuho瑞穂町Mizuho-machiMizuho Town 16.85 33,117 Mizuho in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13303
Flag of Okutama, Tokyo.svgOkutama奥多摩町Okutama-machiOkutama Town
(Rear/Outer Tama Town)
225.53 5,177 Okutama in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13308
Flag of Hachijo, Tokyo.svgHachijō八丈町Hachijō-machiHachijō Town
(on Hachijō Island)
Hachijō72.23 7,516 Hachijo in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13401
Flag of Aogashima, Tokyo.svgAogashima青ヶ島村Aogashima-muraAogashima Village
(on Aogashima)
5.96 169 Aogashima in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13402
Flag of Miyake, Tokyo.svgMiyake三宅村Miyake-muraMiyake Village
(on Miyake Island)
Miyake55.27 2,451 Kozushima Village in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13381
Flag of Mikurajima, Tokyo.svgMikurajima御蔵島村Mikurajima-muraMikurajima Village
(Mikura Island Village)
27.54 328 Mikurajima Village in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13382
Flag of Oshima, Tokyo.svgŌshima大島町Ōshima-machiŌshima Town
([Izu] Grand Island Town)
Ōshima90.76 7,762 Oshima Town in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13361
Flag of Toshima Village, Tokyo.svgTo-shima利島村Toshima-muraTo-shima Village
(on homonymous island)
4.12 309 Toshima Village in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13362
Flag of Niijima, Tokyo.svgNiijima新島村Niijima-muraNiijima Village
(on homonymous island)
27.54 2,697 Niijima Village in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13363
Flag of Kozushima, Tokyo.svgKōzushima神津島村Kōzushima-muraKōzushima Village
(on homonymous island)
18.58 1,856 Kozushima Village in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13364
Flag of Ogasawara, Tokyo.svgOgasawara小笠原村Ogasawara-muraOgasawara Village
(on homonymous islands)
Ogasawara104.41 3,029 Ogasawara Village in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg13421
Flag of Tokyo Metropolis.svg Tokyo 東京都Tōkyō-toTokyo "Metropolis"
functionally: ~ Prefecture
literally/etymologically: ~ Capital
2,194.0713,960,236 Tokyo Metropolis Map.svg13000
ISO: JP-13

Municipal mergers[edit]

Main article: List of mergers in Tokyo

Источник: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo

Kyoto: Ancient capital of Japan


Kyoto is one of those destinations that gets under your skin. As the former capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, it is known as one of the most traditional cities - a place where you can still see geisha entertaining groups of businessmen, if you know where to go. Here is our guide to every aspect of Kyoto you can imagine. If you're visiting it as a cruise destination as a day trip from the port city of Kobe, you'll be spoilt for choice for things to do.

History

As already mentioned, Kyoto was the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years before Tokyo came along. Its residents rightly have a lot of pride, with many maintaining that it's still the capital even now. In a way, they're right. Trace the families of the ultra-powerful (and especially the Emperor and the Imperial Family) and you'll find they all lead to Kyoto. There's plenty of history to discover here, and lots of venues to do it from. The Museum of Kyoto, the National Museum, the Miho Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art are the places where you'll best get your fix if you're a culture vulture.

Natural beauty

Kyoto is surrounded by a number of impressive mountains. Rising up like the vertebrae of some ancient creature, they are an impressive sight indeed. You will need to travel a little way from the centre to experience the natural beauty they offer, but it's well worth it. But even from a distance, these incredible natural structures serve as a reminder that Mother Nature is very close. Places to experience it include the Golden Pavilion and the second half of the Pilgrim's Walk.

Traditional Japan

Kyoto is one of those places where you can experience Japan as it once was. The city's main arteries are modern enough - wide roads with expensive shops and restaurants on either side. But stray away and you'll quickly find yourself in an absolute maze of narrow old-fashioned roads. Here, the pedestrian is king and you'll find all kinds of traditional sushi bars and izakayas. The Gion district is particularly beautiful, with plenty of old homes made out of red-painted wood. You'll find many members bars here - if you're lucky enough to know the right people, you're in for a very Japanese experience. Many of these play host to geishas and their clients. Keep an eye out for them.


Cuisine

With Kyoto being as traditional it is in many aspects, you might expect its cuisine to be as traditional as everything else. But there's a vast variety on offer here, so don't count your chickens before they've hatched. Kansai favourites okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) and takoyaki (octopus balls) are in high demand, and you'll find plenty of little restaurants specialising in sushi and sashimi. It's also worth trying Japanese or Korean barbecue while you're here. This involves cooking meat carefully on a personal heater before wrapping it in lettuce or dunking it in sauce. It's delicious and perfectly suitable for those who aren't fishy fans.

Temples and shrines

One of the most alluring factors about Kyoto is its plethora of temples and shrines. These are absolutely fascinating to visit - no two are the same and, although you'll certainly find quite a few that are commercial and commonly visited by tourists, a walk along the streets may unearth many an undiscovered gem. A quick look inside is guaranteed to yield interesting results. While the Golden Pavilion is an immensely popular destination, it might be wise to substitute it for other places if you're interested in experiencing a wider variety of temples and shrines, since it is tricky to get to and has little touristic value despite its name. More interesting is the Sanjusagen-do, which is in possession of 1,000 standing statues of guardian deities from the Hindu religion. It is an amazing sight. Also worth checking out is the Inari Shrine, a short train ride from the centre. Its stunning red paintwork and population of fox statues is something to behold, and the view from the top (which takes two hours to reach) is awe-inspiring.

Cool Japan

On the other side of this is the Cool Japan image that brings so many young people to Japan. The lure of Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon and Studio Ghibli exists in Kyoto as well, not just the more modern cities. A manga museum provides much opportunity to learn about the art form - its origins and even how to draw it. Mile-high shopping malls allow for an incredible retail experience while cat cafés transform the typical experience into a more feel-good feline affair. Everything you've ever heard about Japan's trendiness and individuality can be found here. Be sure you don't miss out on exploring this aspect of Kyoto.


In a nutshell

Quite frankly, Kyoto is one of the most incredible destinations you can possibly visit in Japan. The combination of the old and the new is incredible, with so many of the ancient buildings well-preserved. But you'll also find plenty of shades of the Cool Japan perpetuated by the tourism agency as well, with opportunities for shopping and to experience the manga phenomenon.

Источник: https://www.planetcruise.com/en/cruise-guides-and-features/kyoto-guide
TOKYO, JAPAN

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and one of the world's largest cities. Besides being the political center of Japan, Tokyo is also the financial, cultural, and industrial center of Japan and a major international financial center. Tokyo is situated on the Pacific Ocean side of central Honshu, Japan's main island, amidst the Kanto Plain, the largest tract of low-lying terrain in the country. To the west and north sides of Tokyo are volcanic mountain ranges, including Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan. The city center includes the Imperial Palace, which overlooks the traditional central business district around Tokyo Station. On the south side of the Palace is the government district, which houses the parliament, or Diet, the Supreme Court, and the foreign, finance, and other ministries.

The earliest mention of Tokyo is found during the 15th Century, when "Edo", what is now modern-day Tokyo, is mentioned. In 1590, a powerful military leader, Tokugawa Ieyasu made Edo his base, and when the nation was unified, Edo became the capital. Edo remained the capital of the Tokugawa, and in 1868, the Meiji emperor conquered Edo, and renamed it "Tokyo" or "eastern capital." The first half of the 20th Century saw rapid modernization in Tokyo, even though it sustained an earthquake in 1923 estimated to have killed 100,000 people, and the sustained barrage of air raids during World War II. After the war, a steady stream of construction and renovation projects helped get Tokyo back on its feet. These efforts were culminated with the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Today, Tokyo is a world-class city of over 11 million residents and stands as a leading center for finance, commerce, and culture.

