Tokyo: Largest City in the Known Universe (and Props to Alasdair Rae)

Tokyo: Largest City in the Known Universe (and Props to Alasdair Rae) - AkihabaraNews.com

Perspective Geekery
Over the past week or 10 days or so on the Japan-focused internets, this black and red Natural Earth map (we think that’s the projection) has been passed around quite a bit. There really are too many sub-sources to cite, but because they’re actually cool people and not content poachers, TokyoDesu.com is one we’ll mention (and recommend).

Detailed are the nations of the world with populations exceeded by that of the Tokyo Metropolis, which, at current estimates, is around 37.2 million souls. The map starkly illustrates this reality on a global scale: Tokyo has more residents than 136 nations of the world - for the number likers, that’s about 70%.

Discussion, reference, and contextualization of Tokyo’s massive population vis-à-vis geographical area are favorites around here. Some stuff:

  • Population of Japan: ~127 Million (11th overall)
  • Tokyo Metro Land Area: 13,500 km² (5,200 mi²), second in size only to the New York Metro Area at 30,671 km² (11,842 mi²), whose population Tokyo’s exceeds by about 17 million people. Which means that, if New York had Tokyo’s population density, it would be home to about 73 million people. Holy crap.
  • Japan’s Urbanized Population: 91.3%
  • Habitable Land Area: ~30% of total, which means Japan’s entire population is squeezed into an area about 30% the size of the state of California or the nation of Germany.
  • Just for Fun - Obesity Rate: 5% (157th overall; the rest of you chubbehs, get to work!)

And to those who take issue with the issue, trolling on about how Tokyo isn’t a city, it’s a collection of 23 special wards and stuff blah blah blah... and whatnot, firstly we say SHHHH!! Secondly, while we’re aware of the system of incorporation, we advise naysayers to go anywhere in the Metro Area, take a look around, and ask themselves Does basically everywhere look like a city? And then thirdly, we say See? Now SHHHHHHHH. And we win.

Obsessors on Geography & Social Stats Unite!
You certainly don’t have to live in Japan or Tokyo to appreciate the awesomeness; case in point: the creator of this lovely little map is Professor Alasdair Rae, a senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, U.K. And sincerely, we thank him - it warms our dorky hearts to share the work of a like-minded perspective nerd. By the way, it would take ~23 Sheffield Metro Areas to equal 1 Tokyo!

There’s only one aspect of Professor Rae’s map with which we disagree; he comments:

“Yes, it’s a bit pointless, but it’s also true…”

On the contrary, the profound reality this map illustrates actually calls up some very important points for all of humanity. Given its massive, dense population:

  • Why is Tokyo so safe?
  • Why is Tokyo so clean?
  • How is it possible that all these people manage to commute?
  • Not a single building in Tokyo collapsed from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, why/how?
  • And, perhaps most importantly, what can all the nations of the world, particularly the really screwed up ones, learn from what is, in many ways, the singular vanguard of human civility?

But okay, we can forgive that little point because dude made an awesome map and also because it's hard to be a smartass when you're a professor.

If you dig this stuff like we do, check out Professor Rae’s academic profile here, take a look at his exquisitely geektastic blog, Under the Raedar, and give him a follow on Twitter. We're sure that he has better things to do with his time than complain about proper attribution, but still - he deserves the props.

At last, here’s the map. Click to go the full-size original.

Countries with a Smaller Population than Tokyo:

Another of our Favorites:

[RELATED]
Tokyo Metropolis: 36 Million Human Beings as Seen from Above (VIDEO)

• • •

Main Image: Professor Alasdair Rae, PhD - Not Used with Permission; We Hope He’s Okay with That
Reference: CIA World Factbook and a Bunch of Other Stuff

Source: 

Related Articles

AkihabaraNews on YouTube!

AkihabaraNews on YouTube
The weekly roundup of our new, original tech videos from here in Tokyo and all over Japan, plus favorites from our partners and the best clips from the past week's posts - subscribe and automate! 

TokyoStreetView: Japanese Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani (4K VIDEO)
Jigokudani Yaen-Koen, known for its many onsen (hot spring baths), is located in the Yokoyu Valley in Nagano Prefecture. Like the humans that come to bathe, there is a large population of Japanese Macaques (snow monkeys) that also frequent the hot springs.
Tokyo Street Shots - AkihabaraNews.com

Introducing:
Tokyo Street Shots

Tokyo Police Use Ninja Skills to End 8-Hour Standoff
We can’t definitively report that the Tokyo Police employ actual ninjas per se - but, this did happen in the capital of Ninja Land, and it does shows two undeniably badass Tokyo cops rappelling from the roof and bursting into a 14th-floor high-rise apartment.
Holding Up the Tokyo Monorail (4K VIDEO)
If it weren't for the wear and obvious age of the cars and elevated tracks, you'd be forgiven for judging the Tokyo Monorail as futuristic and technologically marvelous. And even if the big, big city is old hat, it's hard not to be moved by that ride - but what's holding up the 51-year-old inverted anachronism?
Japanese Laser Bacon and Other Food Hacks (VIDEO)
Kentaro Fukuchi, the mad bacon scientist and math sciences professor, and Hiroshi Takai, a Maker and film producer, are the driving force behind the desire to do something with food that’s never been done: map and cook bacon with a high-powered, precision laser cutter.
Top 5 Japanese Tech Videos of the Week - AkihabaraNews.com
1) Traditional Japanese dolls being traditional, (2) Micro-optical resonators creating wallets for light, (3) Teaser video for live action Attack on Titan movie, (4) CASIO throws down on the G-SHOCK marketing, and (5) Summer taiko drumming performance in Ebisu!

TokyoStreetView - June 08, 2015

TokyoStreetView: Ginza (4K VIDEO)
Several centuries before Ginza became synonymous with luxury, it was actually a swamp. Only after a major fire in 1872 that burnt down most of the larger area did the Meiji government decided to rebuild it into a model of modernization!

At AkihabaraNews, we don't rest until we uncover all the most important news in Japan.  Here is some news, for those in need, from Muripo...

 

If your car’s due for a car wash, and if you’re feeling a little pervy, Akihabara has the perfect car wash service for you. For a limited time until 8/30, a team of cute girls wearing standard-issue school swimsuits will clean your car for exorbitant prices.

Mirrored TOKYO Will Melt Your Brain (FLASHBACKERY)
The contiguous urbanization, beginning at Tokyo Bay, crawls westward and disappears beneath the sky, farther than we can see - not only by distance, but also due to the basic curvature of the earth. It’s just that vast. Okay, now double that. Twist and turn. Reflect. Go upside down and merge it all together in a videographic collage...
Tokyo Street Shots - AkihabaraNews.com

Tokyo Street Shots
Panasonic GH4 & Legs Special Edition

• Collection 3 - SET #3 • 

Pages