Japan is back in the game big-time, tourism-wise, at least, with the news that Tokyo will host the 2020 Games of the XXXII Olympiad.
The 2020 Summer Olympics will draw more visitors to the Japanese capital, which has already passed a tourism milestone.
Figures released by the Japan National Tourist Organization show that Japan now draws about 1 million visitors a month. That’s an impressive figure, given the fact the number was barely 7 million a year before the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake. That’s welcome news for Tokyo, which serves not only as the central gateway to Japan, but also as a main attraction for many of those visitors.
Tokyo and its environs, after all, make up the world’s densest metropolis with 37.2 million residents--a magnitude greater than Delhi (22.6 million) and Mexico City (20.4 million) according to 2011 estimates by a United Nations census group.
The Tokyo metropolitan government official resident population count is 13.1 million, with the daytime weekday population closer to 15.5 million.
Thirty-eight percent of the 2,188 square kilometers of Tokyo are rural or wooded, with 24 percent of the the city’s 23 wards actually confirmed as greenery, as is 72 percent of the Tama area, which makes up the western half of the metro area. Tropical islands such as the Ogasawara island chain, 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo City Hall, are also part of Tokyo, making the city the second greenest administrative division in Japan, after sparsely populated Shiga Prefecture.
Thirty-three stadiums and other major sports facilities are available in Tokyo proper, with 24 additional sports venues in Kanagawa Prefecture, 17 in Saitama Prefecture and eight additional sports facilities in Chiba Prefecture, which all adjoin Tokyo.
Tokyo is home to 265 museums, zoos and botanical gardens, both public and private, wherein are stored 2,371 officially designated national treasures and important cultural properties, making it even more culturally rich than Kyoto, which has 2,252 such treasures, according to figures kept by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Japan's capital city is renowned for its safety, however, it is not completely crime free. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department reported that it had dealt with 184,432 crimes in 2011, the most recent year totaled. The figure has been dropping since 2005, when more than 250,000 crimes were reported
Tokyo also prides itself on its trendy fashion. But oddly, Tokyo did not make the 2012 list of the world's most fashionable cities generated by Global Language Monitor, which analyzed hot words in the media to rank London, New York, Barcelona, Paris and Madrid at the top, respectively. Does Tokyo belong on the list? That's something visitors can judge for themselves in 2020.
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