Источник: https://clintonwhitehouse3.archives.gov/WH/New/Pacific/tokyo.html

11 Best Cities in Japan

Written by Diana Bocco
Oct 14, 2020

We may earn a commission from affiliate links ()

Japan is a country of contrasts, where the old and the new coexist side by side in perfect harmony. It's easy to see this in Japan's cities. You could spend years exploring the ancient Shinto and Buddhist temples, futuristic skyscrapers, and gastronomical delights that Japan has to offer and still have plenty left to see.

From the heart of major destinations such as Tokyo to the smaller places to visit that tourists often skip, here's our list of the best cities in Japan.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Tokyo

Tokyo skyline with Mt. Fuji in the distance

Most visitors arriving in Japan touch down in Tokyo first. Even if your final destination is somewhere else, Tokyo deserves to be explored and enjoyed. As the most modern, most varied city in Japan, Tokyo offers a mix of old and new like nowhere else.

Visit Electric Town (Akihabara) area to get your techie or geeky fix among the steel and glass skyscrapers. Then head to an ancient Buddhist or Shinto shrine, such as the Sensoji Shrine, the oldest temple in Tokyo. The Imperial Palace and the Museum of Modern Art, which sit next to each other, are another contrasting duo worth a visit.

Tokyo is the place to visit for weird tourist attractions. Stop by the Kite Museum, the movie animation Studio Ghibli Museum, or the grisly Parasitological Museum, or play arcade games at Gigo Sega Building. One of the world's larges arcades, it offers six floors of everything, from the oldest arcade games to virtual reality experiences.

Cherry blossom (sakura) viewing is a centuries-old tradition in Japan and one of the top things to do in Tokyo. For about a week in spring, people flock to parks to see the trees blossom in incredible soft pink colors, petals falling and floating like snowflakes. Timing your visit can be tricky, but in Tokyo, sakura is likely to happen between March 24 to April 2.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Tokyo: Best Areas & Hotels

2. Kyoto

The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The former ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto is known for being home to a long list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Must-sees include the Byodo-in Temple, featured on the 10 yen coin; the vast samurai Nijo Castle; and the iconic Kinkaku-ji Temple or "Golden Pavilion," with walls covered in gold leaf.

Kyoto oozes quiet charm, with shrines and sublime gardens everywhere. The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is one of Kyoto's most stunning sights and one not to be missed. So are the thousands of orange-red torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine.

For an unusual sightseeing experience, visit the entertainment district of Gion, where geishas walk the streets lined up with folk wooden houses. This is a great place to visit to experience ochaya (teahouses) and kaiseki ryori (traditional Japanese haute cuisine).

Accommodation: Top-Rated Places to Stay in Kyoto

3. Osaka

Osaka Castle and cherry blossoms with Mt. Fuji in the distance

Compared to other cities in Japan, Osaka feels a little like a small town. It was quickly - and somehow haphazardly - rebuilt after being heavily bombed during WWII, and it lacks many of the historical sights you'll find in other cities.

In exchange, you'll get plenty of almost rural Japanese charm, some of the best street food in Japan (kitsune udon or noodle soup with fried tofu is a staple here), and some of the best hip vintage wear and electronics shopping at better prices than Tokyo.

Two not-to-be-missed stops in Osaka include the Open Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses and Bunraku theaters, where you can see the ancient art of Japanese puppetry. Osaka Castle is another great spot to explore - or you can jump on a Gozabune boat and just admire the 16th-century fortress from the water.

Osaka is also home to many onsen (thermal baths), which might feel like a spa but are actually a unique cultural experience worth trying out.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Places to Stay in Osaka

4. Hiroshima

Miyajima Island and the floating torii gate

Hiroshima's past is perhaps the main reason people visit the city - but it shouldn't be the only one. For those wanting to understand the dark history of the city, a stop at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a must. Here, visitors can see the skeletal ruins of the Atomic Bomb Dome and visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which documents the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during WWII.

Right in the heart of Hiroshima, you'll also find the feudal Hiroshima Castle, covered in black lacquer and ornate wood. Home to a Samurai museum and a shrine, the castle is also popular for its weekly Samurai performances right outside the castle walls.

For car lovers, the Mazda Museum in town is one of Hiroshima's must-visit attractions. Visitors should also try the Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, a type of pancake filled with cabbage, bean sprouts and noodles, a fried egg, and sweet sauce.

A good day trip from Hiroshima is Miyajima Island, which can be reached via a picturesque ferry ride. Visitors arrive here to see Itsukushima Shrine and the famous "floating" torii gate, an optical illusion during high tide that causes the gate to seemingly float on the blue waters. During low tide, however, it's possible to walk up to the gate.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Hiroshima

5. Nara

Wild deer in Nara Park

Less than an hour away from Kyoto on a high-speed train, Nara can easily be done as a day trip. If you truly want to explore this unique small city, however, stay at least one night.

Nara is best known as the home of Nara Park, where over 1,000 friendly, curious deer roam freely and often approach people at close range. The deer have National Treasure Status and cannot be bothered or harmed in any way by park visitors.

After spending some time surrounded by adorable creatures, head to Tōdai-ji Temple, which dates back to the year AD 752 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The shrine is home to Japan's largest bronze Buddha statue at 15 meters tall. The Todaiji Museum, near the entrance to the temple grounds, holds an impressive collection of Buddhist art.

Another temple worth visiting is the 8th-century Kasuga Taisha, which you reach by walking on a lantern-lined path.

If you're up for a bit of exercise, you can walk up 343 meters to reach the summit of Mount Wakakusa - during spring, this is the city's top spot for sakura viewing.

End the day with a bit of street food - which in Nara means something sweet. The most famous street snack here is yomogi mochi, a warm cake made with sticky rice and filled with sweet red bean paste.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Nara

6. Sapporo

Sapporo in the winter

Sapporo is Japan's best winter destination, known for its many ski resorts and the Sapporo Snow Festival at the beginning of February. The festival attracts ice sculptors from all over the country, who build massive ice castles and statues that are illuminated with colorful lights at night.

For skiers, Sapporo - which was the host of the 1972 Winter Olympics - offers perfect powder snow conditions, over 1,000 kilometers of pistes, and numerous night-skiing facilities.

While in town, make some time to tour the Ishiya Chocolate Factory and try their white chocolate specialty. Then take a walk around the Historical Village of Hokkaido, an open-air museum featuring sixty period structures, each completely furnished and showcasing what pioneer life was once like in the area.

For some of the best views of the city, climb up to the observation deck in Sapporo TV Tower, modeled after the Eiffel Tower.

Just outside Sapporo is another great viewpoint: Moiwayama mountain. Take the cable car to the top for an open view over the city and the natural spaces around it.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Sapporo

7. Fukuoka

Fukuoka at dusk

The Mitama Festival is one of Fukuoka's most famous attractions. It's celebrated at Gokoku Shrine, where over 6,000 lanterns are lit to welcome the spirits of the dead at the rhythm of taiko drumming. While this famous festival is celebrated all over Japan, the city of Fukuoka dedicates its celebrations to Japan's war dead, attracting people from all over the country.

When visiting Fukuoka, make sure to stop by Japan's largest shopping center. Canal City Hakata has over 250 stores, a theater, cinemas, and game centers, and even its own canal running through the center of the complex.

If you'd rather spend your time outdoors, there's Momochi Seaside, a park and artificial beach that sits next to the Fukuoka City Museum, and plenty of restaurants that look over the sea.

