About Art and Design in Tokyo
The Greater Tokyo Area has a population of over 35 million people, making it the most populous metropolitan area in the world - by far. These people have a voracious appetite for all types of music, art, and culture. Every top performer comes to Tokyo, as does every popular exhibition. And, the city is home to more museums than one can count. In addition, fantastic matsuri, or traditional festivals, occur year-round throughout the city.
Carry a hankerchief, there are rarely paper towels in a bathroom. Always stay to the left. Dress conservatively. Do not eat or drink while walking. Don't use your cell phone in public, especially in a train or restaurant. The Japanese are shy, so it is up to you to initiate things if you want something.
Japan was closed to the outside world for almost its entire history, but rapidly modernized starting in 1854, when American Commodore Matthew Perry demanded the country open itself to trade. The transformation was hastened by the destruction caused by a huge earthquake in 1923 and the carpet bombing of WWII. Within a decade, there wasn't a single trace of the devastation and Tokyo was on its way to becoming one of the world's top industrial powers.
Politics & Economy
Japan is a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy led by a prime minister and other elected members of the Japanese Diet. The Emperor has widespread support among the Japanese, and is considered 'the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people'.
Tokyo's has the largest metropolitan economy in the world.
Tokugawa Ieyasu - the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shoganate which ruled Japan from 1600 - 1868.
Emperor Akihito - the current Emperor of Japan
Shinzo Abe - the current Prime Minister of Japan, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party
Cherry Blossoms late March to early April. Fireworks: Sumida, Tokyo Bay, and Jingu. The Tokyo Anime Fair in March; Design Festa in May. For sporting events, soccer (FC & Verdy) and baseball (Giants & Swallows) reign supreme.
Tokyo-Edo, Tokyo National Museum, Nezu, Bridgestone, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Mitsubishi Ichigokan, Idemitsu, Mori, Suntory, Teien Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Photography
Holidays & Festivals
Emperor's Birthday - Dec. 23, catch a glimpse of the Imperial Family. The three 'great' Shinto festivals: Sanja Matsuri, Kanda Matsuri, and Sanno Matsuri. Children in kimono on Shichi-go-san.
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