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I've tried a couple of times to capture the vast urbanity that is Tokyo, but I've never really been able to do it. Today I ran across a photograph on the interweb that does a very good job of it:

img_main_project_01.jpg

Think of it as Houston x15, but at five times the density (5,796 people per square kilometer)

The amazing part is that there are so few skyscrapers. 99% of the city is under eight stories because of earthquakes.

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Editor: By 99% of the city being 8 stories or under, what is this referring to?

The Tokyo Metropolis includes the city core to the east, the suburbs and rural mountain areas to the west, AND islands off the coast of Honshu. The Tokyo government is equivalent to a U.S. state.

Usually the Tokyo "city" refers to the 23 special wards, which are 23 municipalities that seamlessly work together as the central area of Tokyo. There used to be a City of Tokyo, but that was abolished in 1943. The 23 special wards occupy what was the City of Tokyo.

Edited by VicMan
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Editor: By 99% of the city being 8 stories or under, what is this referring to?

The Tokyo Metropolis includes the city core to the east, the suburbs and rural mountain areas to the west, AND islands off the coast of Honshu. The Tokyo government is equivalent to a U.S. state.

Usually the Tokyo "city" refers to the 23 special wards, which are 23 municipalities that seamlessly work together as the central area of Tokyo. There used to be a City of Tokyo, but that was abolished in 1943. The 23 special wards occupy what was the City of Tokyo.

I'm talking about the parts that I've been to, which would be about ten or 12 of the core wards -- Chiyoda, Bunkyo, Taito, Shinjuku, Chuo, Itabashi, Sumida, and a bunch I can't remember off the top of my head. Since those are the "heart" of the city, I expect the other dozen wards are similarly constructed, or even less tall.

A lot of people like to imagine Tokyo as a forest of skyscrapers, but it's more like a forest of mid-rises. The tallest building in the city is only 48 stories.

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