Tochoji Temple, home to Japan's largest sitting Buddha statue, is also a must-see here.

Fukuoka is surrounded by mountains perfect for hiking, including Mt. Hiko, with its copper torii gates at the top, and Mt. Shiouji, with its Ohno Castle ruins. At night, you can take a cable car up Mt. Sarakura for a stunning view over the city lights below.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Fukuoka

8. Kanazawa

Higashi Chaya District in Kanazawa

Because Kanazawa wasn't bombed during WWII, it has retained all of its ancient architecture, including the 16th-century Kanazawa Castle and the beautiful gardens surrounding it. At the foot of the castle sits the Nagamachi Samurai district, where you can get a glimpse of the ancient lifestyle of samurai and their families.

On a different side of town, the Higashi Geisha District still preserves the chaya or teahouses where geishas used to entertain the wealthy centuries ago. Here, visitors can stop by the Ochaya Shima Museum to understand how the geisha lived and visit the Gold Leaf Sakuda shop to grab a souvenir decorated with gold leaf, a traditional local craft.

You can also try traditional wagashi sweets while sipping a cup of green tea at one of the working teahouses in the area.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kanazawa

9. Kobe

Kobe

Though better known as a port city, Kobe's picture-perfect location between the sea and the Rokko mountains is its best feature. Mount Rokko, just steps away, makes for an easy afternoon hike, and the nearby Nunobiki Falls are a great destination during the hotter months.

For a quiet escape, visit the all-marble Jain Temple, then climb the Kobe Port Tower as the sun goes down for 360-degree panoramic views over the lights of the city. Kobe is also home to the Kobe Fashion Museum, the first of its kind in Japan, and the Maritime Museum, highlighting the importance of the sea in the city's growth and development.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kobe

10. Nagasaki

Nagasaki at dusk

Nagasaki was also destroyed by a nuclear strike in WWII and slowly rebuilt over the next few decades. You can see some of that history in the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and on a walk around Peace Park with its many monuments and memorials.

Because of its tradition as a port city, Nagasaki has a more international flair than other cities in Japan. This can be seen in the many busy restaurants and tiny eateries offering everything from Fujian-influenced champon noodles to poisonous okoze fish dishes.

To catch Nagasaki's famous "10 million dollar view," visitors can take the Ropeway cable car up Mount Inasa. Once up, climb to the observatory platform for 360-degree views (even better at night) over the city and the Nagasaki Port.

Just off the bay of Nagasaki lies Hashima (Battleship) Island, an abandoned island that once served as a forced labor camp and the access site to an undersea coal mine. Shots of the decaying structures on the island were used in the James Bond film Skyfall, and visitors can now take tours of the island.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Nagasaki

11. Takayama

Ogimachi Village, the largest village in Shirakawa-go, Takayama

A relatively large city with a small-town feel, Takayama sits in the heart of the Japanese Alps and receives heavy snow in winter. The historical buildings that house the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine and the Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum look particularly stunning while covered in powdery soft snow.

Visitors staying overnight in Takayama can (and should) sleep in ryokans, small inns that offer traditional accommodations, tea ceremonies, and authentic local food.

Takayama is home to three historical sites: Hida no Sato, an open-air museum with over 30 historical thatch-roof farmhouses, and the few streets that make up the Sanmachi Suji District, where traditional houses mix with cafés and shops in a place that looks out of a history book. To see the third place, you need to leave the city for a short day trip to the village of Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with traditional houses that are over 250 years old.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Takayama

Источник: https://www.planetware.com/japan/best-cities-in-japan-jpn-1-21.htm

Kyoto: Ancient capital of Japan


Kyoto is one of those destinations that gets under your skin. As the former capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, it is known as one of the most traditional cities - a place where you can still see geisha entertaining groups of businessmen, if you know where to go. Here is our guide to every aspect of Kyoto you can imagine. If you're visiting it as a cruise destination as a day trip from the port city of Kobe, you'll be spoilt for choice for things to do.

History

As already mentioned, Kyoto was the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years before Tokyo came along. Its residents rightly have a lot of pride, with many maintaining that it's still the capital even now. In a way, they're right. Trace the families of the ultra-powerful (and especially the Emperor and the Imperial Family) and you'll find they all lead to Kyoto. There's plenty of history to discover here, and lots of venues to do it from. The Museum of Kyoto, the National Museum, the Miho Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art are the places where you'll best get your fix if you're a culture vulture.

Natural beauty

Kyoto is surrounded by a number of impressive mountains. Rising up like what is the capital of japan now vertebrae of some ancient creature, they are an impressive sight indeed. You will need to travel a little way from the centre to experience the natural beauty they offer, but it's well worth it. But even from a distance, these incredible natural structures serve as a reminder that Mother Nature is very close. Places to experience it include the Golden Pavilion and the second half of the Pilgrim's Walk.

Traditional Japan

Kyoto is one of those places where you can experience Japan as it once was. The city's main arteries are modern enough - wide roads with expensive shops and restaurants on either side. But stray away and you'll quickly find yourself in an absolute maze of narrow old-fashioned roads. Here, the pedestrian is king and you'll find all kinds of traditional sushi bars and izakayas. The Gion district is particularly beautiful, with plenty of old what is the capital of japan now made out of red-painted wood. You'll find many members bars here - if you're lucky enough to know the right people, you're in for a very Japanese experience. Many of these play host to geishas and their clients. Keep an eye out for them.


Cuisine

With Kyoto being as traditional it is in many aspects, you might expect its cuisine to be as traditional as everything else. But there's a vast variety on offer here, so don't count your chickens before they've hatched. Kansai favourites okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) and takoyaki (octopus balls) are in high demand, and you'll find plenty of little restaurants specialising in sushi and sashimi. It's also worth trying Japanese or Korean barbecue while you're here. This involves cooking meat carefully on a personal heater before wrapping it in lettuce or dunking it in sauce. It's delicious and perfectly suitable for those who aren't fishy fans.

Temples and shrines

One of the most alluring factors about Kyoto is its plethora of temples and shrines. These are absolutely fascinating to visit - no two are the same and, although you'll certainly find quite a few that are commercial and commonly visited by tourists, a walk along the streets may unearth many an undiscovered gem. A quick look inside is guaranteed to yield interesting results. While the Golden Pavilion is an immensely popular destination, it might be wise to substitute it for other places if you're interested in experiencing a wider variety of temples and shrines, since it is tricky to get to and has little touristic value despite its name. More interesting is the Sanjusagen-do, which is in possession of 1,000 standing statues of guardian deities from the Hindu religion. It is an amazing sight. Also worth checking out is the Inari Shrine, a short train ride from the centre. Its stunning red paintwork and population of fox statues is something to behold, and the view from the top (which takes two hours to reach) is awe-inspiring.

Cool Japan

On the other side of this is the Cool Japan image that brings so many young people to Japan. The lure of Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon and Studio Ghibli exists in Kyoto as well, not just the more modern cities. A manga museum provides much opportunity to learn about the art form - its origins and even how to draw it. Mile-high shopping malls allow for an incredible retail experience while cat cafés transform the typical experience into a more feel-good feline affair. Everything you've ever heard about Japan's trendiness and individuality can be found here. Be sure you don't miss out on exploring this aspect of Kyoto.


In a nutshell

Quite frankly, Kyoto is one of the most incredible destinations you can possibly visit in Japan. The combination of the old and the new is incredible, with so many of the ancient buildings well-preserved. But you'll also find plenty of shades of the Cool Japan perpetuated by the tourism agency as well, with opportunities for shopping and to experience the manga phenomenon.

