Tokyo Tales: 40 Engaging Facts About the City’s Rich Heritage and Modernity

26Harness Energy From Footsteps

Harness Energy From Footsteps

Japan converts footsteps into renewable energy in Tokyo train stations and uses it to power billboards around the city, using special floorboards that turn vibration into energy.

27. At one of Tokyo's busiest train stations, a rail line (Shibuya Station Toyoko Line) was converted from an above-ground line into a subway. There were zero service interruptions. The lowering of the rail line's tracks into its subway position was done in one night, during its normal service off-hours lasting approximately 4 hours.

28. Sogen Kato was believed to be the oldest man alive in Tokyo at 111 years old until his mummified corpse was found in his bedroom. He died at 79 and his family simply never reported this to authorities.

29. There is a hedgehog cuddling cafe (Harry hedgehog cafe) in Tokyo.

30. Tokyo Disneyland is not owned or operated by Disney, but by a Japanese company that licenses the theme from Disney.

31Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower was constructed of steel, 1/3 of which was scrap metal taken from US tanks damaged in the Korean War and is frequently used in the Japanese kaiju film genre. It's been the location of climactic 'battles' between Godzilla, Mothra, and King Kong wherein it's frequently destroyed and rebuilt.

32. Tokyo can be divided into two areas, the Yamanote which refers to the affluent, upper-class of Tokyo, and the Shitamachi which literally means "low city". This class and geographic division has remained strong through the centuries and is still in common use today.

33. In Tokyo, at 5pm, in a lot of places, an instrumental version of ‘Yuyaku Koyake’, a Japanese children’s folk song dating back to 1919, plays over loud speakers every day to let children know that playtime is over and it’s time to go home.

34. Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland was once home to the Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour, an attraction involving encounters with classic Disney villains. This featured a finale with The Horned King from The Black Cauldron, making it one of the only uses of that 

35. The Jimbōchō Book Town which is located in Tokyo's Kanda-Jinbōchō district constitutes roughly one-third of all secondhand bookstores in Japan.

36KitKat Sushi

KitKat Sushi

For a limited time in 2017, Tokyo’s KitKat Chocolatory shop made three types of chocolate bars that were sushi-inspired but didn't actually taste like raw fish.

37. Some buildings in Tokyo have postal codes for each floor of the building, which causes some wards to have hundreds of postal codes. In particular, Minato-ku has over 800.

38. In 1805 near Shinmei Shrine in Tokyo, a street fight erupted between the Megumi firefighters and a group of Sumo wrestlers. This event was later adapted into a kabuki play, 'Kami no Megumi Wago no Torikumi.'

39. The location chosen for Narita International Airport in Tokyo was very controversial. Some locals resisted violently. There were riots, bombings, little old ladies being dragged out of houses by police. Several people died.

40. Ebisu, a major district in Tokyo, is named after the beer that used to be brewed there.