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Tokyo - A space for every moment

Tokyo - A space for every moment
By Lorena Alessio -

Tokyo exists because of its component parts. Which is to say that Tokyo is a very diverse metropolis undergoing constant metamorphosis. Does an overall picture exist? It does. More interesting, however, is what every citizen and visitor takes from the city according to his own interests and inclinations. From this point of view, Tokyo is a free metropolis. It offers much, yet you have to know how to interiorize it without being overwhelmed by the apparent chaos.
Tokyo receives and gives back creativity, innovation and new trends. It is the political, economic, cultural and academic capital of Japan. Although almost 10% of the Japanese population - 13 million people - live there, Tokyo should not be considered as a city but rather as the Great Area of Tokyo, a vast regional area home to some 35 million inhabitants.
The modern multicentre city that is Tokyo grew out of the ancient capital Edo, once a little coastal village. Edo in fact means “entry to the estuary or bay” of the river Sumida. In 1457, Edo became a fortified city and during the Tokugawa period (from 1603 to 1868) was the largest city in Japan, seat of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
The centre of Tokyo - today an inaccessible green area - recalls this period. The former castle is now the Imperial Palace, a huge “void” redolent with symbolic intangible significance. There are still some traces of the “two” Tokyos: “Yamanote” city on the hill and the low land district of “Shitamachi”, two distinct areas developed during the Edo period along different lines on account of their different geographical positions.
Two different urban models, they reflected different lifestyles based on class distinctions. The town on the hill boasted large properties, villas and gardens of the “Daimyo”, the feudal lords, and an irregular urban structure in keeping with the hilly terrain. The lower town was a place of small shops and...

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