travelgrove Travel Guides

Tokyo History, Japan

Tokyo is one of the most admired cities today. A peep into the history of the city is as interesting as the city itself. About 400 years ago, Tokyo was called Edo. Ota Dokan built the Edo Castle there. This era is known as the Edo era in Tokyo history. Edo or Tokyo was a small fishing village then. It was in the year 1590 when Ieyasu Tokugawa won the battle of Sekigahara and took the control over Japan. He ruled the country through his unofficial capital Edo and established the government in the year 1603.

During the reign of the Ieyasu, the city flourished and became as one of the most important cities of the east. The rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate family remained for around 250 years. These were the days of peace and development in the history of Tokyo. It was when in the year 1853 that an American General Perry turned his eyes to Tokyo. He raged a war against Edo and demanded free trade. It was now when the Meiji restoration took place.

The Meiji restoration ended the imperial rule in Edo. In the year 1868, the ruler of Japan officially declared Edo as the capital of Japan. He renamed Edo as Tokyo. This era is known as the early Showa Era. During this era, Tokyo saw much modernization. The people of Tokyo adapted western culture in full fledge. The buildings and the industries in Tokyo saw a western effect. The city seemed to head on a path of success and it seemed that there is no looking back. But the destiny planned something else for the city.

In the year 1923, a severe earth quake hit the city. It was one of the worst calamities seen by any city. It took the life of more than 140,000 people. Most of the buildings of the city got demolished. The Herculean task of developing the city once again had to be carried out. Slowly, things started heading smoothly.

It was in the Second World War that Tokyo had to face hardships again. In its war with America, it had to face severe bombings that caused great loss to life and property. Tokyo came under the Americans after the surrender of Japan in the year 1945.

After the year 1945 to the present date, the era is known as the present Showa and Heisei era. Japan got its new constitution in the year 1947 and it regained its independence in the year 1952. The sixties and seventies saw huge industrial growth in Tokyo. But the economy saw some severities in the nineties. Today, the economy of Tokyo is returning back to pace and Tokyo is flourishing as one of the major cities of the world.

Ask our travel experts a question about Tokyo

Things about Tokyo you may be interested in


Read our members' reviews about Tokyo

  • travelgrove-editorWeather forecast for Asia
    review by travelgrove-editor posted more then 30 days ago
    Japan - Tokyo March to May is spring time and the most popular season. September to November and is also a great time to travel however winter time can be very cold so December to February and the summer months of July to August are freezing. China - Beijing, Shanghai Spring and...
view all

Read our members' travel tips about Tokyo

  • TorontoguyTokyo National Science Museum
    travel tip by Torontoguy posted more then 30 days ago
    Many musuems in the US feature exhibits of nature, but this one is really something. Tokyo National Science Museum has beautiful exhibitions of the wolrd of Japan, its culture, its people, its customs and everything that is Japanese....
  • Sayuri87Imperial Palace in Tokyo
    travel tip by Sayuri87 posted more then 30 days ago
    Home to the imperial family, the palace is not accessible to the public, only the East Gardens, and not every day either.The Imperial Palace was built on the same spot where many years ago the Edo castle stood. It had suffered...
view all


the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...
  •$502China Eastern Airlines flightChina Eastern Airlines
    San Francisco, CA (SFO)  Tokyo, JP (HND)
    10/31/2016 12:00 pm
    Tokyo, JP (HND)  San Francisco, CA (SFO)
    11/07/2016 08:40 am
  •$504China Eastern Airlines flightChina Eastern Airlines
    San Francisco, CA (SFO)  Tokyo, JP (NRT)
    10/31/2016 12:00 pm
    Tokyo, JP (NRT)  San Francisco, CA (SFO)
    11/07/2016 04:55 pm
  •$513China Southern Airlines flightChina Southern Airlines
    Los Angeles, CA (LAX)  Tokyo, JP (HND)
    03/16/2017 11:20 pm
    Tokyo, JP (HND)  Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
    03/26/2017 03:40 pm

Tokyo City Ratings

  • Ratingunrated
    City Rankunrated
  • History & Culture: not rated
  • Night Life & Entertainment: not rated
  • Family & Fun: not rated
  • Outdoors Activities: not rated
  • Food: not rated
  • Sightseeing: not rated
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: not rated
  • Must visit this place: not rated
ToolsBookmark and Share

Popular destinations

   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it