Источник: https://www.planetcruise.com/en/cruise-guides-and-features/kyoto-guide
TOKYO, JAPAN

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and one of the world's largest cities. Besides being the political center of Japan, Tokyo is also the financial, cultural, and industrial center of Japan and a major international financial center. Tokyo is situated on the Pacific Ocean side of central Honshu, Japan's main island, amidst the Kanto Plain, the largest tract of low-lying terrain in the country. To the west and north sides of Tokyo are volcanic mountain ranges, including Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan. The city center includes the Imperial Palace, which overlooks the traditional central business district around Tokyo Station. On the south side of the Palace is the government district, which houses the parliament, or Diet, the Supreme Court, and the foreign, finance, and other ministries.

The earliest mention of Tokyo is found during the 15th Century, when "Edo", what is now modern-day Tokyo, is mentioned. In 1590, a powerful military leader, Tokugawa Ieyasu made Edo his base, and when the nation was unified, Edo became the capital. Edo remained the capital of the Tokugawa, and in 1868, the Meiji emperor conquered Edo, and renamed it "Tokyo" or "eastern capital." The first half of the 20th Century saw rapid modernization in Tokyo, even though it sustained an earthquake in 1923 estimated to have killed 100,000 people, and the sustained barrage of air raids during World War II. After the war, a steady stream of construction and renovation projects helped get Tokyo back on its feet. These efforts were culminated with the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Today, Tokyo is a world-class city of over 11 million residents and stands as a leading center for finance, commerce, and culture.

Источник: https://clintonwhitehouse3.archives.gov/WH/New/Pacific/tokyo.html

Beyond Tokyo: The Hidden Strengths of Japan's Regions

The greater Tokyo area is both the largest concentration of humanity on the planet, with around 42 million residents, and its biggest metropolitan economy, with a GDP of approximately $2 trillion. It is then perhaps unsurprising that when businesspeople think of Japan, they think largely in terms of its sprawling megalopolis of a capital, and then perhaps Osaka. But to do so is to overlook the vast potential of what lies beyond.

Indeed, some of Japan's best-known global companies hail from its regions and remain headquartered there. Toyota is based in the city that now bears its name in Aichi Prefecture, near Nagoya, in the central Chubu region, an area that boasts a GDP larger than Switzerland's. Video game giant Nintendo is fiercely proud of its roots in the ancient capital of Kyoto, while the head office of Fast Retailing, owner of the Uniqlo clothing retail empire, is still in Yamaguchi Prefecture, southwest of Hiroshima.

“As the Japanese economy continues to become more open, foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown in parallel”

As the Japanese economy continues to become more open, foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown in parallel, with FDI stock hitting a record $257.3 billion in 2017, with half of that coming from Europe. However, much of it is still concentrated in Tokyo and Osaka. There are though a multitude of reasons to look further afield.

It has taken decades for Japan to shake its image as an expensive place to live, work and do business, but even Tokyo no longer makes the top 10 list of priciest cities in The Economist Intelligence Unit's annual Worldwide Cost of Living survey. And inevitably, rents, wages and prices overall are significantly lower outside the main urban centres. Local governments are also increasing efforts and measures to attract foreign investment. And the advantages don't end there. Quality of life in Japan's regions is enhanced by rich local culture, cuisine and abundant natural beauty, including mountains, forests and beaches.

Japan's transport network of Shinkansen bullet trains, extensive motorways and around 100 ally bank refinance home loan make most of the country easily accessible. In addition, advanced, nationwide logistics, communications and energy infrastructures mean that business can be done almost anywhere. Meanwhile, the appeal of a highly educated and diligent workforce, coupled with excellent technical skills in many areas, should be clear to employers everywhere.

In the Chubu region of Japan in Gifu Prefecture lies Seki City, a place that has been a centre of traditional Japanese sword-making for more than 700 years. The centuries of knowledge and craftsmanship that go into creating what are widely regarded as the finest bladed weapons in history are also employed in making knives for culinary purposes. And Seki, just an hour from Nagoya, is the location of one of the most successful collaborations between a European company and Japanese traditional artisanship.

Zwilling office

Zwilling J. A. Henckels, a manufacturer of knives and other kitchenware from Germany, has a history that dates back to 1731. The company exhibited at the Expo '70 world fair in Osaka, and while looking for high quality knife-making techniques, discovered Seki City. Zwilling went on to establish a factory in 2004 and now 90% of the knives it sells in Japan are made in Seki.

The company combined the best in German engineering processes with the finest traditional skills from regional Japan, resulting in the very highest quality knives. Its Miyabi range of knives utilise the depth of local knowhow and skills to produce blades renowned as being some of the sharpest in the world.

"Seki City already had a long history in manufacturing blades, and each employee had excellent technical skills. However, although they produced high quality products, each worker had a different way of manufacturing and so there was a problem of consistency," explains Andrew Hankinson, Senior Managing Director at Zwilling J.A. Henckels Japan Ltd. "To deal with this, the latest knowhow from Germany, in terms of quality control, materials and automation for blade manufacturing, was introduced. And through effective management, a unique 'stable high-quality knife manufacturing' system was successfully established."

The reputation of Zwilling knives, made in Seki, Japan, has spread around the globe and they are acclaimed by the world-renowned French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu. The current global boom in Japanese cuisine is helping to spread their fame even wider and sales to Europe and America continue to rise.

The combined region of Hokkaido and Tohoku (northeast) has a GDP of approximately $543.7 billion, larger than that of Belgium. The region is also home to the three largest prefectures in Japan: Hokkaido, Iwate and Fukushima. Bigger than some of Europe's smaller countries, Fukushima Prefecture is taking steps to attract foreign investment, particularly in three key industries: medicine, renewable energy and robots.

In addition to the Fukushima City Industry Exchange Plaza, which facilitates cooperation between businesses and academia-industry collaboration, the prefecture is offering subsidies of up to half a million dollars over two years for companies setting up new operations. Subsidies are available for investment in facilities, medical device R&D, overseas' expansion and to attract foreign investment. The aim is to create a mutually beneficial business landscape for global businesses and the region that will also help facilitate the what is the capital of japan now recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011.

Fukushima is working to actively promote the medical device industry in the prefecture and has formed a regional tie-up program with Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia, home to a number of medical-related device companies. Fukushima-based companies have also participated in exhibitions in Germany in order to form ties with local firms. In June 2017, Fukushima also signed a memorandum of understanding with Thailand to foster greater cooperation, development of both of their medical device industries and to expand sales in the ASEAN region.

AT-OS

Furthermore, Fukushima is home to a number of academic and research institutions in what is the capital of japan now field of medicine. A cluster of Japanese medical equipment manufacturers has been formed to support high-standard treatments and studies at these institutions and overseas companies, such as Johnson and Johnson of the United States and Novo Nordisk of Denmark, also have its branches in the cluster.

Fukushima has been focussing on developing the sector for more than a decade and the prefecture is now a hub for medical device production, a field that tends to be stable even during times of economic uncertainty. As well as being easy to import components for devices, there are a number of small and medium parts makers utilising the technical skills of employees who previously in other industries.

The latest addition to the roster is AT-OS Japan in Koriyama City, accessible in 1.5 hours by bullet train from Tokyo. AT-OS Japan is a joint venture combining the high quality techniques of Japanese manufacturing with the strength of Italian design. The new venture, between NITI-ON of Chiba Prefecture and Verona-headquartered AT-OS, will manufacture a line of washer-disinfector machines for bedpans in Koriyama.

AT-OS had long considered entering the Japanese market and eyed at Fukushima as the candidate to open its branch because of the access to the medical cluster. " Last year, the prefecture launched a subsidiary programme for companies opening operations in Fukushima. We finally realize our dream. We are planning to open a factory in the prefecture and start exporting to other countries, including the United States," says Paolo Lorenzini, head of AT-OS Japan.

