Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture
Out of Japan’s 47 prefectures, only Tokyo has been designated a metropolis prefecture. It’s official English name is Tokyo Metropolis.
Tokyo is often referred to as a city, but it is governed as a metropolitan prefecture and includes several cities. Legally and administratively, this metropolitan prefecture combines elements of a city with that of a prefecture, a characteristic unique to the Tokyo Metropolis.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government administers:
- The 23 Special Wards of Tokyo, which comprise what used to be known as the City of Tokyo before the Tokyo Metropolis was established in 1943. Each of these 23 special wards is governed as an individual city.
- 30 municipalities located in the western part of the prefecture.
- 2 outlying island chains: the Izu Islands and the Ogasawara Islands.
The Greater Tokyo Area is not the same thing as the Tokyo Metropolis. The Tokyo Metropolis is the focal point of the Greater Tokyo Area, but the Greater Tokyo Area also includes the prefecture of Yamanashi in the neighbouring Chūbu region. In Japanese, the Greater Tokyo Area is often referred to as Shuto-ken which means National Capital Region.
The Tokyo Metropolitan prefecture is the financial center of Japan and home to many financial institution and companies. It is home to SESC (Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission) as well as other regulating bodies. The SESC regulates trade in a wide variety of financial instruments ranging from common stock to exotic binary options.
Short facts about Tokyo Metropolis
|Divisions||23 special wards
|ISO 3166-2 code||JP-13|
|Official tree||Ginkgo biloba|
|Official flower||Somei-Yoshino cherry blossom|
|Official bird||Black-headed gull|
The 23 special wards of Tokyo
The 23 special wards of Tokyo make up the core of Tokyo, occupying land that used to be known as Tokyo City until 1943 when the Tokyo Metropolis was established. In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as nijūsan-ku, which simply means “the wards”, although the official term for special ward is tokubetsu ku. In English, the 23 wards refer to themselves as cities, e.g. Chiyoda City, Shibuya City, Minato City, and so on.
This structure, with special wards, was created under Japanese Local Autonomy Law and is unique to the Tokyo Metropolis. There is no special government body that governs the 23 wards only; they are governed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government just like all the other parts of the metropolis.
List of the 23 special wards
|01||千代田区||Chiyoda||59,441||5,100||11.66||Nagatachō, Kasumigaseki, Ōtemachi, Marunouchi, Akihabara, Yūrakuchō, Iidabashi, Kanda|
|02||中央区||Chūō||147,620||14,460||10.21||Nihonbashi, Kayabachō, Ginza, Tsukiji, Hatchōbori, Shinkawa, Tsukishima, Kachidoki, Tsukuda|
|03||港区||Minato||248,071||12,180||20.37||Odaiba, Shinbashi, Hamamatsuchō, Mita, Roppongi, Toranomon, Aoyama, Azabu|
|04||新宿区||Shinjuku||339,211||18,620||18.22||Shinjuku, Takadanobaba, Ōkubo, Kagurazaka, Ichigaya, Yotsuya|
|05||文京区||Bunkyō||223,389||19,790||11.29||Hongō, Yayoi, Hakusan|
|07||墨田区||Sumida||260,358||18,910||13.77||Kinshichō, Morishita, Ryōgoku|
|08||江東区||Kōtō||502,579||12,510||40.16||Kiba, Ariake, Kameido, Tōyōchō, Monzennakachō, Fukagawa, Kiyosumi, Shirakawa, Etchūjima, Sunamachi, Aomi|
|09||品川区||Shinagawa||392,492||17,180||22.84||Shinagawa, Gotanda, Ōsaki, Hatanodai, Ōimachi, Tennōzu|
|10||目黒区||Meguro||280,283||19,110||14.67||Meguro, Nakameguro, Jiyugaoka, Komaba, Aobadai|
|11||大田区||Ōta||722,608||11,910||60.66||Ōmori, Kamata, Haneda, Den-en-chōfu|
|12||世田谷区||Setagaya||910,868||15,690||58.05||Setagaya, Shimokitazawa, Kinuta, Karasuyama, Tamagawa|
|13||渋谷区||Shibuya||227,850||15,080||15.11||Shibuya, Ebisu, Harajuku, Daikanyama, Hiroo, Sendagaya, Yoyogi|
|15||杉並区||Suginami||570,483||16,750||34.06||Kōenji, Asagaya, Ogikubo|
|16||豊島区||Toshima||294,673||22,650||13.01||Ikebukuro, Komagome, Senkawa, Sugamo|
|17||北区||Kita||345,063||16,740||20.61||Akabane, Ōji, Tabata|
|18||荒川区||Arakawa||213,648||21,030||10.16||Arakawa, Machiya, Nippori, Minamisenju|
|20||練馬区||Nerima||726,748||15,120||48.08||Nerima, Ōizumi, Hikarigaoka|
|21||足立区||Adachi||674,067||12,660||53.25||Ayase, Kitasenju, Takenotsuka|
|22||葛飾区||Katsushika||447,140||12,850||34.80||Tateishi, Aoto, Kameari, Shibamata|