Formerly known as 武蔵国 (musashi no kuni) and 江戸 (edo), Tokyo became the capital of Japan in 1868. It was in 1603 when Tokugawa Ieyasu, a man who founded the first shogunate (military commanders) in Japan, lead the country into roughly 200 years of peace. He also shifted the political power of Japan from Kyoto (the former capital of the country) to Edo (what is now referred to as Tokyo). 東京 (tōkyō) is made up of two characters, 東 (higashi) meaning east, and 京 (kyō) referring to 京都 (kyōto). Tokyo is the “Kyoto of the east”.
Tokyo is a megalopolis that is difficult to describe in a single word or phrase. There are a large number of Buddhist temples, Shintō shrines, and restaurants there with a rich history. It is also a city that produces some of the most sophisticated technology in the entire world. While many areas in the city are tranquil enough to make one feel as if they’re in the countryside, there are many neighborhoods in Tokyo such as Shibuya, which is well-known for the crosswalk that the actress Scarlett Johansson walked across in the American movie "Lost in Translation", which are loud, boisterous, and where more people gather each day than one can count.
In other neighborhoods such as Ginza and Roppongi, many upscale buildings with incredible designs line the streets of many Tokyo neighborhoods. Because of this, Tokyo is seen as a state-of-the-art city. However, there are many older buildings in this megalopolis that line many of the streets. There are many neighborhoods in Tokyo where you can enjoy an older, much more traditionally Japanese atmosphere. This is a city where both modern and traditional Japan come together as one.