Japan (Japanese: 日本, Nippon [ɲippoꜜɴ] (About this soundlisten) or Nihon [ɲihoꜜɴ] (About this soundlisten)) is an island country in East Asia, in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by the Sea of Japan to the west, and extends from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan spans an archipelago of 6852 islands that covers 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the five main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is the capital and largest city; other major cities include Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe, and Kyoto.
Tokyo (/ˈtoʊkioʊ/ TOH-kee-oh, /-kjoʊ/ -kyoh; Japanese: 東京, Tōkyō [toːkʲoː]), officially Tokyo Metropolis (東京都, Tōkyō-to), is the capital and most populous prefecture of Japan. Located at the head of Tokyo Bay, the prefecture forms part of the Kantō region on the central Pacific coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu. Tokyo is the political and economic center of the country, as well as the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the national government. In 2019, the prefecture had an estimated population of 13,929,280. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.393 million residents as of 2020.
Originally a fishing village named Edo, the city became a prominent political center in 1603, when it became the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate. By the mid-18th century, Edo was one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population numbering more than one million. Following the end of the shogunate in 1868, the imperial capital in Kyoto was moved to the city, which was renamed Tokyo (literally “eastern capital”). Tokyo was devastated by the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, and again by Allied bombing raids during World War II. Beginning in the 1950s, the city underwent rapid reconstruction and expansion, going on to lead Japan’s post-war economic recovery. Since 1943, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has administered the prefecture’s 23 special wards (formerly Tokyo City), various bed towns in the western area, and two outlying island chains.