Niseko Hilton
Niseko Westin

The mountains of the Niseko area on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido have been attracting increasing numbers of visitors from overseas in recent decades due to the powder snow that many winter sports' enthusiasts rate as the best in the world. The expansive ski fields of Niseko area steadily became a favourite destination for Australians, and in 2004 an Australian company made an investment in one of its resorts. The area has since also become popular with visitors from Asia, America and Europe, with international, high-end hotels opening to meet the rising demand, including the Hilton Niseko Village in 2008.

And more capacity is set to come online, with The Ritz-Carlton due to open within the next few years. Another luxury development, Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono, is set to begin welcoming guests to its hotel at the end of next year. In addition to the hotel, 100 privately-owned Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono Residences are due to open in 2020, having recently gone on sale.

The growth in luxury hotels is not confined to Niseko. In nearby Rusutsu, about 25 minutes away by road, The Westin Rusutsu Resort, operated by America's Marriott International group, opened in 2015.

These high-end developments bring the best in international-standard service and facilities to the area, increasing its appeal to wealthy clientele from Japan and around the world. Although Niseko and its environs have gained fame thanks to its exceptional snow, the spectacular surrounding nature and cooler temperatures than the rest of Japan mean it is also an ideal summer destination, with cycling, golf, hiking, canoeing, and more available.

As many of the hotels have large function rooms or banquet halls, a growth in large-scale MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism is also being targeted.

In addition to hotel facilities, the booming local economy offers opportunities for a range of other ventures, including leisure activity and tour companies, estate agents, property developers and management companies, travel agents and service companies. The rapid increase in foreign visitors will also grow the need for other services, including medical care. Niseko now has a clinic with a multi-lingual foreign doctor and chances for overseas' companies to create new ventures is only set to grow.

Nearly 400,000 overseas visitors stayed in the Kutchan district of Niseko alone last year. The rise in overseas visitors has brought with it an increase in foreign staff at the local hotels, resorts, ski shops, restaurants and bars; Kutchan now has the third-highest proportion of foreign residents of any district in Japan. The internationalization of the area is one of the reasons it has been chosen as the venue for the tourism ministers' meeting of the G20 Summit to be held in October 2019.

As Japan experiences a record-breaking inbound tourism boom, the number of repeat visitors is increasing and the appeal of regional destinations beyond the major cities is on the rise. The wide range of available activities in the Niseko area along with its growing international popularity, provide an environment ripe for further new investment and business ventures.

Collaborations of the kind now happening in the cities of Seki and Koriyama, bringing together the technical skills and manufacturing knowhow of Japan with fresh ideas and input from around the globe have the potential to give birth to innovation and new business opportunities. Meanwhile, the exceptional natural attributes of the Niseko area offer the backdrop for international investment from the tourism and leisure sectors.

Japan's regions offer a host of advantages for companies to leverage in creating new ventures and are increasingly keen to attract them. In addition to an open business environment, superb quality of life and a dedicated, skilled workforce, the regions offer direct access to the world's third-largest economy and proximity to the fast-growing Asian markets beyond.

There are hidden strengths in the regional areas of Japan that have the potential to deliver fresh business opportunities to those willing to go out and grasp them.

Источник: https://www.ft.com/brandsuite/cabinet_office_japan/beyond_tokyo-the_hidden_strengths_of_japans_regions/index.html

What Is The Capital Of Japan?

Tokyo is the capital city of Japan, a title the city has held since 1868 after it was renamed from Edo. Historically, the city became the country’s capital after the then Emperor established his seat of authority in the city. The first capital city in Japan’s history was Kashiwabara established during the reign of Japan’s first emperor, Emperor Jimmu. Over the course of its long history, Japan has had numerous cities serving as its capital.

Nagaoka-Kyo (784-794)

Nagaoka-Kyo was established as the capital city of Japan in 784 after Emperor Kanmu transferred the seat of government from Heijo (present-day Nara). The reason behind the Emperor’s preference of Nagaoka-Kyo was due to the presence of rivers which would provide excellent water transportation. However, these rivers were the cause of the city’s downfall as they frequently flooded and spread waterborne diseases to the residents, ultimately forcing the Emperor to move the capital to Heian-Kyo in 794.

Kyoto (794-1868)

Originally known as Heian-Kyo, Kyoto was Japan’s capital city for more than a millennium. Kyoto gained its capital city status in 794 after Emperor Kanmu moved the seat of government from Nagaoka-Kyo to the city. The Emperor modeled Kyoto after the ancient Chinese city Chang’an with the city being properly planned with wide streets (some being over 78 feet wide). Two artificial canals were dug which provided the residents with steady water supply and also guarded the city against floods. Over the centuries, Heian-Kyo was plagued by fires and was almost burnt to the ground during the 1467-1477 Onin War. The rise of the Tokugawa shogunate in the early 17th century ultimately saw the seat of government being transferred to Edo in 1608. However, Kyoto remained as the formal capital city until Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868.

Edo (1608-1868)

Edo was the seat of government during the feudal military reign of Tokugawa clan and therefore the Japanese de facto capital between 1608 and 1868. The Tokugawa had constructed the Edo Castle in the city which was the official residence of the “shogun.” Edo city was developed around the castle and quickly grew from a humble fishing village to become the largest urban center in the world in the 18th century. The Tokugawa shogunate was quite efficient in the administration and planning of the city as it established administrators who acted as judges in criminal and civil disputes and also established a city fire department. The Fire Department was critical as Edo had been plagued by numerous catastrophic fires including the 1657 Great Fire of Meireki where an estimated 100,000 people lost their lives. While Edo was the center of political power and de facto capital city, Kyoto was still recognized as Japan’s official capital city. In 1868, the Tokugawa shogunate reign ended and Edo was renamed as Tokyo and maintained its role as the country’s de facto capital.

Tokyo (1868-present)

Upon the deposition of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1867, the country experienced major reforms under the 17-year-old Emperor Meiji including the renaming of Edo to Tokyo in 1868 while the Edo Castle was renamed the Imperial Palace. The city grew to become one of the major cities in the world and a hub for many industries. Tokyo’s metropolitan region is also the highest population in the world with about 40 million residents.

Legal Description

While Tokyo is considered the capital city of Japan, there exists no law in the country which explicitly gives Tokyo that distinction. Therefore, Tokyo is considered the de facto capital and not de jure capital of Japan.

Источник: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-capital-of-japan.html

The ancient capital of Nara is located in Nara Prefecture, just south of Kyoto. It was the site of the city of Heijo-kyo, established in 710. It flourished until 784, when the capital was transferred. This epoch of Japanese history is known as the Nara Period. Heijo-kyo was built after the government passed legislation in 701 to concentrate and centralize its power. The official name of the capital was Heijo-kyo, but it was called the Capital of Nara because of its location.

Planned on grand scale, the walled city measured 4.3 km (about what is the capital of japan now miles) from east to west and 4.8 km (about 3.1 miles) from north to south. It was modeled after the Chinese capital of the time, with a wide road, 80 m (approximately 88 yd.) across, running north to south in the center, and the orderly configuration of streets in a grid pattern. The main street ran to Heijo Palace, at the innermost part of the city, which comprised the emperor's residence and government offices.

During the Nara Period the government officially supported Buddhism and a succession of large temples were built at important parts of the capital to protect the emperor and the state.

The Nara Period was also a period of flourishing ties with China. At this time the Chinese Tang dynasty had the largest empire in the world and Nara was receptive to its highly developed culture. The influx of Tang culture deeply influenced Japanese art, and plenty of lively, elegantly voluptuous sculptures have survived to the present day. Many of these have been designated National Treasures.

