Formerly known as Edo, it was already a mammoth city when it became the new capital in 1868. Quickly modernizing and westernizing, it became one of the greatest cities in East Asia (along with Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Sundarapore. However, because of Japanese aggression in the Pan-Global War, it was bombed incessantly, and much of the city was destroyed. After the war, the Japanese rebuilt Tokyo, surpassing the pre-war city in almost every way, except for beauty. Throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, Japan came to be at the forefront of what was derogatively referred to as "Box-Arts", a take off on the "Beaux Arts" (Fine Arts) style of architecture. Tokyo was consistently ranked as one of the world's ugliest cities, until new urban planning, starting in the 1980s, but only beginning to show its results in the late 1990s, started to turn the tide.
Now, Tokyo stands as a monument to capitalism. It is a huge mega-city, but it retains its small neighborhood-centered life. A Tokyoite, when saying where s/he is from to another Tokyoite, will not mention roads or directions. Instead, s/he will say the neighborhood in Tokyo (like "Daikanyama", "Jiyuugaoka", or "Kinshicho", roughly comparable to such neighborhoods as "SoHo", "TriBeCa", "Harlem", and others in New York City), and the other person will usually know exactly where s/he is referring to.
Tokyo is in the "Kanto" region of Japan, in the mid-eastern seaboard area. Tokyo has 23 wards (again, comparable to boroughs in New York).