Asia / Japan

Tokyo

Tokyo offers a seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and dining to its visitors. The city's history can be appreciated in districts such as Asakusa, and in many excellent museums, historic temples and gardens. Contrary to common perception, Tokyo also offers a number of attractive green spaces in the city center and within relatively short train rides at its outskirts

Tokyo is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of both Japan and the world[citation needed]. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family. Tokyo is in the Kanto region on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture (??? Tokyo-fu?) and the city of Tokyo (??? Tokyo-shi?).

The Tokyo Metropolitan government administers the 23 special wards of Tokyo (each governed as a city), which cover the area that was the city of Tokyo, as well as 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture and the two outlying island chains. The population of the special wards is over 8 million people, with the total population of the prefecture exceeding 13 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area with upwards of 35 million people and the world's largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$1.479 trillion at purchasing power parity in 2008, ahead of New York City, which ranks second on the list. The city hosts 47 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest amount of any city.

Tokyo has been described as one of the three "command centers" for the world economy, along with New York City and London. This city is considered an alpha+ world city, listed by the GaWC's 2008 inventory and ranked third among global cities by Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index. In 2010 Tokyo was named the second most expensive city for expatriate employees, according to the Mercer and Economist Intelligence Unit cost-of-living surveys, and named the fourth Most Liveable City and the World’s Most Livable Megalopolis by the magazine Monocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics and is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The former city of Tokyo and the majority of mainland Tokyo lie in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with hot humid summers and generally mild winters with cool spells. The region, like much of Japan, experiences a one-month seasonal lag, with the warmest month being August, which averages 27.5 °C (81.5 °F), and the coolest month being January, averaging 6.0 °C (42.8 °F). The record low temperature is -9.2 °C (15.4 °F), and the record high is 39.5 °C (103.1 °F), though there was once an unofficial reading of 42.7 °C (108.9 °F) at the Primary School Station. Annual rainfall averages nearly 1,530 millimetres (60.2 in), with a wetter summer and a drier winter. Snowfall is sporadic, but does occur almost annually. Tokyo also often sees typhoons each year, though few are strong. The last one to hit was Fitow in 2007, whilst the wettest month since records began in 1876 has been October 2004 with 780 millimetres (30 in) including 270.5 millimetres (10.6 in) on the ninth of that month.

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