*Tokyo by Leah Clayton, Julie Ladich, Lorissa Provan, Steven Rubio

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Seminar 4, Group 2 Leah, Julie, Lorissa


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Tokyo is one of the world's most recognized cities with diversity in every aspect of its structure. It is Japan's largest and most populous city, as well as the capital of the forty-seven prefectures that constitute the country. Tokyo’s impact on globalization can be considered through its influence on the economy, import and exports, trading, GDP, and its relations with core countries. The city's history, political relations, and centripetal relations are formed through its local and global political geography. Although a largely mono-ethnic metropolis, Tokyo’s recently introduced immigration laws are beginning to attract many foreign nationals that will contribute to its strong economy. Yet despite its position as a global leader in many aspects, the city continues to struggle with equality in terms of employment, gender and sexuality. Nonetheless, uniqueness and diversity are evident in Tokyo's population and culture. From the demographic composition and the extreme differences between day and night population to the wide range of both traditional and popular traditions and practices, there is always something to see, do, and talk about while in Tokyo.


Contents

[edit] Globalization

Image:Tokyo Hachiko Squa 1829466b.jpg [1]

[edit] Economy

Tokyo is home to a variety of businesses, many of which are large corporate headquarters that represent foreign companies and embassies. There are also around 630,000 business establishments in Tokyo, all of which contribute to Tokyo’s productivity. Tokyo’s major industries are in the transportation and communication trades, however the city is also home to numerous suppliers, bars and restaurants, merchandising, financial institutions, and electronic device industries. [2] Some of Tokyo’s brand name companies include Fuji, Nikon, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Nintendo, Yamaha, Toshiba, Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, and many other electronic device brands. [3] Tokyo has started to lose its major manufacturing technology companies to California’s Silicon Valley, so many of the city's companies are trying to come out with innovative new inventions to entice consumers. One of Tokyo’s current inventions is the Ring, which is a new way to communicate with others. It will be able to connect wirelessly and control any device linked to the internet, potentially letting a person turn on a TV, or pay a bill at a restaurant simply by pointing. [4] The metropolitan area of Tokyo is not the principal location of manufacturing; this occurs in the outskirts of the city. [5]

[edit] Imports and Exports

Japan exports goods and services to the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Europe, Central South America, North America, Oceania, and Asia. Its total value of exports from January 2014 to September 2014 was $519,022,377 and its total value of imports from these countries and continents was $620,807,093. From January 2014 to September 2014, Japan exported roughly $7,600,000 in manufacturing goods, $11,200,000 in machinery, $10,600,000 in electrical devices, $14,900,000 in transportation and equipment, $6,000,000 in chemicals, and $7,500,000 in others. It imported roughly $5,300,000 in food, $4,300,000 in raw materials, $20,900,000 in mineral fuels, $5,500,000 in chemicals, $5,100,000 in machinery, $5,700,000 in manufacturing goods, $10,700,000 in electrical devices, $2,400,000 in transportation, and $9,700,000 in others.[6]

[edit] Trading

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. This partnership was developed in order establish united trade agreements involving agricultural, automotive products, property rights, business competition and environmental protection issues between these 12 countries. [7] Japan has also signed on with the Asia- Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) which includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, People's Republic of China, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, The United States, and Vietnam. [8]These countries discuss trade policies and other economic issues with the goal of reducing tariffs and negotiating free trade agreements.[9]

[edit] GDP

In 2009, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Tokyo was $743,826,000. [10] GDP is the value of all the finished goods and services produced in Tokyo pertaining to a specific year. [11]

Japan's GDP from 2004-2014
Japan's GDP from 2004-2014 [12]
Tokyo’s gross metropolitan product compared
Tokyo’s gross metropolitan product compared [13]

[edit] Core Countries

Tokyo, Japan is considered a core city [14]as it dominates commercial, financial, and production activities. A core region has major production facilities and technologies, leads in trade and investment, and can maintain and protect their interests through political and military strength. [15] The country must also possess an independent, stable government and potential for growth in the global market.

