Akasaka Azabu

What is Tokyo called now?
  • Date Published: May 16, 2024

Tokyo, formerly known as Edo, is the vibrant and dynamic capital of Japan. As one of the world’s most populous metropolises, Tokyo offers a wealth of experiences for visitors from all walks of life. Made up of 23 central city wards and encompassing multiple cities, towns, and villages, Tokyo is both a bustling urban center and a place of natural beauty.

The transformation of Edo to Tokyo occurred during the Meiji Restoration in 1868 when the city was renamed as the “Eastern Capital.” Since then, Tokyo has undergone rapid development and modernization, embracing the influences of both Eastern and Western cultures. Today, Tokyo is renowned for its blend of tradition and innovation.

From iconic landmarks like the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Skytree to vibrant districts such as Shibuya and Shinjuku, Tokyo offers endless opportunities for exploration. Visitors can immerse themselves in history at museums and temples, indulge in shopping and dining experiences, and enjoy the city’s many green spaces.

Discover the sights, sounds, and flavors of Tokyo, and experience the lively spirit of Japan’s capital city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tokyo, formerly known as Edo, is the capital of Japan.
  • Edo was renamed Tokyo during the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
  • Tokyo offers a blend of tradition and modernity.
  • Must-visit areas include Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa, and Ginza.
  • Tokyo is home to iconic landmarks and a diverse culinary scene.

The Historical Transformation of Edo to Tokyo

Edo, originally a small fishing village, underwent a remarkable transformation to become the bustling metropolis we know today as Tokyo. The city’s journey began in 1603 when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his shogunate in Edo, turning it into the political center of Japan. Over the centuries, Edo flourished and grew into the most populous city in the world by the 18th century.

However, it was not until the Meiji Restoration in 1868 that Edo experienced a significant change. With the restoration, the last shogun of Japan, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, relinquished his power to the Emperor, and Edo became the new capital. Along with this change came a new name – Tokyo, meaning “Eastern Capital” – symbolizing the dawn of a new era for Japan.

The Meiji Restoration brought about rapid modernization and Western influences, propelling Tokyo into the modern age. The city embraced advancements in technology, infrastructure, and governance, setting a foundation for its future growth and development. This transformation propelled Tokyo onto the global stage, establishing its reputation as a vibrant and dynamic capital that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation.

Today, Tokyo stands as a testament to its historical journey. Its streets, buildings, and landmarks reflect the fusion of the past and the present, offering visitors a unique cultural experience. From the ancient temples and shrines that embody Japan’s rich heritage to the towering skyscrapers that showcase its technological prowess, Tokyo continues to captivate people from all walks of life. The city’s transformation from Edo to Tokyo is a story of resilience, adaptability, and progress, making it a truly fascinating destination for anyone seeking to explore Japan’s vibrant capital.

Tokyo Today: A Vibrant and Dynamic Capital

Modern Tokyo is a bustling city that offers a myriad of attractions and activities for visitors to experience. From the energetic atmosphere of Shibuya to the towering skyscrapers of Shinjuku, Tokyo is a city that never fails to impress.

In Shibuya, you can witness the world-famous Shibuya Crossing, where thousands of people cross the street at the same time, creating a mesmerizing sight. The district is also home to trendy shops, vibrant nightlife, and delicious street food, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking a taste of Tokyo’s modern identity.

Shinjuku is another area that showcases Tokyo’s architectural brilliance, with its impressive cityscape and panoramic views. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a popular spot to admire the city from above. In addition, Shinjuku offers a variety of shopping options, including department stores, electronics shops, and unique boutiques.

No visit to Tokyo would be complete without exploring Asakusa, a district steeped in history and tradition. Here, you can find the iconic Senso-ji Temple, one of Tokyo’s oldest and most significant Buddhist temples. Take a stroll in Nakamise Shopping Street and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this cultural hub.

Ginza, Tokyo’s high-end shopping district, is a paradise for fashion enthusiasts and luxury seekers. The district is lined with renowned department stores, exclusive designer boutiques, and upscale restaurants. Indulge in a shopping spree or savor exquisite culinary delights in this glamorous neighborhood.

As you explore Tokyo, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the city’s iconic landmarks. From the grandeur of the Imperial Palace to the breathtaking views from the Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower, these landmarks provide a glimpse into the city’s rich history and modern aspirations.

Whether you’re marveling at Tokyo’s skyline, savoring its diverse cuisine, or immersing yourself in its vibrant culture, Tokyo’s modern identity is a captivating blend of tradition and innovation that continues to attract visitors from around the world.


What is Tokyo called now?

Tokyo is the current name of Japan’s capital.

When was Tokyo renamed?

Tokyo was renamed in 1868 during the Meiji Restoration.

What is the historical transformation of Edo to Tokyo?

Edo, which was initially a small fishing village, became the political center of Japan in 1603 when it was established as the shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu. In 1868, Edo became Tokyo and the new capital of Japan.

What are some must-visit areas in Tokyo?

Some must-visit areas in Tokyo include Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa, and Ginza.

What are some iconic landmarks in Tokyo?

Tokyo is known for landmarks such as the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Skytree, and Tokyo Tower.

What culinary experiences can visitors expect in Tokyo?

Tokyo offers a wide range of culinary experiences, including traditional Japanese cuisine and Michelin-starred restaurants.

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