In 784 the capital was transferred to Nagaoka, and then again, in 794, transferred to Kyoto. After that, Kyoto flourished as the capital for more than a millennium.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara Registered as UNESCO World Cultural what is the capital of japan now Heritage Properties

In December 1998, the World Heritage Committee selected for registration a number of sites and historic structures in Nara, including the remains of the palace, a primeval forest, and temple buildings dating back to the period 1300 years ago when the city flourished as the capital of Japan.

Heijo Palace Site

The palace was located toward the north, in the innermost part of the ancient capital of Heijo-kyo. This is where the government of ancient Japan was carried out, in buildings such as the Daigoku-den, the scene of ceremonies and courtly politics, and Dairi, the residential quarters of the emperor.

The site is of particular historical significance because it was the lost ancient Japanese city and, along with the ruins of Dazaifu and the ruins of Taga Castle, it is one of Japan's three noted historical sites.

Kasuga Grand Shrine

Located at the foot of the sacred mountain of Mifuta, Kasuga Grand Shrine was built in 768. Mt. Mifuta was held sacred as a place where the deities descend to earth.

The four main buildings of the shrine are National Treasures and 27 other buildings have been designated Important Cultural Properties. Vermilion lacquered, the shrine buildings present a pleasing contrast to the green of the primeval forest on the mountain.

Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest

For more than 1,000 years, since 841, when the status of the sacred mountain was officially recognized, it has been forbidden to cut down any of the trees in this forest that, along with Mt. Mifuta, protects Kasuga Grand Shrine. This means that the forest is untouched by hands and remains, even now, a valuable repository of nature.

Temples what is the capital of japan now

Temples which were built in the ancient capital of Heijo-kyo under the official protection of Buddhism by the government of the time have managed to survive for over a 1,000 years down to the present day. Their grandeur is a testimony to the flourishing culture of the period. Five temples were registered as World Heritage.

Todai-ji Temple

Todai-ji Temple was built during the middle of the 8th century in compliance with an imperial decree. Eight of the buildings are National Treasures, including the Kondo, a main hall also called Daibutsu-den Hall, (Great Buddha Hall) and Nandai-mon Gate (Great South Gate). Other 18 buildings what is the capital of japan now Important Cultural Properties.

Kofuku-ji Temple

Kofuku-ji Temple was moved to Nara from the site of the previous capital Asuka when the capital was transferred in 710. The 50.8 m (56 yd.) high Five-storied Pagoda and three other temple buildings are National Treasures. Other two buildings are Important Cultural Properties.

Gango-ji Temple

One of the oldest Buddhist temples, Gango-ji Temple was transferred bank of america wire transfer routing number california from the former capital of Asuka to Nara in 710, when Heijo-kyo became the capital. Two buildings, the Gokurakubo-hondo (Main Hall) and Zen hall, are National Treasures and four are Important Cultural Properties.

Yakushi-ji Temple

Yakushi-ji Temple was originally built in 640 by the emperor as a way of praying for his wife's recovery from illness in Asuka. The temple was moved to Nara when the capital was transferred to Heijo-kyo. Enshrined in the temple is a statue of the Yakushi Nyorai, a manifestation of the power of health and healing. Two buildings, the East Pagoda and Toin-do Hall (East Hall), are National Treasures and one is an Important Cultural Property.

Toshodai-ji Temple

Toshodai-ji Temple was built in 759 by the priest Ganjin, who was invited from China to teach the precepts of Buddhism. The emperor and empress of the day came to the temple to receive instruction. Five buildings, including the Kondo (Golden Hall) and the Kodo (Lecture Hall), are National Treasures and other two are Important Cultural Properties.



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Источник: https://web-japan.org/atlas/historical/his12.html

For most people, the word "geisha" conjures visions of Kyoto's Gion district. But there is another major geisha centre, one that even many Japanese don't know.

T

The dancer glides noiselessly across the tatami mat floor, a branch of reddening maple leaves in her right hand. The long sleeves of her kimono denote that she is a furisode, or apprentice geisha. Behind her, an onesan (senior geisha) in a fawn kimono sits on the floor, plucking a lilting rhythm on a three-stringed shamisen with a large wedge-shaped pick.

A typical scene from Kyoto's Gion district, you might think. But this is more than 500km to the north-west in Niigata, a historic port city on Honshu's west coast.

Niigata's geisha tradition dates back more than 200 years to the Edo era (1603-1867) when the city was a major port on the Kitamaebune (literally, "north-bound ships") shipping route that connected Osaka with Hokkaido. Thousands of cargo vessels made this journey each year. As the capital of Japan's largest rice producing area, Niigata became the busiest port on the Sea of Japan coast. By the early Meiji Era (1868-1912), Niigata was among the wealthiest, most populous parts of the nation.

A thriving entertainment district grew up in the Furumachi neighbourhoood of the city to cater for the countless wealthy merchants and other visitors. Geishas (or geigis, in the local dialect) began performing at Furumachi's many teahouses, ozashiki (banqueting halls) and ryotei (luxury restaurants). Politicians and even members of the What is the capital of japan now family figured among the clientele. By 1884, nearly 400 geigis were performing in Furumachi.

Nobuko, the shamisen-playing onesan who played the lilting song as the apprentice danced, mobile homes for sale under 5000 in south carolina been a Furumachi geigi for 64 years. She recalls entertaining celebrity guests, including Prince Takamatsu, brother of Emperor Hirohito; and Kakuei Tanaka, prime minister from 1972 to 1974. Like all geishas, Nobuko is known only by her first name.

Although little-known compared to Kyoto, Niigata's geisha tradition dates back more than 200 years (Credit: Niigata Visitors & Convention Bureau)

"The prince was very friendly," she recalled. "He cracked a lot of jokes. I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to mention this, but he was playing mahjong with the senior geigis. I watched them while I served sake and tea."

While geisha activity ceased during World War Two, it quickly picked up again afterwards. Although it never regained the peak of its glory days, it still offers a fascinating glimpse into traditional formal Japanese culture and arts. Unlike the over-touristed geisha area of Kyoto, Furumachi is one of the few parts of Japan where travellers can still savour the authentic environment of a traditional hanamachi or Flower Town, as geisha districts are called.

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"Today perhaps one can only experience this in Kyoto, Kanazawa [the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture] and Furumachi," said Aritomo Kubo, staff member at Furumachi Kagai Club, which helps preserve Furumachi's traditional streetscape by maintaining its heritage architecture. "Moreover, many of Furumachi's ryoteirestaurants are the original buildings, dating from the 1800s," he added.

Furumachi has the additional advantage that many of its ryotei accept first-time visitors, while many other famous geisha areas require an introduction from a regular client. Niigata is also the home of the Ichiyama School of Traditional Dance, a style uniquely practised by Niigata geigis that has been the basis of local performances for more than 100 years and is designated as an Intangible Cultural Property. Geigis perform this dance style when singing songs like "Niigata Okesa", which was brought to Niigata by mariners sailing the Kitamaebune trade route. 

However, with the advent of TV, cinema and other alternative forms of entertainment, demand for geishas declined drastically. By the late 1970s, Furumachi geigi numbers had dropped below 100. By 1985, just 60 remained. With no new trainees joining since the late 1960s, the youngest geigis in Furumachi were in their 30s. 

At that time, far fewer young women were interested in devoting eight years of their lives to learning the essential geisha skills: the shamisen; the songs; the dances; the manners. Consequently, the rate of new trainees failed to keep pace with the rate of retirement.