[edit] Political Geography

Image:Tokyo.jpg [16]

[edit] History

When Tokyo was established in 1603 it was originally known as Edo. Edo grew into a vast city with a population of over a million by the mid-eighteenth century. The Edo Period lasted for nearly 260 years until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when the imperial rule was restored. It was at this time that the city was renamed Tokyo. [17] During the Meiji era (1868-1912), Japan began to assimilate into Western civilization. The main policy of the restoration of Tokyo was to improve the nation and strengthen the military. Tokyo’s economy developed In the 1880s, due to the government selling its industries to private owners. Companies well known in today’s society were some of the merchants who took over, such as Mitsubishi. It was during this era that businesses expanded their wealth and size. Military development was another stage of Tokyo’s restoration, which involved establishing a powerful military force. Within 20 years they had created the strongest military in East Asia. Politics in the country evolved when the country signed its first constitution in 1889, which outlined laws and regulations for citizens. Social reform occurred when citizens were allowed to choose their own occupations, and the family became the basic unit of society. [18] Finally, educational development was introduced through the creation of schools that were free to attend. This allowed for progress in society, with more girls attending post-secondary schools.

Meji Restoration
Meji Restoration
[19]

During the Taisho Era (1912-1926), the amount of people working in the city increased, and a growing population of citizens began to lead lifestyles that were centred around consumer goods. The two existing Japanese government systems were abolished for war-time efficiency, and were merged to form the Metropolis of Tokyo in 1943. From that point onwards Tokyo became the capital city of Japan and a governor was appointed. The 1950s and 1960s brought about many changes in the country, including the introduction of television broadcasting, Japan joining the United Nations in 1956, and Japan’s admission into an age of rapid economic growth. This period saw the beginning of mass production of household electric appliances such as televisions, refrigerators, and washing machines. As a result, people of Tokyo experienced substantial transformations. In the 1980s, Tokyo became one of the world’s most active major cities, boasting attractions such as cutting-edge technology, information, culture, and fashion. If Tokyo changes, so too will Japan. Tokyo is pushing toward its goal of becoming “the world’s best city” where every resident can fully enjoy life. [20]

[edit] Governor

Yoichi Masuzoe is currently the governor of Tokyo. [21] The Governor is elected by the people of Tokyo, and represents the Metropolis of Tokyo. The governor is in office for a four year term and has the control of metropolitan affairs, and the authority and responsibility for running the city's administration. [22]

The Organization of Tokyo's Government
The Organization of Tokyo's Government

[edit] Political Relations

Asian Network of Major Cities 21 (ANMC21) is an international network established to strengthen cooperation between Asian capitals and major cities. It aims to enhance the position of Asia with regards to the rest of the world, and hosts collaborative events to solve common issues such as crisis management, environmental quality, and industrial advancement. Currently, the network is advancing twelve joint projects. Tokyo is one of these cities working on a joint project with Bangkok, Delhi, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Metropolitan Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tomsk, Ulaanbaatar, and Yangon. [23]

The Collaborating Cities
The Collaborating Cities
[24]

[edit] Centripetal Forces

In September 2013, Tokyo was selected to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tokyo is advancing preparations to make its second Games the best ever. [25] Furthermore, in the early 1920s, a professor who lived near Shibuya Station kept Hachikō, a small dog, who came to the station every day to await the return of his owner. The professor died in 1925, but the dog continued to show up and wait at the station until his own death 10 years later. The story became legendary to the citizens of Tokyo and a statue was made in the dog’s memory. [26]

[edit] Population

As of October 1, 2012, Tokyo was estimated to have a population of 13.216 million people and 6.699 million households, resulting in Tokyo being home to ten percent of Japan's total population. [27]
Japan Population Density by Prefecture
Japan Population Density by Prefecture [27]
With 2,189 km2 of land, Tokyo has a population density of 6,038 persons per square kilometer. [27] This large population density makes Tokyo Japan's most densely populated prefecture. [27] Within the three different municipalities of Tokyo, the Wards have 8.996 million people, the Tama area has 4.183 million people, and the Islands have 27,000 people residing within its limits. [27]

[edit] Demographics

[28]

Sex Profile: 97 Males:100 Females

Age Profile:

