Off The PathIN FACTJapan, IN FACT, Has No Official Capital City
Japan, IN FACT, Has No Official Capital City

Japan, IN FACT, Has No Official Capital City

Truly, Tokyo city is often mistaken as the capital of Japan. However, this is only an unconfirmed capital, the country does not actually have an official one.

Why Tokyo isn’t the Capital City of Japan?

Shibuya, the always busy corner of Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya, the always busy corner of Tokyo, Japan.

The reason is, in Japan, the residence of the Emperor is considered the capital city. Based on Tokyo Metropolitan Government (n.d.), throughout a long time before 1868, the Emperor’s residence was located in Kyoto, which was a formal capital city of Japan. After 1868, the Emperor, as well as the country’s government, resided in Edo, which is later known as Tokyo Metropolis. As a result, Tokyo became the capital city of the nation.

In 1950, the Japanese government made a decision to locate the capital in this city. However, a few years later, the leaders have taken back the decision. Therefore, Japan has no official capital city so far. Furthermore, “Capital of Japan’s Law and Custom” (Wikipedia 2021) states that “While no laws have designated Tokyo as the Japanese capital, many laws have defined a “capital area” (首都圏, shuto-ken) that incorporates Tokyo”.

The Land of the Rising Sun

According to World Atlas, Japan is a country in East Asia. The country has an area of ​​more than 377,000 km2 and a population of more than 126 million people. Also, Japan consists of about 6,852 large and small islands, of which 4 main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Indeed, the nation’s territory is isolated on the sea, with no land border with any country.

People call Japan in many different names. There are some of the most well-known names are “The Land of the Rising Sun”, Fusang, “The Land of Cherry Blossom”, or “The Land of Tea Ceremony”, etc. In it, Fusang, or Fusō, is one of the popular names when referring to Japan. This nickname is called after the name of a tree species.

Following the name “The Land of the Rising Sun”, the Japan flag has a rectangle shape with two main colors, the white background with a large red circle, which symbolizes the Sun, in the center.

What is There in Japan to Discover

Chureito Pagoda and Mount Fuji, an attraction at Japan, Far East Asia
View of Chureito Pagoda and Mount Fuji in Japan.

Definitely, it’s Mount Fuji coming first. It is the tallest mountain in Japan and is also a famous symbol of this country. Moreover, this mountain is often the subject of paintings and photography, art, literature, and music. Alongside, this is one of the “Three Holy Mountains” of Japan along with Mount Take and Mount Haku.

Besides that, there are destinations in Japan, particularly in Tokyo that travelers can visit:

The current monetary unit of Japan is the Yen. Actually, it is the third most traded currency on the foreign exchange market, after the US dollar and Euro. Thus, don’t forget to exchange some for your trip to the country.



tokyo isn't capital city of japan - the broad life's pinterest board
there is no official capital city of japan - the broad life's pinterest board

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Brianne

    This was such an interesting read. I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. I had no idea that the captial was wherever the emperor was.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah, it’s the truth. How do you feel about your coming Japan trip after knowing that info?

  • Kuntala

    This was so interesting and informative. I had no idea about the capital or how the name Land of the Rising Sun came to be.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Know you do. Don’t forget to read other interesting facts in my [IN FACT] series.


    We learn as long as we live. Great facts, thank you. My father used to work in Japan, and he was very impressed with the people and their culture. I hope I will go there some day too

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah that a great country to spend even a year exploring everything.

  • TheSuperMomLife

    This is fascinating. I didn’t know that Japan didn’t have a capital.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Actually, it does, just an unofficial one.
      I hope the post conveys the right info.

  • Ivan Jose

    Now, that is something about Japan that I didn’t know. Anyway, it’s such a beautiful country. We were planning to go to Japan but then the pandemic broke.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      I’m so sure that your trip to Japan after the pandemic will be more enjoyable with the facts you knew.

  • Monidipa

    I have always wished to visit Japan. Beause I love that country, it is so organised but I was not aware that it doesnt have capital city.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Actually, Tokyo is considered as its capital, just an unconfirmed one.

  • Rosey

    There are some interesting facts about Japan here. My son was going to go for a field trip years ago but a tsunami hit and the trip was cancelled. I was glad the school hadn’t already gone.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      So lucky your son was!
      I believe you and your son can have an enjoyable trip to Japan after the pandemic ends. It will be ok to travel to the country at that time.

  • Arūnas

    So interesting – I did not know that Japan has no official capital city. I have never been to this Eastern Asia country, it would be exciting to visit Japan someday.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      You will love Japan for sure after traveling there. The country is very beautiful!

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