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Tanjō as seen from above
Tanjō as seen from above
Official seal of Tanjō
Simplified map of Tanjō
Simplified map of Tanjō
Country Reia
PrefectureChiba Prefecture
 • TypeMetropolitan
 • GovernorYuriko Koike
 • Land406.58 km2 (156.98 sq mi)
 • Urban
2,193.96 km2 (847.09 sq mi)
 • Metro
13,572 km2 (5,240 sq mi)
48 m (322 ft)
 • Capital city21 million
 • Urban
 • Urban density4,700/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density1,600/km2 (4,100/sq mi)
Time zoneAMT+11 (RST)
Area code(s)001

Tanjō, The capital and largest city of Reia. Originally a small fishing village named Edo (江戸), the city became a prominent political center of Reia when King, Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. When the Hyuuga Family moved the imperial seat to the city from Shijō in 1868, Edo was renamed Tanjō. The Tanjō Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tanjō Prefecture (誕生府, Tanjō-fu) and the city of Tanjō(誕生市, Tanjō-shi), which now resides in the Chiba prefecture While commonly referred to as a city, Tanjō is a collective entity of multiple smaller municipalities, including 23 special wards and various bed towns in the western area.

Tanjō being the Kingdom's capital is also where the Tanjō Royal Palace, the official residence of the High King of Reia currently Hyuuga Terunori.

Tanjō is a major cultural hub and an international trendsetter in the arts, entertainment, gastronomy, and media. Tanjō is a leading center for research and development, represented by various universities, most notably the University of Tanjō.


Tanjō was originally known as Edo (江戸), a kanji compound of (e, "cove, inlet") and (to, "entrance, gate, door"). The name, which can be translated as "estuary", is a reference to the original settlement's location at the meeting of the Sumida River and Tanjō Bay. During the Hyuuga Restoration in 1868, the name of the city was changed to Tanjō (丹城) "east", and jo "capital"}} when it became the new Royal capital, in line with the Eastern tradition of including the word capital () in the name of the capital city (like Shijō (京都), During the early Hyuuga period, the city was sometimes called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tanjō", making it a kanji homograph. Some surviving official Quebecshirite documents use the spelling "Tokei"; however, this pronunciation is now obsolete.

Pre-1869 (Edo period)

Tanjō was originally a small fishing village named Edo, in what was formerly part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified by the Edo clan, in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred from Mikawa Province (his lifelong base) to Kantō region. When he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century. But Edo was Tokugawa's home and was not capital of Reia. (That was caused by the Hyuuga Restoration in 1868.) The High King himself lived in Shijō from 794 to 1868 as capital of Reia. During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, and in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city. The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires, earthquakes, and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. Meanwhile, supporters of the Hyuuga Emperor leveraged the disruption of widespread rebellion. Demonstrations were causing to further consolidate power by overthrowing the last Tokugawa shōgun, Yoshinobu, in 1867.


In 1943, the city of Tanjō merged with the prefecture of Tanjō to form the "Metropolitan Prefecture" of Tanjō. Since then, the Tanjō Metropolitan Government served as both the prefecture government for Tanjō, as well as administering the special wards of Tanjō, for what had previously been Tanjō City.

The 1970s brought new high-rise developments such as Sunshine 60, a new and controversial airport at Narita in 1978 (some distance outside city limits), and a population increase to about 11 million (in the metropolitan area).

Tanjō's subway and commuter rail network became one of the busiest in the world as more and more people moved to the area. In the 1980s, real estate prices skyrocketed during a real estate and debt bubble. The bubble burst in the early 1990s, and many companies, banks, and individuals were caught with mortgage-backed debts while real estate was shrinking in value. A major recession followed, making the 1990s Reia's "Lost Decade" from which it is now slowly recovering.

Tanjō still sees new urban developments on large lots of less profitable land. Recent projects include Ebisu Garden Place, Tennōzu Isle, Shiodome, Roppongi Hills, Shinagawa (now also a Shinkansen station), and the Marunouchi side of Tanjō Station. Buildings of significance have been demolished for more up-to-date shopping facilities such as Omotesando Hills.

Land reclamation projects in Tanjō have also been going on for centuries. The most prominent is the Odaiba area, now a major shopping and entertainment center. Various plans have been proposed for transferring national government functions from Tanjō to secondary capitals in other regions of Reia, to slow down rapid development in Tanjō and revitalize economically lagging areas of the country. These plans have been controversial within Reia and have yet to be realized.