  • 0 - 14 Years: 13.2%
  • 15 - 64 Years: 63.8%
  • 65+ Years: 23.0%

Tokyo's immigration policy is strict and does not allow for many to migrate in or out of the city and country. The discrimination against foreign immigrants is often seen by outsiders as being associated with xenophobia,thus the foreign population is low. As of 2010, very little of Tokyo's population is attributed to foreign citizens, with only 422,226 citizens (3.24% of Tokyo's total population) having migrated from other countries. [28] The majority of migrants to Tokyo migrate from China (with 164,627 residents in Tokyo), Korea (with 115,025 residents in Tokyo), and the Phillipines (with 30,527 residents in Tokyo). [28]

The rate of natural increase, the indicator of change in population by subtracting the crude death rate from that of the crude birth, [29] was typically slow growing in Tokyo until 2012.
Tokyo's Population Trends
Tokyo's Population Trends [27]

Tokyo's rate of natural increase peaked in 1968 and then started its first decline in 2012 when there were 108,000 births and 110,000 deaths, resulting in a 2000 net natural population decrease. [27]

According to the standards of the United Nations, a population is considered an "aged society" if 14% of the population is 65 years or older. Tokyo's age profile suggests that 23% of Tokyo's population is 65 years or older and therefore is considered to be an "aged society". [27]

[edit] Daytime and Nighttime Population

Due to the size and amount of business in Tokyo, the city experiences a high degree of population increase during the day as many residents travel into the city for work. In the 2010 National Census, it was determined that the number of commuting workers and students caused an influx of an additional 2.417 million people during the day than at night. [27]
Tokyo's Daytime and Nighttime Population
Tokyo's Daytime and Nighttime Population [27]
Prefectures from which Employees Commute to Tokyo
Prefectures from which Employees Commute to Tokyo [27]
This phenomenon results in a daytime population of 15.576 million people and a nighttime population of 13.159 million. In Tokyo's three central wards (Chiyoda, Chuo, and Minato), the daytime population is six times greater than the nighttime population. The daytime population reaches 2.311 million people and at night the population drops to 375,000 residents [27]

[edit] Migration

[edit] Recent Migration Trends

The Tokyo metropolitan area, which includes the Kanagawa, Saitama, and Tokyo prefectures, became the world’s largest city due to the influx of 20 million people between 1955 and 2000 [30]. In the most recent census periods, it was discovered that all of Japan’s population growth occurred in the Tokyo region, while the rest of the country’s growth was stagnant [31].
Share of Population and Growth in Tokyo
Share of Population and Growth in Tokyo [32]
However, it is the suburban regions of the city that see the most growth. The suburban areas of Tokyo constitute 25% of the population, and it is considered to be the largest suburban population of any metropolitan region in the world
Population of Tokyo vs. surrounding suburban population
Population of Tokyo vs. surrounding suburban population [33]
[34]. Between 1950 and 2000, nearly 90% of the population growth in Tokyo occurred in its suburbs [35]. This growth can be explained through the term “suburbanization”, which the government supported through the creation of policies that provided support for new urban development away from large cities, particularly Tokyo [36].

With the exception of 1985, out-migration has exceeded in-migration in Tokyo since 1967. A net increase in population was seen for the first time in 1997, and most recently in 2012 [37]. In 2012, 400,000 persons moved into Tokyo while 344,000 moved out, which is a net increase of 56,000 persons. In the migration between Tokyo and its three adjacent prefectures—Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa—186,000 migrated to Tokyo and 172,000 moved away [38].

In a study conducted by Nakagawa in 1990, two main migration flows were observed: the migration of young people from outside the metropolitan area to Inner Tokyo and the migration of families from inner Tokyo to suburban areas surrounding the metropolis [39]. These patterns are supportive of the ongoing process of suburbanization in the city.

[edit] Boosting Immigration

Japan has a relatively low immigration rate, however the country has amended its immigration policies to expand the categories of acceptable foreign work. This has allowed more people to become eligible to work in the country. In 2009, there were over 215,000 resident foreign nationals who were able to engage in the economy, especially in Tokyo [40].

A recent study by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government estimated that Tokyo’s population in 2100 will be 7.13 million, meaning it will be cut nearly in half in less than 100 years [41]. This is due to Tokyo’s rapidly aging population (more than half the population will be over 65 years of age), a low fertility rate and a lack of immigration. Because of this, Tokyo’s distinction as an international city will be at risk.

