Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tokyo too big?
You ask why Tokyo is so large. It's not that the Japanese like each other so much. They've had to like each other. Tokyo is not only the largest but also the most populated urban complex in the world with roughly 50 billion residents if we include the outlying suburbs which depend on the city.
Well, it's a simple matter of geography. Japan is over 80 percent mountains. Tokyo is in the middle of the Kanto Plain, the only sizable fairly flat piece of land anywhere in Japan to locate a city Tokyo's size so it could grow.
Of course this leaves great chunks of the country--the glorious, rolling mountains--pretty much pristine and that's why the Japanese are such avid mountain hikers.
- Natasha Nakamura