In feudal times, Kanto was the home of the Tokugawa shogunate and Edo (modern Tokyo) the military seat of power, while the western region of Kansai represented commerce (Osaka) and culture (Kyoto). But the pendulum shifted decisively in Tokyo's favor after the 1868 Meiji Restoration when the Emperor moved to Tokyo, and today Kanto sets the pace that the rest of Japan tries to follow.
- Chiba - suburban sprawl to the east and the site of Narita of airport fame
- Gunma - mountains and hot springs to the north of Tokyo
- Ibaraki - coastal prefecture containing the hometown of natto, Mito
- Kanagawa - suburban sprawl to the south containing Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, and Kawasaki
- Saitama - suburban sprawl to the north containing very little
- Tochigi - popular escape known for historical site Nikko and many hot springs
- Tokyo - contains not just the biggest city in the world, but mountains and semitropical islands too
- Chiba - another Tokyo offshoot to the east
- Kawasaki - suburb sandwiched between Tokyo and Yokohama
- Tokyo - capital of Japan, largest city in the world
- Yokohama - officially Japan's 2nd largest city, in practice a giant Tokyo suburb
- Chichibu-Tama National Park - mountain hiking within easy striking distance of Tokyo
- Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park - for hot springs and views of Fuji
- Atami - coastal hot spring resort a short Shinkansen hop from Tokyo
- Enoshima - Japan's surfing paradise in style and attitude (a shame there isn't much in the way of waves)
- Kamakura - temple town within easy striking distance of Tokyo
- Kinugawa - former hot spring boomtown fallen on hard times
- Mashiko - town of clay pots and steam locos
- Mount Fuji - although it's in neighboring Chubu, the tallest mountain in Japan is accessible from Tokyo
- Nikko - the grandiose mausoleum of the Tokugawa shoguns
The Kanto dialect is the base of the standard Japanese taught in schools and spoken on TV.
Compared with their western cousins in Kansai, the people of Kanto prefer dark soy to light soy, thin buckwheat soba noodles to fat wheat udon and appreciate the taste of the odoriferous fermented soy bean product natto.
This page was last edited at 19:01, on 9 July 2008 by Wikitravel user Episteme. Based on work by Jani Patokallio, Evan Prodromou and Paul N. Richter, Wikitravel user(s) Mnd, Nzpcmad and Nils and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.