To combat this issue, Japan’s government has introduced a points-based skilled immigration program. The 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis that drove away many foreign nationals was the final push the government needed to create a new immigration policy [42]. This mass departure of foreign workers left numerous open positions in the labour force that can’t be filled by local workers. Increasing immigration growth is now being viewed as a way to boost economic growth in a time of population decline and growing competitive markets [43].

[edit] Social Geography

[edit] Social Classes

In Tokyo, class distinction originated from two areas of the city: Yamanote and Shitamachi. Yamanote (“foot hills”) describes the upper class, affluent areas that are located west of the Imperial Palace, while Shitamachi (“low city”) refers to the physically low part of the city located east of the Sumida River. The identity of these two areas was based on culture and the caste system, as historically, the warrior caste lived in the Yamanote area and the merchant and artisan castes lived in the Shitmachi area.

There are also specific dialects associated with these classes, with the Yamanote dialect being compared to British Received Pronunciation. In present day, the distinction between Yamanote and Shitamachi still exists, but it has evolved to indicate social class and physical location rather than occupation [44].

[edit] Wage and Employment Disparity

Tokyo is the centre of Japan’s economy, as it is the central location of much of the country’s manufacturing, financial and commercial companies. The city’s share of the national employment is 9.84%, which may explain why Tokyo is a wealthy global city. However, this percentage has been declining since the beginning of the 1990’s, in which the Japanese asset price bubble ended [45]. Unprecedented growth of producer services and the subsequent decline in the manufacturing sector lead to the restructuring of the local economy [46].

Tokyo has the highest minimum wage out of the 47 prefectures in the country, at 869 yen ($8.37 CAD) [47]. However, this correlates with the high cost of living [48]. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world, which has lead to half of the city’s residents, aged 20-34 still living with their parents [49].

As with other places seeing the erosion of the middle-class, growing economic problems have created an environment of wage and employment disparity in the city. Tokyo is the driving force of this disparity, a phenomenon which lead to the popularization of the term kakusa shakai, which translates into “gap-widening society”. Along with this phrase came social differentiation between economic “winners”—kachi gumi—and “losers”—make gumi [50]. The income gap in the late 20th century Japan was growing at twice the average rate it was in the 33 other countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) [51]. In the most recent OECD Better Life Index, it was reported that the top 20% of the population earn more than six times as much as the bottom 20% [52]. The country is currently facing the growing issue of poverty amongst its population, in which 15.7% of people live in poverty. This is roughly 1 in every 6 people [53].

In the 2014 Global Power Cities Index by the Mori Foundation, which is headquartered in Tokyo, the city ranked 4th out of 40 cities. However, it ranked 17th in the Livability function of the index, which is measured by cost of living, working environment, security and safety, living environment and living facilities [54].

According to OECD Better Life Index, 71% of people aged 15-64 in Japan have a paid job [55]. However, the country will see rising middle-class unemployment rates because of a lack of people who are suitable to undertake senior roles in many companies that are located in Tokyo [56].

[edit] Ethnic Make-Up

Tokyo is largely a mono-ethnic city, with 98.5% of the population being ethnic Japanese. The most common foreign nationalities found in Tokyo are Chinese, Korean, Filipino, American, British, Brazilian and French, making up around 1%.
Nationalities of Foreign Nationals living in Tokyo .
Nationalities of Foreign Nationals living in Tokyo [57].

Despite the relatively large population of Chinese and Korean residents, these foreign nationals are never considered to be Japanese, even after generations [58].

[edit] Gender

Perceptions of gender in Japan are representative of gender in Tokyo. In the Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum, the country ranks 104th out of 142 countries in terms of gender equality, which is calculated based on labour force participation, wage equality for similar work, estimated earned income, the number of legislators, senior officials and managers, the number of professional and technical workers, enrolment in tertiary education and political empowerment [59].

Despite Japanese women being some of the most highly educated out of the countries included in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, female participation in the labour force is 63%. Additionally, when Japanese women have their first child, 70% do not rejoin the workforce for a decade or more, and many of them do not rejoin at all [60].

