The capital of Japan, Tokyo is the country's most populous city. The city itself has a population of around 14 million, with the metropolitan region having a population of around 38 million. Tokyo is located in the central Southern coast of the country, reaching out into Tokyo Bay.
Edo was a small fishing village, established some time in the 12th century by the Edo clan. A castle was built, Edo Castle, in 1457 in Edo. A military leader called Tokugawa Ieyasu made Edo his base in 1590, and when he became the shogun (military leader of Japan), Edo became the military headquarters. Over time, this led to Edo becoming the capital of Japan, even though the emperor lived in another city (Kyoto).
In 1869, the emperor of Japan moved to Edo, making Edo Castle the Imperial Palace (the residence of the emperor) and the city was renamed to Tokyo, and has been the official capital city of Japan since 1889.
Since Japan was on the side of the Axis powers in World War 2, Tokyo was heavily bombed by US-led forces, causing the population of the city to drop and widespread destruction. After the war, the city was rebuilt and began to develop into the economic powerhouse it is today.
Tokyo was originally called Edo, which translates to "estuary". When Edo became the capital of Japan, it was renamed to Tokyo, meaning "Eastern capital".