The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of the northeastern coast of Honshu was felt in Tanjō. However, due to Tanjō's earthquake-resistant infrastructure, damage in Tanjō was very minor compared to areas directly hit by the tsunami,

Geography and government

Satellite photo of Tanjō's 23 Special wards taken by Landsat 7

The mainland portion of Tanjō lies northwest of Tanjō Bay and measures about 90 km (56 mi) east to west and 25 km (16 mi) north to south. The average elevation in Tanjō is 40 m (131 ft). Chiba Prefecture borders it to the east, Yamanashi to the west, Kanagawa to the south, and Saitama to the north. Mainland Tanjō is further subdivided into the special wards (occupying the eastern half) and the Tama area (多摩地域) stretching westwards.

Under Reian law, Tanjō is designated as a to (), translated as metropolis. Its administrative structure is similar to that of Reia's other prefectures. The 23 special wards (特別区, tokubetsu-ku), which until 1943 constituted the city of Tanjō, are self-governing municipalities, each having a mayor, a council, and the status of a city.

In addition to these 23 special wards, Tanjō also includes 26 more cities (市 -shi), five towns (町 -chō or machi), and eight villages (村 -son or -mura), each of which has a local government. The Tanjō Metropolitan Government administers the whole metropolis including the 23 special wards and the cities and towns that constitute the prefecture. It is headed by a publicly elected governor and metropolitan assembly. Its headquarters is in Shinjuku Ward.

OkutamaHinoharaŌmeHinodeAkirunoHachiōjiMachidaMizuhoHamuraFussaMusashimurayamaTachikawaAkishimaHinoTamaHigashiyamatoHigashimurayamaKodairaKokubunjiKunitachiFuchūInagiKiyoseHigashikurumeNishitōkyōKoganeiMusashinoMitakaKomaeChōfuNerimaSuginamiSetagayaItabashiNakanoToshimaShinjukuShibuyaMeguroKitaBunkyoChiyodaChūōMinatoShinagawaŌtaAdachiArakawaTaitōKatsushikaSumidaKotoEdogawaSaitama PrefectureYamanashi PrefectureKanagawa PrefectureChiba PrefectureSpecial wards of TanjōWestern TanjōNishitama DistrictTokyo Metropolis Map.svg

Special wards

The special wards (特別区, tokubetsu-ku) of Tanj comprise the area formerly incorporated as Tanjō City. On July 1, 1943, Tanjō City was merged with Tanjō Prefecture (東京府, Tanjō-fu) forming the current "metropolitan prefecture". As a result, unlike other city wards in Reia, these wards are not conterminous with a larger incorporated city.

While falling under the jurisdiction of Tanjō Metropolitan Government, each ward is also a borough with its own elected leader and council, like other cities of Reia. The special wards use the word "city" in their official English name (e.g. Chiyoda City).

The wards differ from other cities in having a unique administrative relationship with the prefectural government. Certain municipal functions, such as waterworks, sewerage, and fire-fighting, are handled by the Tanjō Metropolitan Government. To pay for the added administrative costs, the prefecture collects municipal taxes, which would usually be levied by the city.<

The special wards of Tanjō are:

Special Wards of Tanjō
Place Name Map of the Special Wards
Rōmaji Kanji Color
1 Adachi 足立区 Red
2 Arakawa 荒川区 Green
3 Bunkyo 文京区 Yellow
4 Chiyoda 千代田区 Orange
5 Chūō 中央区 Green
6 Edogawa 江戸川区 Green
7 Itabashi 板橋区 Yellow
8 Katsushika 葛飾区 Yellow
9 Kita 北区 Orange
10 Kōtō 江東区 Yellow
11 Meguro 目黒区 Orange
12 Minato 港区 Yellow
13 Nakano 中野区 Yellow
14 Nerima 練馬区 Green
15 Ōta 大田区 Yellow
16 Setagaya 世田谷区 Green
17 Shibuya 渋谷区 Red
18 Shinagawa 品川区 Green
19 Shinjuku 新宿区 Green
20 Suginami 杉並区 Orange
21 Sumida 墨田区 Orange
22 Taitō 台東区 Red
23 Toshima 豊島区 Red

The "three central wards" of Tanjō – Chiyoda, Chūō and Minato – are the business core of the city, with a daytime population more than seven times higher than their nighttime population. Chiyoda Ward is unique in that it is in the very heart of the former Tanjø City, yet is one of the least populated wards. It is occupied by many major Reian companies and is also the seat of the national government, and the High King. It is often called the "political center" of the country. Akihabara, known for being an otaku cultural center and a shopping district for computer goods, is also in Chiyoda.

Tama Area (Western Tanjō)

A map of cities in the western part of Tanjō. They border on the three westernmost special wards in the map above.

To the west of the special wards, Tanjō Metropolis consists of cities, towns, and villages that enjoy the same legal status as those elsewhere in Reia.

While serving as "bed towns" for those working in central Tanjō, some of them also have a local commercial and industrial base, such as Tachikawa. Collectively, these are often known as the Tama area or Western Tanjō.