In countries that are members of the OECD, men earn an average of 16% more than women. In Japan, men earn 21% more than women in similar full-time jobs, which is substantially higher [61]. The gap widens at the top of the pay scale, in which men earn an average of 40% more. Less than 5% of listed company board members in Japan are women, indicating that women are less likely to reach the top of their careers than men [62]. In Japan’s Upper and Lower Houses of the Liberal Democratic Party, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, there were just 40 female lawmakers, which accounts for 10% of the 408 politicians that comprise the government. Prime Minister Abe has “vowed to ensure women make up 30% of leadership positions by 2020”, however many are critical of Abe’s idea of female empowerment. Steps toward equality have been slow, despite the Equal Employment Opportunity law being passed in 1985 and the creation of the Gender Equality Bureau in 2001[63].

Women continue to earn less despite that 59% of women have a university degree compared to 52% of men. However, they are also more likely to have attended shorter courses and less prestigious universities[64]. At Japan’s most distinguished university, the University of Tokyo, just 18.3% of students were female in 2012. This is a substantial increase from 1992, where only 7% of undergraduates were female[65].

The wage gap between men and women could be explained through the lack of social services that support women at childbearing age [66]. Once women leave the workforce to have children they are often unable to re-enter the labour market in a similar position. They are then forced to take short-term, often part-time jobs.

[edit] Sexuality

Japan has no laws that prohibit homosexual activity and some legal protection does exist for people who are homosexual. The Tokyo government has passed numerous laws that ban discrimination based on sexuality in the workforce, however sexual orientation is not protected under national civil rights laws [67]. Political parties largely do not discuss homosexuality, and most do not take formal stances on the issue of same-sex marriage. The Liberal Democratic Party, which is currently lead by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is opposed to legalizing it [68]. Japanese citizens are largely divided on the acceptance of homosexuality, with 54% saying it should be accepted by society[69].

Shinjuku Ni-chōme, one of Tokyo’s Special Wards, is the central location of nighttime entertainment and city’s red-light district, which is known as Kabukichō. Kabukichō is the home of many restaurants, bars, nightclubs and “love hotels”[70].
Tokyo's Red Light District, Kabukicho
Tokyo's Red Light District, Kabukicho [71]
This district is also one of the most dangerous places in Tokyo due to the presence of the yakuza, a transnational gang that originated in Japan. Shinjuku houses the world’s highest concentration of gay bars, making it the core of Tokyo’s gay subculture[72]. There are also numerous events that are hosted in Shinjuku, including the Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the Tokyo Rainbow Festival, and the Tokyo Pride Parade.

[edit] Neighbourhoods

Each of the 23 Special Wards of the city of Tokyo features its own unique identity and culture. Chiyoda is the central ward of Tokyo and is famous for being the location of the Tokyo Imperial Palace, while Minato is one of the city’s central business districts. Shibuya is famous for its shopping district and is the location of the world’s busiest crosswalk, Shibuya Crossing[73].
Shibuya Crossing in Shinjuku, Tokyo
Shibuya Crossing in Shinjuku, Tokyo

[edit] Cultural Geography

[edit] Cultural Landscape

A cultural landscape is when culture becomes visible in a city or country's landscape due to human activity. [29] Tokyo's cultural landscape is a combination of both new and old infrastructure. Old Tokyo is represented through the multitude of old, traditional buildings that are interspersed throughout the city.
Senso-ji Temple
Senso-ji Temple [74]
Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Skytree [74]
A good example of this is Senso-ji Temple/Nakamise. This temple contains many souvenir shops to remember old Tokyo and visitors can also pray at the main hall of the Temple. [74]

New Tokyo can be seen through the modern buildings that have been built at various points along the city landscape. One example of this is Tokyo's Skytree. This building is 634 meters tall and is the world's tallest freestanding broadcast tower. [74] This building attracts local residents and tourists and provides a food court and restaurant for dining purposes. [74]

[edit] Language

Languages spoken in Tokyo are linked to Altaic language families but are also similar to Austronesian languages. [75]
Kanji Character Set
Kanji Character Set [75]
Tokyo, and Japan, have three different character sets, resulting in slightly different languages. Kanji consists of thousands of Chinese characters while Hiragana and Katakana are similar and consist of two syllabaries with 46 characters each [75] In Tokyo, the language can either be written the Western way (horizontally) or the traditional way (vertically from right to left). [75]

