Japan - Major Cities

Japan - Major Cities

The cities from Japan are known for their fast pace and crowd. Almost 80% of total population of Japan lives in cities. The cities are popular for a blend of rich history of Japan and its unique modern culture. You can get a mix of high tech urban atmosphere with some historical spots and quiet solitude of nature.

Here I have made a list of 10 major cities from Japan.

1. Tokyo: -

Tokyo, is the capital city of Japan and also the most populous metropolis in the world. Prior to 1868, Tokyo was known as Edo. It was earlier a small castle town. In 1603, Tokugawa Iegusu established his feudal government in Edo and within a few decades it was one of the most populous cities in the world.

In 1868, during the Meiji Restoration the capital was shifted from Kyoto to Edo and Edo was renamed as Tokyo(Eastern Capital). Since then Tokyo has come a long way to become a largest metropolis in the world. 

The GDP of Tokyo is more than $2 trillion, which also makes it the richest city in the world. 51 of the companies listed on Fortune Global 500 are based in Tokyo. It is also a major financial center and houses headquarters for some world's largest investment banks and insurance companies. It also serves as a hub for Japan's transportation, electronics, publishing and broadcasting industries.

Tokyo offers unlimited options for shopping and  entertainment choices. The districts of Asakusa is famous for its historic temples and gardens. It also has the world's largest Sumo stadium and the famous anime center Studio Ghibli. The 2016 animated fantasy film The Red Turtle was filmed here.

The Tsukiji Fish Market is the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. It has been the main source of food for the city for last 4 centuries.

2. Kyoto: -

This city is located on the Honshu island of Japan. It was the capital city of Imperial Japan for more than 1000 years before the capital was shifted to Tokyo in 1868.

Kyoto is known for its rich history, electronic industries, IT Hubs and traditional Japanese crafts. It is home to the headquarters of Nintendo, Intelligent Systems, SCREEN Holdings, Rohm and many more. Among traditional crafts, Kyoto is famous for its kimono weavers and Sake brewing.

Talking about Kyoto's history, it is so exceptional that the city was dropped from the list of target cities for atomic bombings in World War II. There are almost 2000 religious places which includes 1600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto Shrines. Apart from this there are palaces and gardens which are well preserved in the city. Kyoto is also home for 17 UNESCO World heritage sites.

Gion Matsuri, one of the most popular festivals in Japan is held in Kyoto for the entire month of July.

3. Yokohama: -

Yokohama is the second largest city after Tokyo and lies to the south of Tokyo, on the western coast of Tokyo Bay. Yokohama has developed as Japan's prominent bay after the mid of 19th century.

Evolving from a small fishing village, Yokohama had become a base of foreign trade in Japan. Yokohama was also one the cities to face huge destruction due to the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Almost 30,000 people died and more than 47,000 were injured. 

Yokohama is the house for many shipping, semiconductor and biotechnology industries. Nissan also has its headquarters in Yokohama.

Yokohama is famous for its signature brick architecture and Chinatown. The scenic harbor view via water-bus or atop the Ferris Wheel is the famous activity among the visitors.

4. Osaka: -

Osaka is the 2nd largest metropolitan in Japan after Tokyo. Being a merchant town historically, Osaka is very outgoing and direct as compared to capital Tokyo.

Osaka is an important industrial hub in Japan.Commerce, services and manufacturing are the main industries in the city. Companies like Panasonic, Sharp and Sonyo have their headquarters in Osaka. Nomura Securities, the first brokerage firm in Japan was started in Osaka. The city is also 15th most competitive financial center in the world.

Osaka is the perfect destination for a foodie. It is a vity that just loves to eat. The city also has an unofficial slogan "Kuidaore" (meaning Eat Till You Drop). The narrow lanes are full of hidden eateries and there are street vendors everywhere. The most famous dishes in the city are Okinimiyaki, Kushikotsu, Takoyaki and Yakiniku

The signature dish of the city being Tessa Osaka's sashimi made from poisonous fugu fish. It takes chefs 2 years certification to be allowed to cook it.

The city is also famous for its night life.

5. Fukuoka: -

This city is situated on the northern shore of Kyushu island. It is known for its ancient temples, beaches and modern shopping malls.

It is the major economic center of Kyushu island and is mainly focused on service sector. Headquarters of Iwataya and  Kyushu electric are located in Fukuoka. It is listed among top 10 most dynamic cities to live in. Mainly chosen for awesome food, excellent shopping centers, great transport, museums, greenery and friendly environment.

The major attractions in the city are Maizuru Parks along with ruins of 17th century Fukuoka castle, Tocho-ji temple, 10m wooden Buddha and Hakata Machiya Folk Museum which Displays the daily lives of Meiji and Taisha Eras.

6. Sapporo: -

Sapporo is the largest city in the northern island of Hokkaido and is known for its annual Snow festival.

The tertiary sectors drives the Sapporo economy. The major industries being IT, retail and tourism. The other industries in the city include manufacturing of food products, metal fabrication, steel, machinery, beverages, pulp and paper. 

Sapporo snow festival is the major attraction in the city. The main site is the Odori Park and the other sites include Susukino and Sapporo Satoland. Many of the snow and ice statues are built by the member of the Japan Ground Defense Force.

The city is also famous for its Sapporo brewery and white chocolate biscuits called "Shiroi Koibito".

7. Kobe: -

This city is located between the sea and the Rokko Mountain range is considered as one of the most attractive cities in Japan. It has been an important in Japan for centuries and was the first city o be open for foreign trade.

Kobe is an important manufacturing center of the Hyogo prefecture. Some major industries like ASICS, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Kobe Steel and Sysmex have their headquarters in Kobe. 

Kobe is famous for its Kobe beefs and Arima Onsen "hot springs". There are also many museums and historical places in the city. It is also known for its Sake (traditional Japanese rice wine) breweries.

8. Aomori: -

Aomori is the capital city of Aomori Prefecture, in the northern Tohuku region of northern Japan. The name of the city is derived from Ainu Language, in which Aomori means blue forest. 

The Aomori port was the main departure point to Hokkaidu Island and is still a major port for car ferries. Now Aomori is famous for its apples and Nebuta festival which is held every year in the city. The highlight of the festival in the daily parade with huge colorful lantern floats.

Aomori is also famous for its Sukayo Hot Springs and Onsen located on the Hokkada mountains.

9. Okayama: -

This city was founded on June 1, 1889 and is the capital city of Okayama prefecture in the Chugoku region of Japan. The city is famous for Koraku-en, one of the top three traditional gardens in Japan. The city is also known for serving as a locale of Japanese fable, Momotaro who is a popular hero of Japanese fairy tale.

Okayama is also an important commercial, agricultural and industrial zone in the country. Rice, eggplant and Chinese Chives are major agricultural products cultivated here.

The major attractions in the city include Koraku-en garden and Okayama Castle. The cycling through Kibi plain is also a famous pass time among the tourists.

10. Nogoya: -

Nagoya, is the capital of Aichi prefecture and is manufacturing and shipping hub in central Honshu. It is also the 3rd largest metropolitan center in Japan. 

The city is known for its automobile, aviation, ceramics and robotic technology industries. Toyota's luxury brands like Lexus, Denso and headquarters of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation are all located in Nagoya. 

The city is known for the famous Nagoya Castle was constructed in 1612 and is a symbol of pride and power for Nagoya.

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