Tokyo is the most successful metropolis in the history of the world with 39 million residents, 50% more people than any other urban area. It is the safest big city on the planet and has a two trillion dollar GDP--an economy larger than all but eight entire countries.
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Video by Bryce Plank
Drone/helicopter videography courtesy of:
"Keep Em Coming" "Where Soul Meets Body"
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And the film "Tsukiji Wonderland"
Our story begins 561 years ago when a samurai warrior built a castle on the shore of a fishing village called Edo. Its rich soil was ideal for growing rice and attracted farmers from far and wide.
In 1600, the great commander Tokugawa Ieyasu won the Battle of Sekigahara, a pivotal moment in history that secured Edo’s status as the most important place in Japan.
Unfortunately, the buildings of the expanding city were made of wood and paper, a dangerous combination to confront the warm winds of summer. Legend has it that on one particularly dry afternoon in 1657, a priest made the deadly mistake of burning an unlucky kimono. The fire flared up, ignited his temple, and engulfed 70% of the city. 100,000 people lost their lives.
Despite the disaster, by the middle of the 19th century Edo’s population was in the millions. That’s when the military shogunate system that had ruled for almost 700 years ended. A new government led by a young emperor finally made Edo the official capital of Japan, renamed it Tokyo, and made the castle his imperial palace. To celebrate his arrival, everyone toasted with rounds of sake on the house.
Around this time Japan opened up to foreign trade and influence, with Tokyo driving the industrial revolution that was modernizing the country. But rapid development had a cost: a strained natural environment. Forests were razed, pollutants choked the air, and Tokyo’s once pristine waterways grew increasingly toxic.
It was time for a more conscientious approach. The principle of Satoyama was born, promoting sustainable coexistence with nature, especially in the rice fields covering Japan’s sprawling foothills. Today, a century of conservation has resulted in parks covering 20% of the land in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
But while the danger from pollution has been largely overcome, one natural phenomenon poses an unavoidable threat: earthquakes. In 1923, an 8.0 magnitude quake rocked Tokyo, devastating the geologically unstable eastern wards of the city. As firestorms engulfed whole neighborhoods, some took advantage of the chaos to target political enemies and minority groups, like Koreans. When the smoke finally cleared, 140,000 people had perished.
Just twenty-two years later, in 1944, Tokyo was hit again. This time from above by allied air forces who waged a relentless nine month campaign that lasted until Japan’s surrender to end WWII following America’s detonation of two atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the worst night of the onslaught, 279 Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers dropped more than 1,600 tons of explosives on Eastern Tokyo...
It took generations for Tokyo to completely recover, but today - after more than seven decades at peace - Tokyo is thriving...
Zee news says in the newspaper that congress should make hawaii renewable like Japan.
TOKYO: Earth's Model MEGACITY