Located on the Eastern side of the main island of Honshu, Tokyo was originally known as Edo, meaning estuary, until the name was changed in 1868 upon becoming the imperial capital. Its name has official been Tokyo Metropolis since 1943 when the city of Tokyo was merged with Tokyo prefecture. It is the center of Japan's political power, housing the Japanese government, the Imperial Palace, and is also the home of the Japanese Imperial Family which is largely a symbolic figurehead in the country with no direct power.

Tokyo Metropolis, one of Japan's 47 prefectures, is comprised of the twenty-three special wards of Tokyo, which are each governed as separate cities, and have a combined population of over 12 million people. Tokyo Metropolis, when combined with the other prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama make up what's known as the Greater Tokyo Area, which has a population of over 35 million, making it the world's most populous metropolitan area. On top of being the center for Japanese politics, Tokyo is also the financial center of Japan with the Greater Tokyo Area generating a GDP of US$1.191 trillion at purchasing power parity in 2005.

On top of being a global financial powerhouse, Tokyo is also a cultural center in Japan. As well as being the home of the Imperial Palace, Tokyo houses a number of museums including the Tokyo National Museum which specializes in traditional Japanese Art, along with other museums devoted to art, natural sciences and even the National Diet Library. If museums aren't for you, Tokyo also houses a multitude of theatres for anything from traditional noh and kabuki plays to modern pop and rock music venues. For more information on international medical insurance in Japan, or to get a free quote, please contact us today.

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