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Japan -> TOKYO
Tokyo Prefecture

Tokyo, then Edo, started out as a fishing village on the banks of the Sumida River. By the end of the 16th century, Edo had become the shogunate's center of power along with its imposing castle. The ruling elite lived in Yamanote (high city) while the merchants and artisans lived in Shitamachi (low city). In 1868 Edo was renamed Tokyo and made the capital of the country coinciding with the welcoming of foreign influences. Tokyo became the epicenter of Western influences and modernization and was the first to have everything: railroads, stone buildings, gas, electricity, trams, telephones, and factories. The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 destroyed all of old Edo and most of Tokyo, which was followed by World War II bombing. The city quickly reinvented itself into one of the world's fastest moving, modern, and vibrant cities. Though Tokyo suffers from lack of urban planning, its transportation systems are extremely efficient with the Yamanote JR line, crisscrossing subway lines, and shinkansen lines that link it with the rest of the country. The beauty of the more traditional neighborhoods can be dwarfed under the glass and steel of skyscrapers, but you can find it in the adornments and details.

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