Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area in the world. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family. Tokyo is in the Kantō region on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolitan government administers the 23 special wards of Tokyo (each governed as a city), which cover the area that was the city of Tokyo, as well as 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture and the two outlying island chains. The population of the special wards is over 8 million people, with the total population of the prefecture exceeding 13 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area with upwards of 35 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy with a GDP of US$1.479 trillion at purchasing power parity in 2008, ahead of New York City metropolitan area, which ranks second on the list. The city hosts 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city. Tokyo has been described as one of the three "command centers" for the world economy, along with New York City and London. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics. Tokyo was originally a small fishing village named Edo, in what was formerly part of the old Musashi Province. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu made Edo his base and when he became shogun in 1603, the town became the center of his nationwide military government. 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. Tokyo became the de facto capital of Japan even while the emperor lived in Kyoto, the imperial capital. After about 263 years, the shogunate was overthrown under the banner of restoring imperial rule. In 1869, the 17-year-old Emperor Meiji moved to Edo. Tokyo was already the nation's political and cultural center, and the emperor's residence made it a de facto imperial capital as well, with the former Edo Castle becoming the Imperial Palace. The city of Tokyo was established, and continued to be the capital until it was abolished as a municipality in 1943 and merged with the "Metropolitan Prefecture" of Tokyo.
Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 333 metres, it is the second tallest artificial structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations. Built in 1958, the tower's main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening. FootTown, a 4-storey building located directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from here, guests can visit two observation decks. The 2-storey Main Observatory is located at 150 metres while the smaller Special Observatory reaches a height of 250 metres. The tower acts as a support structure for an antenna. Originally intended for television broadcasting, radio antennas were installed in 1961, but the tower is now used to broadcast signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK, TBS and Fuji TV. Japan's planned digital television transition by July 2011 was problematic, however; Tokyo Tower's height (333 meters) was not high enough to adequately support complete terrestrial digital broadcasting to the area. A taller digital broadcasting tower, known as Tokyo Skytree, was completed on February 29, 2012.
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