[edit] Religion

The two major religions in Tokyo are Shintoism and Buddhism. [28]

[edit] Shintoism

This religion is as old as Japanese culture itself and is "the way of the Gods". [75] The name "Kami" is used to refer to the Gods within this religion. The Gods exist in the form of spirits that take the shape of important concepts, such as wind and fertility, among others. [75] The purpose of the Shinto rituals is to keep away the evil spirits through a variety of prayers and offerings. [75] Shintoism works cooperatively with Buddhism. Because deaths are considered impure in Japan, most funerals are handled through Buddhism while most wedding ceremonies are held with Shinto style. [75]

[edit] Buddhism

Buddhism was created in India in sixth century B.C. and the main branch of this religion in Tokyo is called Mahayana, which means "Greater Vehicle". [75] Because Buddhism has many complex theories, this particular religion took longer to spread throughout Japan and Tokyo, however it is now a commonality among the residents. In Japan today,
Kamakura's Great Buddha
Kamakura's Great Buddha [75]
approximately 90 million residents consider themselves to be Buddhists. [75] Religious practice in Buddhism does not have a great affect on daily life and is instead saved for funerals or occasional moments where respect is payed to ancestors using a small house altar. [75]

[edit] Traditions

While Tokyo and Japan are often known for their modern innovations and popular culture, there are a variety of well-known traditions that still take place within the city. As popular culture, cultural traits that are part of the urban-based, Western-influenced society, [29] continues to bombard Tokyo. Some traditions have become less popular in today's society than others, although all continue to hold an important role in Japanese culture.

[edit] Calligraphy

In Tokyo, Calligraphy is commonly known as Shodo and is taught in all Japanese schools. [74] While more popular in traditional times, calligraphy can still be seen on menus and business signs in Tokyo today. [75] Tokyo is also host to the Japan Calligraphy Museum located in Itabishi Ward.

[edit] Zazen

Also known as seated meditation, zazen is an important practice in Zen Buddhism. The focus is on correct posture in order to lead to maximum mental focus. [74] The goal of Zazen is to learn to control one's own posture, breathing, and mind and has proven to have large health benefits as this type of relaxation reduces stress and anxiety. [74]

[edit] Sumo

The tradition of Sumo dates back approximately 1,500 years. [74] This sport was originally created so that the men could show their strength to the goddesses. Today, tournaments are still held in January, May, and September yearly. [74]

[edit] Tea Ceremony

The tea ceremony is traditionally known as Sado in Tokyo. This tradition practices the skill of contemplation and conversation in a quiet, peaceful setting. [74] The experience is made more pleasurable and appealing through the use of fancy utensils and dishes. [74]

[edit] Dress

The kimono is the traditional dress of Tokyo and Japan and is most commonly worn on special occasions by women. Men wear forms of the kimono less often and typically only wear this traditional garment to weddings and tea ceremonies. [74]

[edit] Sushi

Nigiri Sushi
Nigiri Sushi [75]
Norimaki Sushi
Norimaki Sushi [75]
Sushi is a traditional food item that has maintained its popularity worldwide in today's society. In Tokyo and Japan, sushi is one of the most popular dishes in Japanese culture. [75] Although today it tends to be eaten for any occasion, it was originally only eaten when celebrating special occasions. [75] The most popular sushi dishes are: nigiri, gunkan, norimaki, temaki, oshizushi, inari, and chirashi. [75]

[edit] Entertainment and Popular Culture

Tokyo's entertainment consists of a mixture of traditional and new locations, events, and trends. While much of the traditional entertainment still exists, many events and centers have been renovated and modernized to fit with Western society's popular culture. Other forms of entertainment have also arisen within Tokyo in the past hundred years that have attracted so much attention that they have become a form of popular culture around the world.

