When writing your address in Tokyo, be it a hotel, your Airbnb or your raw home, you might notice the -ku or 区 found after the area, such as Shibuya-ku, Shinjuku-ku or Meguro-ku. Meaning ‘ particular ward ’, it ’ mho one of the ways the city of Tokyo stays organised. While the city is much known as the largest in the worldly concern, this actually refers to the Greater Tokyo Area – the cardinal 23 wards alone cover the area that made up Tokyo until WWII .
Tokyo: The Wards, the Cities and Beyond!
Managing a city equally big as Tokyo takes some study, but dividing it into smaller areas has made the city prevail like a well-oiled machine. The city is made up of 23 especial Wards, 26 cities, five towns and eight villages. All are oversee by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government but they have more autonomy with running daily elements of life in the city such as benefit, education and house .
Japan’s Governmental Management
The japanese politics works on three levels : national, prefectural and municipal. Each of the state ’ s 47 prefectures has numerous municipalities, with over 1700 in total. normally, the municipalities are divided into cities, town and villages but in Tokyo, the unusual Special Wards have existed since 1943. Known as the Shikuchoson ( 市区町村 ) system, it uses the kanji from each type of municipality. While wards in other cities such as Kyoto and Osaka exist, they do not have the same powers as the special wards of Tokyo .
The 23 Wards
exchangeable to boroughs in London and New York, Tokyo ’ s 23 special Wards are called tokubetsu-ku in japanese ( 特別区 ) and have autonomy on local matters. While they can not pass laws, they have increased fiscal dominance and are treated as the other municipality types are across Japan. Services such as water, sewage and displace services are managed city-wide by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, who levy some of the taxes as normal city governments would.
The 23 wards cover the cardinal area of Tokyo and use the 区 kanji :
- Adachi (足立区)
- Arakawa (荒川区)
- Bunkyo (文京区)
- Chiyoda (千代田区)
- Chuo (中央区)
- Edogawa (江戸川区)
- Itabashi (板橋区)
- Katsushika (葛飾区)
- Kita (北区)
- Koto (江東区)
- Minato (港区)
- Meguro (目黒区)
- Nakano (中野区)
- Nerima (練馬区)
- Ota (大田区)
- Setagaya (世田谷区)
- Shibuya (渋谷区)
- Shinagawa (品川区)
- Shinjuku (新宿区)
- Suginami (杉並区)
- Sumida (墨田区)
- Taito (台東区)
- Toshima (豊島区)
The three wards of Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato are the commercial enterprise center of the city, with more than seven times the total of people during the day than are there nightlong. Chiyoda in particular is known as the political capital of Tokyo as it is home to the japanese Emperor arsenic well as the government .
Tokyo’s Additional Municipalities
Most of Tokyo ’ s extra municipalities are to the west of the chief city, including cities such as Hachioji, Tachikawa, Tama, Fuchu, Komae and Machida. Many of these cities are popular with visitors, for exemplar those enjoying a day out at Inokashira Park or the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. While they are not within the particular wards, they are still seen as Tokyo. Okutama, Hinode and Mizuho are some of the towns while Hinohara remains a village.
Tokyo besides has a number of home parks, mountains and islands which are all covered in the city ’ s huge expanse. Whether you catch an overnight ferry to a distant island or climb to the 2000m summit of Mt. Kumotori, you could easily forget you were still in the capital .
Tokyo’s Top Sightseeing Wards
Sightseeing in Tokyo can seem abysmal, sol picking a few key wards and exploring what they have to offer is a big way to get started. While some names may be familiar, there are some wards that are home to a issue of popular districts and some little-known gems .
Shibuya: Busy Streets with a Fashion Focus
One of the wards that ’ sulfur hard to avoid, Shibuya is considered by many to be the heart of the city. Shibuya Scramble is a bang-up welcome to those arriving from the nearby Shibuya Station, with Hachiko ’ s statue nearby besides. fashion lovers can head to Shibuya 109 or the ever-busy Takeshita Street in Harajuku for their pick of the latest trends and styles. Nearby is the impressive Meiji Shrine, connected to Yoyogi Park – a great field day point and a luck to escape from the urban jungle. When it comes to food and swallow, newfangled complex Miyashita Park has batch of streetside restaurants to choose from and is right beside the old-school Nonbei Yokocho – a toast alley with a 1950 ’ south feel.
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Shinjuku: Great Views and Great Nights Out
A stone ’ s project from Shibuya, Shinjuku is another fantastic ward to explore. The free lookout at the Shinjuku Government Metropolitan Building is a bang-up way to get to grips with the city while the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen will whisk you away from the interfering streets. The many Departments stores offer a great window-shop experience while their basement food halls, called ‘ depachika ’ are a fantastic seat to grab a bite or dinner for late. Known for its nightlife, Shinjuku has Omoide-Yokocho, known as ‘ Memory Lane ’ for yakitori and beers american samoa well as the celebrated Golden Gai – packed with dozens of bantam bars to choose from. The slightly blue Kabukicho area is fun to explore but keep your wits about you – not everything is deoxyadenosine monophosphate wholesome as you may expect .
Taito: Explore Akihabara and Asakusa
The smallest of Tokyo ’ mho wards, you may not have heard of Taito-ku while researching Tokyo but you will have heard of its popular districts. Asakusa is home to Tokyo ’ s oldest and most impressive temple, with many festivals and a shop street leading the way. Akihabara is another well-known appoint, famed for videogame arcades, maid cafe and stores selling all the manga and anime goods any otaku could dream of. Along with Ueno Park and zoo, visitors can enjoy the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and the National Museum of western Art. Another popular but quiet area in Taito-ku is Yanaka. Winding tree-lined roads, a pleasingly antique shopping street and relaxing cafes make for the perfect afternoon of wanderings .
Chuo: The Shitamachi Side of Tokyo
Meaning ‘ downtown ’, the shitamachi feel of Chuo-ku is game but old-school – not like the business-district mean often associated with elsewhere. Formed of Nihonbashi and Kyobashi, it hosts plenty of offices but besides the drink streets that go along with them. One of the most popular districts is Yurakucho, with bars and izakaya found under the train lines. For a more peaceful have, head to Hamarikyu Teien – moat surrounded park with a popular teashop. The master Tokyo fish commercialize Tsukiji is found in Chuo and while the chief commercialize may have moved to Toyosu there are even enough of great restaurants and stalls selling delicious seafood .