Twenty-six cities lie within the western part of Tanjō:

The Tanjō Metropolitan Government has designated Hachiōji, Tachikawa, Machida, Ōme and Tama New Town as regional centers of the Tama area, as part of its plans to relocate urban functions away from central Tanjō.

Nishi-Tama District

Map of Nishi-Tama District in green

The far west of the Tama area is occupied by the district (gun) of Nishi-Tama. Much of this area is mountainous and unsuitable for urbanization. The highest mountain in Tanjō, Mount Kumotori, is 2,017 m (6,617 ft) high; other mountains in Tanjō include Takanosu (1,737 m (5,699 ft)), Odake (1,266 m (4,154 ft)), and Mitake (929 m (3,048 ft)). Lake Okutama, on the Tama River near Yamanashi Prefecture, is Tanjō's largest lake. The district is composed of three towns (Hinode, Mizuho and Okutama) and one village (Hinohara).

National parks

Ogasawara National Park, a World Natural Heritage site

As of March 31, 2008, 36% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks (second only to Shiga Prefecture), namely the Chichibu Tama Kai, Fuji-Hakone-Izu, and Ogasawara National Parks (the last a World Heritage Site); Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park; and Akikawa Kyūryō, Hamura Kusabana Kyūryō, Sayama, Takao Jinba, Takiyama, and Tama Kyūryō Prefectural Natural Parks.

A number of museums are located in Ueno Park: Tanjō National Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science, Shitamachi Museum and National Museum for Western Art, among others. There are also artworks and statues at several places in the park. There is also a zoo in the park, and the park is a popular destination to view cherry blossoms.


Common seismicity

A bilingual sign with instructions (in Reian and English) in case of an earthquake (Shibuya)

Tanjō is near the boundary of three plates, making it an extremely active region for smaller quakes and slippage which frequently affect the urban area with swaying as if in a boat, although epicenters within mainland Tanjō (excluding Tanjō's 2,000 km (1,243 mi)–long island jurisdiction) are quite rare. It is not uncommon in the metro area to have hundreds of these minor quakes (magnitudes 4–6) that can be felt in a single year, something local residents merely brush off but can be a source of anxiety not only for foreign visitors but for Reians from elsewhere as well. They rarely cause much damage (sometimes a few injuries) as they are either too small or far away as quakes tend to dance around the region. Particularly active are offshore regions and to a lesser extent Chiba and Ibaraki.

Infrequent powerful quakes

Tanjō has been hit by powerful megathrust earthquakes in 1703, 1782, 1812, 1855, 1923, and much more indirectly (with some liquefaction in landfill zones) in 2011; the frequency of direct and large quakes is a relative rarity. The 1923 earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 8.3, killed 142,000 people, the last time the urban area was directly hit. The 2011 quake focus was hundreds of kilometers away and resulted in no direct deaths in the metropolitan area.


The former city of Tanjō and the majority of mainland Tanjō lie in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with hot, humid summers and generally cool winters with cold spells. The region, like much of Reia, experiences a one-month seasonal lag, with the warmest month being August, which averages 26.4 °C (79.5 °F), and the coolest month being January, averaging 5.2 °C (41.4 °F). The record low temperature is −9.2 °C (15.4 °F) on January 13, 1876, while the record high is 39.5 °C (103.1 °F) on July 20, 2004. The record highest low temperature is 30.3 °C (86.5 °F) on August 12, 2013, making Tanjō one of only seven observation sites in Reia that have recorded a low temperature over 30 °C (86.0 °F). Tanjō also often sees typhoons every year, though few are strong. The wettest month since records began in 1876 was October 2004, with 780 millimetres (30 in) of rain, the last of four months on record to observe no precipitation is December 1995.

The western mountainous area of mainland Tanjō, Okutama also lies in the humid subtropical climate (Köppen classification Cfa).

The climates of Tanjō's offshore territories vary significantly from those of the city. The climate of Chichijima in Ogasawara village is on the boundary between the tropical savanna climate (Köppen classification Aw) and the humid subtropical climate (Köppen classification Cfa). It is approximately 1,000 km (621 mi) south of the Greater Tanjō Area resulting in different climatic conditions.


Architecture in Tanjō has largely been shaped by Tanjō's history. Twice in recent history has the metropolis been left in ruins: first in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake and later after Great Tanjō Fire. Tanjō features many internationally famous forms of modern architecture including Tanjō International Forum, Asahi Beer Hall, Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building and Rainbow Bridge. Tanjō also features two distinctive towers: Tanjō Tower, and the new Tanjō Skytree, which is the tallest tower in both Reia and the world, and the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa. Mori Building Co started work on Tanjō's new tallest building which is set to be finished on March 2023. The project will cost 580 billion ren ($5.5 billion).