[edit] Ueno Park

This is a traditional entertainment location and one of the first designated park within Japan. [74]
Ueno Park Cherry Blossoms
Ueno Park Cherry Blossoms [74]
Along with other parks within Tokyo (Shiba, Asakusa, Fukagawa, and Asukayama), Ueno park was established in 1873. [74] Within this park there is a small zoo and various art galleries and museums. The famous Tokyo National Museum is one of the museums within the park. This museum has the longest history in Japan and is the leading museum in the country for both quantity and quality with 114,000 items on display. [74] Other museums in Ueno park include the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Museum of Nature and Science.

[edit] Festivals

One of the biggest festivals that takes place in Tokyo is the Lantern Floating Event. The event is held during mid-July and is so large that it requires special reservations. During the festivities, approximately 700 lanterns are lit from approximately 80 boats in front of the Imperial Palace.[74]

Other examples of the festivals that occur in Tokyo are the Summer Festival and the Ueno Sakura Matsuri (the Cherry Blossom Festival). The Summer Festival is held in Ueno Park and each day has a variety of new activities that occur. The Cherry Blossom Festival is also held in Ueno Park and consists of lighting 1000 lanterns to illuminate the park pathways. The main purpose of this festival is to invite the residents of Tokyo to celebrate the arrival of spring. [74]

[edit] Shopping Districts

Ginza district is a traditional shopping center, filled with traditional fashion and culture. [74]It is a large shopping district that attracts plenty of attention from both local residents and tourists.

Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi District
Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi District [74]
Another famous shopping district is Roppongi District. This district is home to a multitude of museums and art centers.[74] Tokyo Midtown also attracts a large audience. Midtown is lined with high quality design stores that follow the latest fashion trends.[74] There are approximately 130 buildings within the area and are used for mixed purposes. Many of the buildings are home to stores, restaurants, offices, museums, and hotels for tourists and those who are traveling. Even though Midtown is in the middle of Tokyo, there is still plenty of green space in order to give off a relaxed, welcoming feeling despite the business of the city.[74]

[edit] Teenage Culture

Tokyo has a large teenage entertainment and culture background.
Cosplay Culture at Harajuku Station
Cosplay Culture at Harajuku Station [75]
Most popular among teenagers today is extravagant fashion, Anime, and Manga.
[edit] Harajuku Station

Even though there are shops for adults as well as historic sites throughout the area, Harajuku Station is most known for its extreme teenage fashion and culture.[75] Many teens gather around Harajuku Station on Sundays to participate in cosplay events where they dress in extravagant clothing to represent various Anime characters. [75]

Cosplay Culture at Harajuku Station
Cosplay Culture at Harajuku Station [75]
The most famous street at Harajuku Station appeals to teenage culture and fashion. [75] It is a narrow street and is approximately 400 meters long. It is typically loud and crowded with busy teenagers. [75] This street is lined with trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothing, crepe stands, and fast food outlets to appeal to fashion and trend conscious teenagers. [75]
Harajuku Station
Harajuku Station [75]
[edit] Anime and Manga

Manga is a genre of comics done in Japanese style that originated in the mid-1900s. It is read by both genders at all ages and features a large range of themes, including history and science-fiction. [75] In Tokyo, Manga is commonly found in bookstores, book stands, and convenience stores. It has become so popular that today there is a large international demand for the comics. [75] If the manga comic becomes popular enough, it is turned into Anime, which is an animated show. The most famous anime shows today in Western society are Pokemon, Dragonball Z, and Sailor Moon.[75]

AnimeJapan is one of the most famous and largest anime events in the world.
Sailor Moon Anime
Sailor Moon Anime [76]
Each year, several hundred Japanese residents and film production companies attend.[75] Much of the space at this event is used to host various exhibitions and booths. Various shows and concerts are also held on three of the main stages throughout the whole event. There are changing rooms for those who want to change into their cosplay costume, and for those who do not have a cosplay costume ready but would still like to participate in the event, there are costumes for rent.[75]

[edit] Notes and References

  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/8332725/Radiohead-forced-to-cancel-Tokyo-event.html
  2. Japan External Trade Organization.(2013). Retrieved from https://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/region/tokyo/
  3. Japan Zone. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.japan-zone.com/modern/company6.shtml
  4. Hope, K. (2014).Tokyo technology start-ups offer devices and gadgets. BBC News Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26511514
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