Furthermore, unlike Kyoto – the refined capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years (794-1868) – remote Niigata is a place few tourists visit, further limiting the demand for geisha performances. And by the 1980s, a lack of business forced many ryotei to close.

Visitors to Niigata can make a reservation at a ryotei in the Furumachi district to see geigis perform (Credit: Niigata Visitors & Convention Bureau)

However, things began looking up in 1987, when an enterprising company decided to help keep Niigata's geisha tradition alive. Ryuto Shinko Co, Ltd became Japan's first geigi recruitment company, aiming not just to train new geigi but also to act as intermediaries, connecting them with ryotei and other establishments. Backed by sponsorship from 80 local businesses, Ryuto Shinko contracts geigis as full-time salaried workers, providing health care and other benefits. They also hope to raise awareness and boost tourism via merchandise like T-shirts, calendars, fans and even sake bearing images of Furumachi Geigi.

Yui – the apprentice who danced across the tatami mat – is one of their recruits. "I joined after graduating from high school. This is only my ninth year," she said. "I started learning Japanese traditional dance when I was small. So I was already fond of kimonos and the sound of Japanese classical instruments."

Ryuto Shinko has introduced an attitude of innovation into the geishas' traditional world. They abolished the rule of compulsory retirement after marriage, and reached out to families, women and tourists to expand their audience from the traditional Japanese male clientele. Nowadays, Furumachi geigis dance and teach about their culture at conventions and perform at weddings and even funerals, where they perform the favourite song of the deceased. While it's quite common to see geigis on the streets of Furumachi, walking to ryoteis or to their lessons, visitors to the city can make a reservation at a ryotei restaurant to see them perform or head to one of the many annual festivals held in Niigata throughout the year.

The company has also come up with new ways to entertain modern audiences unfamiliar with geigi tradition. For example, tarukenis a game adapted from Rock Paper Scissors where customers get up and play with the geigi. The loser has to drink a cup of sake. As Niigata is one of Japan's major sake producers, taruken has the additional benefit of promoting the local brew.

"Customers in the old days were regulars and knew how to lead us," said Nobuko. "They would often start singing traditional songs, and the geigis followed their lead, playing the shamisen and dancing to their singing. This was before karaoke. Customers today are mostly new and need to be guided. Taruken is a good way to entertain them."

Yui (right) was recruited by Ryuto Shinko Co after high school and has been a geigi for nine years (Credit: Sakura PR)

However, Furumachi's fragile recovery suffered a new blow with the outbreak of coronavirus. In the months following May 2020, when the Japanese government declared a state of emergency, recommending what is the capital of japan now people avoid bars and restaurants, the number of ozashiki banquets dropped by 90%. Currently there are just 24 Furumachi geigis.

"I've experienced nothing like this. The pandemic is like an invisible war," said Nobuko, who has seen the geigi scene survive two major earthquakes. "After the earthquakes, Ryuto Shinko sent geigis out to hospitals and nursing homes to perform for free, to cheer patients up. We can't even do that now."

But then Ryuto Shinko came up with an ingeniously contemporary way of rescuing the geigis' centuries-old culture: online crowdfunding.They set an ambitious goal of 10m yen (approx. £66,000) and a time limit of just 52 days (from 10 May to 30 June 2021) in which to raise it. Amazingly, they surpassed their goal in just 11 days, receiving 15m yen, contributed by a wide variety of people anxious to help preserve this intrinsic part of Japanese culture. They went on to collect an astonishing 30m yen (approx. £191,000).

In light of this groundswell of popular support, there are reasons to be cheerful about the geigis' future once Japan reopens to international travel.

"I feel geigis will stay the same, but our customers may change," said Nobuko. "There are many uncertainties ahead… We have to be ready to adjust to any new demand."

Whatever the future holds, Nobuko has no regrets about her career, even though it wasn't her choice. "It was my mother's idea. She had been a geigi in her hometown. I had many brothers and sisters, so I guess the reason was financial."

Nobuko remembers getting scolded frequently by her seniors in her apprentice days, but this never put her off the geigi world. "Is there any other job that gives you an opportunity to meet with so many people, including a prime minister, and talk to them as equals?" she said. "I've never been happier in my life than when I'm meeting and learning from the guests."

Our Unique Worldis a BBC Travel series that celebrates what makes us different and distinctive by exploring offbeat subcultures and obscure communities around the globe.

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Источник: https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20211012-the-niigata-geigi-japans-other-geishas

11 Best Cities in Japan

Written by Diana Bocco
Oct 14, 2020

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Japan is a country of contrasts, where the old and the new coexist side by side in perfect harmony. It's easy to see this in Japan's cities. You could spend years exploring the ancient What is the capital of japan now and Buddhist temples, futuristic skyscrapers, and gastronomical delights that Japan has to offer and still have plenty left to see.

From the heart of major destinations such as Tokyo to the smaller places to visit that tourists often skip, here's our list of the best cities in Japan.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Tokyo

Tokyo skyline with Mt. Fuji in the distance

Most visitors arriving in Japan touch down in Tokyo first. Even if your final destination is somewhere else, Tokyo deserves to be explored and enjoyed. As the most modern, most varied city in Japan, Tokyo offers a mix of old and new like nowhere else.

Visit Electric Town (Akihabara) area to get your techie or geeky fix among the steel and glass skyscrapers. Then head to an ancient Buddhist or Shinto shrine, such as the Sensoji Shrine, the oldest temple in Tokyo. The Imperial Palace and the Museum of Modern Art, which sit next to each other, are another contrasting duo worth a visit.

Tokyo is the place to visit for weird tourist attractions. Stop by the Kite Museum, the movie animation Studio Ghibli Museum, or the grisly Parasitological Museum, or play arcade games at Gigo Sega Building. One of the world's larges arcades, it offers six floors of everything, from the oldest arcade games to virtual reality experiences.

Cherry blossom (sakura) viewing is a centuries-old tradition in Japan and one of the top things to do in Tokyo. For about a week in spring, people flock to parks to see the trees blossom in incredible soft pink colors, petals falling and floating like snowflakes. Timing your visit can be tricky, but in Tokyo, sakura is likely to happen between March 24 to April 2.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Tokyo: Best Areas & Hotels

2. Kyoto

The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The former ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto is known for being home to a long list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Must-sees include the Byodo-in Temple, featured on the 10 yen coin; the vast samurai Nijo Castle; and the iconic Kinkaku-ji Temple or "Golden Pavilion," with walls covered in gold leaf.

Kyoto oozes quiet charm, with shrines and sublime gardens everywhere. The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is one of Kyoto's most stunning sights and one not to be missed. So are the thousands of orange-red torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine.

For an unusual sightseeing experience, visit the entertainment district of Gion, where geishas walk the streets lined up with folk wooden houses. This is a great place to visit to experience ochaya (teahouses) and kaiseki ryori (traditional Japanese haute cuisine).

Accommodation: Top-Rated Places to Stay in Kyoto

3. Osaka

Osaka Castle and cherry blossoms with Mt. Fuji in the distance

Compared to other cities in Japan, Osaka feels a little like a small town. It was quickly - and somehow haphazardly - rebuilt after being heavily bombed during WWII, and it lacks many of the historical sights you'll find in other cities.

In exchange, you'll get plenty of almost rural Japanese charm, some of the best street food in Japan (kitsune udon or noodle soup with fried tofu is a staple here), and some of the best hip vintage wear and electronics shopping at better prices than Tokyo.

Two not-to-be-missed stops in Osaka include the Open Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses and Bunraku theaters, where you can see the ancient art of Japanese puppetry. Osaka Castle is another great spot to explore - or you can jump on a Gozabune boat and just admire the 16th-century fortress from the water.

