Huge and varied in its geography, with over 2,000 square kilometers to explore, Tokyo Metropolis (東京都 Tōkyō-to) spans not just the city, but rugged mountains to the west and subtropical islands to the south. This article concentrates on the 23 central wards near the bay, while the western cities and the islands are covered in a separate article.
The geography of central Tokyo is defined by the JR Yamanote Line (see Get around). The center of Tokyo — the former area reserved for the Shogun and his samurai — lies within the loop, while the Edo-era downtown (下町 shitamachi) is to the north and east. Sprawling around in all directions and blending in seamlessly are Yokohama, Kawasaki and Chiba, Tokyo's suburbs.
ChiyodaThe seat of Japanese power (both political and economic) that includes the Imperial Palace, the Ministries near Kasumigaseki, the Parliament in Nagatacho, the corporate headquarters of Marunouchi, and the electronics mecca of Akihabara. ChuoAlso includes the famed department stores of the Ginza and the fish markets of Tsukiji. MinatoIncluding the business centers of Akasaka and Shinbashi and the neighbouring nightclub district of Roppongi, the port district (at least in name) which includes the artificial island of Odaiba, the skyscrapers of Shiodome. ShinjukuHome to luxury hotels, giant camera stores, futuristic skyscrapers, hundreds of shops and restaurants, and Kabukicho, Tokyo's wildest nightlife and red-light district. ShibuyaThe fashionable shopping district which also encompasses the teenybopper haven of Harajuku (also home to the Meiji Shrine) and the nightlife of Ebisu MeguroA residential area with a few nice parks and museums.
Old Tokyo (Shitamachi)
SumidaNow graced with the presence of the modern Tokyo SkyTree, this ward is home to the Edo-Tokyo Museum and Tokyo's main sumo arena (Ryogoku Kokugikan), both in Ryogoku. TaitoThe heart of Old Tokyo featuring the temples of Asakusa and National Museums in Ueno. BunkyoHome to Tokyo Dome and the University of Tokyo. KotoFamous for Kameido Tenjin and former woodland in Kiba, but now known for its many new public apartment complexes. ArakawaHome to Tokyo's last original tram line.
EastMany suburban wards, including Adachi, where one can visit one of Kanto's Three Great Temples: Nishi-arai Daishi, Katsushika, known for the charming Showa-era atmosphere of Shibamata and Edogawa, a quiet eastern suburb. NorthIncludes the suburban wards of Kita, Itabashi and the quieter northern Nerima, which contains some of the 23 wards' last remaining farmland. NakanoHome to the otaku paradise known as Nakano Broadway. | OtaHalf industrial complex, half upscale residential area. SetagayaAn upscale residential area that houses the student drinking spot of Shimokitazawa as well as the newly revitalized shopping centers of Futako-Tamagawa. SuginamiTypical Tokyo suburb stretching along the Chuo Line.