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Tokyo (東京, literally: "eastern capital") is the capital and largest city of Japan. It is the capital of Tokyo prefecture and is located next to Tokyo Bay at the heart of the Kanto region.

The population of Tokyo is around 8 million, with a total of more than 12 million in the metropolitan area. Tokyo (along with its suburbs) is considered to be the largest city in the world. (see Largest cities of the world).

Before the Meiji Restoration, the city was known as Edo (江戸). The Tokugawa shogunate was established in 1603 with Edo as its seat of government (de facto capital). (The emperor's residence, and formal capital, remained in Kyoto, that city had been the actual capital of Japan until that time.) In 1868, when the shogunate came to an end, the city was renamed "Tokyo" which means "Eastern Capital"; during the restoration, the emperor moved to Tokyo, making the city the formal as well as de facto capital of Japan.

A major earthquake struck Tokyo in 1923, killing approximately 70,000 people; a massive reconstruction plan was drawn up, but was too expensive to carry out except in part. Despite this, the city grew until the beginning of World War II. During the war, Tokyo was heavily bombed, and its population in 1945 was only half that of 1940.

After the war, Tokyo recovered and continued to grow, though the current recession affecting Japan has hurt the city.

Tokyo was host to the 1964 Summer Olympics.

On March 20, 1995 the city became the focus of international media attention in the wake of the Aum Shinrikyo cult terrorist organisation attack with Sarin nerve gas on the Tokyo subway system in which 12 people were killed and thousands incapacitated.

Famous parts of the city and other sights include:


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