Osaka is also home to many onsen (thermal baths), which might feel like a spa but are actually a unique cultural experience worth trying out.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Places to Stay in Osaka

4. Hiroshima

Miyajima Island and the floating torii gate

Hiroshima's past is perhaps the main reason people visit the city - but it shouldn't be the only one. For those wanting to understand the dark history of the city, a stop at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a must. Here, visitors can see the skeletal ruins of the Atomic Bomb Dome and visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which documents the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during WWII.

Right in the heart of Hiroshima, you'll also find the feudal Hiroshima Castle, covered in black lacquer and ornate wood. Home to a Samurai museum and a shrine, the castle is also popular for its weekly Samurai performances right outside the castle walls.

For car lovers, the Mazda Museum in town is one of Hiroshima's must-visit attractions. Visitors should also try the Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, a type of pancake filled with cabbage, bean sprouts and noodles, a fried egg, and sweet sauce.

A good day trip from Hiroshima is Miyajima Island, which can be reached via a picturesque ferry ride. Visitors arrive here to see Itsukushima Shrine and the famous "floating" torii gate, an optical illusion during high tide that causes the gate to seemingly float on the blue waters. During low tide, however, it's possible to walk up to the gate.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Hiroshima

5. Nara

Wild deer in Nara Park

Less than an hour away from Kyoto on a high-speed train, Nara can easily be done as a day trip. If you truly want to explore this unique small city, however, stay at least one night.

Nara is best known as the home of Nara Park, where over 1,000 friendly, curious deer roam freely and often approach people at close range. The deer have National Treasure Status and cannot be bothered or harmed in any way by park visitors.

After spending some time surrounded by adorable creatures, head to Tōdai-ji Temple, which dates back to the year AD 752 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The shrine is home to Japan's largest bronze Buddha statue at 15 meters tall. The Todaiji Museum, near the entrance to the temple grounds, holds an impressive collection of Buddhist art.

Another temple worth visiting is the 8th-century Kasuga Taisha, which you reach by walking on a lantern-lined path.

If you're up for a bit of exercise, you can walk up 343 meters to reach the summit of Mount Wakakusa - during spring, this is the city's top spot for sakura viewing.

End the day with a bit of street food - which in Nara means something sweet. The most famous street snack here is yomogi mochi, a warm cake made with sticky rice and filled with sweet red bean paste.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Nara

6. Sapporo

Sapporo in the winter

Sapporo is Japan's best winter destination, known for its many ski resorts and the Sapporo Snow Festival at the beginning of February. The festival attracts ice sculptors from all over the country, who build massive ice castles and statues that are illuminated with colorful lights at night.

For skiers, Sapporo - which was the host of the 1972 Winter Olympics - offers perfect powder snow conditions, google play store gift card codes india 1,000 kilometers of pistes, and numerous night-skiing facilities.

While in town, make some time to tour the Ishiya Chocolate Factory and try their white chocolate specialty. Then take a walk around the Historical Village of Hokkaido, an open-air museum featuring sixty period structures, each completely furnished and showcasing what pioneer life was once like in the area.

For some of the best views of the city, climb up to the observation deck in Sapporo TV Tower, modeled after the Eiffel Tower.

Just outside Sapporo is another great viewpoint: Moiwayama mountain. Take the cable car to the top for an open view over the city and the natural spaces around it.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Sapporo

7. Fukuoka

Fukuoka at dusk

The Mitama Festival is one of Fukuoka's most famous attractions. It's celebrated at Gokoku Shrine, where over 6,000 lanterns are lit to welcome the spirits of the dead at the rhythm of taiko drumming. While this famous festival is celebrated all over Japan, the city of Fukuoka dedicates its celebrations to Japan's war dead, attracting people from all over the country.

When visiting Fukuoka, make sure to stop by Japan's largest shopping center. Canal City Hakata has over 250 stores, a theater, cinemas, and game centers, and even its own canal running through the center of the complex.

If you'd rather spend your time outdoors, there's Momochi Seaside, a park and artificial beach that sits next to the Fukuoka City Museum, and plenty of restaurants that look over the sea.

Tochoji Temple, home to Japan's largest sitting Buddha statue, is also a must-see here.

Fukuoka is surrounded by mountains perfect for hiking, including Mt. Hiko, with its copper torii gates at the top, and Mt. Shiouji, with its Ohno Castle ruins. At night, you can take a cable car up Mt. Sarakura for a stunning view over the city lights below.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Fukuoka

8. Kanazawa

Higashi Chaya District in Kanazawa

Because Kanazawa wasn't bombed during WWII, it has retained all of its ancient architecture, including the 16th-century Kanazawa Castle and the beautiful gardens surrounding it. At the foot of the castle sits the Nagamachi Samurai district, where you can get a glimpse of the ancient lifestyle of samurai and their families.

On a different side of town, the Higashi Geisha District still preserves the chaya or teahouses where geishas used to entertain the wealthy centuries ago. Here, visitors can stop by the Ochaya Shima Museum to understand how the geisha lived and visit the Gold Leaf Sakuda shop to grab a souvenir decorated with gold leaf, a traditional local craft.

You can also try traditional wagashi sweets while sipping a cup of green tea at one of the working teahouses in the area.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kanazawa

9. Kobe

Kobe

Though better known as a port city, Kobe's picture-perfect location between the sea and the Rokko mountains is its best feature. Mount Rokko, just steps away, makes for an easy afternoon hike, and the nearby Nunobiki Falls are a great destination during the hotter months.

For a quiet escape, visit the all-marble Jain Temple, then climb the Kobe Port Tower as the sun goes down for 360-degree panoramic views over the lights of the city. Kobe is also home to the Kobe Fashion Museum, the first of its kind in Japan, and the Maritime Museum, highlighting the importance of the sea in the city's growth and development.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kobe

10. Nagasaki

Nagasaki at dusk

Nagasaki was also destroyed by a nuclear strike in WWII and slowly rebuilt over the next few decades. You can see some of that history in the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and on a walk around Peace Park with its many monuments and memorials.

Because of its tradition as a port city, Nagasaki has a more international flair than other cities in Japan. This can be seen in the many busy restaurants and tiny eateries offering everything from Fujian-influenced champon noodles to poisonous okoze fish dishes.

To catch Nagasaki's famous "10 million dollar view," visitors can take the Ropeway cable car up Mount Inasa. Once up, climb to the observatory platform for 360-degree views (even better at night) over the city and the Nagasaki Port.

Just off the bay of Nagasaki lies Hashima (Battleship) Island, an abandoned island that once served as a forced labor camp and the access site to an undersea coal mine. Shots of the decaying structures on the island were used in the James Bond film Skyfall, and visitors can now take tours of the island.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Nagasaki

11. Takayama

Ogimachi Village, the largest village in Shirakawa-go, Takayama

A relatively large city with a small-town feel, Takayama sits in the heart of the Japanese Alps and receives heavy snow in winter. The historical buildings that house the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine and the Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum look particularly stunning while covered in powdery soft snow.

Visitors staying overnight in Takayama can (and should) sleep in ryokans, small inns that offer traditional accommodations, tea ceremonies, and authentic local food.

Takayama is home to three historical sites: Hida no Sato, an open-air museum with over 30 historical thatch-roof farmhouses, and the few streets that make up the Sanmachi Suji District, where traditional houses mix with cafés and shops in a place that looks out of a history book. To see the third place, you need to leave the city for a short day trip to the village of Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with traditional houses that are over 250 years old.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Takayama

Источник: https://www.planetware.com/japan/best-cities-in-japan-jpn-1-21.htm

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