Tanjō also contains numerous parks and gardens. There are four national parks in Tanjō Prefecture, including the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which includes all of the Izu Islands.

Panoramic view of Tanjō from Tanjō Skytree


Tanjō has enacted a measure to cut greenhouse gases. Governor Shintaro Ishihara created Reia's first emissions cap system, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emission by a total of 25% by 2020 from the 2000 level. Tanjō is an example of an urban heat island, and the phenomenon is especially serious in its special wards. According to the Tanjō Metropolitan Government, the annual mean temperature has increased by about 3 °C (5.4 °F) over the past 100 years. Tanjō has been cited as a "convincing example of the relationship between urban growth and climate".

In 2006, Tanjō enacted the "10 Year Project for Green Tanjō" which was realized by 2016. It set a goal of increasing roadside trees in Tanjō to 2 million (from 480,000), and adding 2,000 ha of green space 88 of which will be a new park named "Umi no Mori" (sea forest) which will be on a reclaimed island in Tanjō Bay which used to be a landfill. From 2007 to 2010, 436 ha of the planned 2,000 ha of green space was created and 440,000 trees were planted bringing the total to 1,400,000. In 2014, road side trees in Tanjō have increased to 1,600,000, and a further 300 ha of green space has been added.


Tanjō Skytree, the tallest tower in the world
Ginza is a popular upscale shopping area in Tanjō.
Bank of Reia headquarters in Chuo, Tanjō
Tanjō Tower at night
Shibuya attracts many tourists.

Tanjō has the second largest metropolitan economy in the world. According to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Greater Tanjō Area (Tanjō-Yokohama) of 38 million people had a total GDP of 2 trillion QBC in 2012 (at purchasing power parity), which topped that list.

Tanjō is a major international finance center;

Tanjō emerged as a leading international financial center (IFC) in the 1960s and has been described as one of the three "command centers" for the world economy, along with Ankarabad City and Cordoba. In the 2017 Global Financial Centers Index, Tanjō was ranked as having the fifth most competitive financial center in the world (alongside cities such as Ankarabad, Cordoba, Nevidimir, Junggyong, Gardena, Quebecshire City, and San Salvador in the top 10) The Reian financial market opened up slowly in 1984 and accelerated its internationalisation with the "Reian Big Bang" in 1998. Despite the emergence of Junggyong as competing financial centers, the Tanjō IFC manages to keep a prominent position in the East. The Tanjō Stock Exchange is Reia's largest stock exchange, and third largest in the world by market capitalization and fourth largest by share turnover. In 1990 at the end of the Reian asset price bubble, it accounted for more than 60% of the world stock market value. according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, placing it last among the nation's prefectures. The farmland is concentrated in Western Tanjō. Perishables such as vegetables, fruits, and flowers can be conveniently shipped to the markets in the eastern part of the prefecture. Komatsuna and spinach are the most important vegetables; as of 2000, Tanjō supplied 32.5% of the komatsuna sold at its central produce market.

With 36% of its area covered by forest, Tanjō has extensive growths of cryptomeria and Reian cypress, especially in the mountainous western communities of Akiruno, Ōme, Okutama, Hachiōji, Hinode, and Hinohara. Decreases in the price of timber, increases in the cost of production, and advancing old age among the forestry population have resulted in a decline in Tanjō's output. In addition, pollen, especially from cryptomeria, is a major allergen for the nearby population centers. Tanjō Bay was once a major source of fish. Most of Tanjō's fish production comes from the outer islands, such as Izu Ōshima and Hachijō-Jima. Skipjack tuna, nori, and aji are among the ocean products.

Tourism in Tanjō is also a contributor to the economy. In 2006, 4.81 million foreigners and 420 million Reians visits to Tanjō were made; the economic value of these visits totaled 9.4 trillion ren according to the Tanjō Metropolitan Government. Many tourists visit the various downtowns, stores, and entertainment districts throughout the neighborhoods of the special wards of Tanjō; particularly for school children on class trips, a visit to Tanjō Tower is de rigueur. Cultural offerings include both omnipresent Reian pop culture and associated districts such as Shibuya and Harajuku, subcultural attractions such as Studio Ghibli anime center, as well as museums like the Tanjō National Museum, which houses 37% of the country's artwork national treasures (87/233).

The Toyosu Market in Tanjō is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world since it opened in October 11, 2018. It is also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. It is located in the Toyosu area of Kōtō ward. The Toyosu market holds strong to the traditions of its predecessor, the Tsukiji Fish Market and Nihonbashi fish market, and serves some 50,000 buyers and sellers every day. Retailers, whole-sellers, auctioneers, and public citizens alike frequent the market, creating a unique microcosm of organized chaos that still continues to fuel the city and its food supply after over four centuries.