難波の南蛮、戎橋の夷。

Mapping Japanese City Spaces: Greater Tokyo

Now that I’ve written about some major but relatively simple urban areas to introduce the topic, I figured I should address the Big One.  Greater Tokyo.  This is the most populous urban area in human history.  Many other cities proper around the world are more populous than the Tokyo Ward Zone (the closest thing to a City of Tokyo), and some are even a lot denser.  But none go on the way Greater Tokyo does, stretching on for miles across multiple prefectures and including other cities of over a million (three going on four!) as satellites.  And it’s certainly changed over the years.  This is gonna be a reeeeeal long post…

 


 

You can click on any map to enlarge it.

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

 

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

 

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

 


 

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1960

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1960

Greater Tokyo was already one of the most populous urban areas in the world by 1960.  At the time it was still dominated by the Tokyo Ward Zone proper, where almost two-thirds of the urban population lived.  Interestingly, a lot of what is now part of Greater Tokyo was still independent, including the significant city of Hachioji in Tokyo Prefecture itself, as well as lots of scattered small cities in Saitama Prefecture.

Tokyo-Yokohama-Kawasaki Metro Area     12,237,406     1st
Hachioji Metro Area     93,464     54th     (Tokyo)
Kumagaya Micro Area     45,549     95th     (Saitama)
Gyoda Micro Area     22,884     (Saitama)
Noda Micro Area     21,884     (Chiba)
Miura Micro Area     19,107     (Kanagawa)
Ome Micro Area     18,686     (Tokyo)
Fukaya Micro Area     16,860     (Saitama)
Fussa Micro Area     16,027     (Tokyo)
Hadano Micro Area     15,684     (Kanagawa)
Kisarazu Micro Area     15,164     (Chiba)
Mobara Micro Area     14,950     (Chiba)
Hanno Micro Area     13,877     (Saitama)
Atsugi Micro Area     12,779     (Kanagawa)
Higashimatsuyama Micro Area     12,238     (Saitama)
Kazo Micro Area     11,274     (Saitama)
Iwatsuki Micro Area     10,873     (Saitama)
Sayama Micro Area     10,119     (Saitama)

Tokyo Ward Zone     8,108,157     1st
66.3% of metro area

Yokohama City     1,116,591     5th
9.1% of metro area

Kawasaki City     565,657     7th
4.6% of metro area

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1960

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1960

Population was highly concentrated in Tokyo, with many wards over 20,000 people per square kilometer, and Taito (think Asakusa) at almost 32,000 /km^2, a density not seen in current-day Japan.  At the same time, Tokyo proper wasn’t completely urbanized yet, with the ragged edges of wards like Nerima, Adachi, and Edogawa attesting to rural areas at the periphery.  Note also the far less extensive facilities of Tokyo Harbor.  Odaiba hadn’t been created yet, and the harbor still retained three of its 19th-century island forts.

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1960

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1960

Urban Yokohama in 1960 was still centered around the prominent cape that defined Yokohama Harbor, with only a few small dense neighborhoods in Yokohama’s vast rural inlands.

 


 

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1970

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1970

By 1970, Greater Tokyo was already arguably the largest and most populous urban area on the planet, passing New York and London.  Suburban expansion was extremely rapid.  To the north in Saitama, “fingers” of development began to extend along major rail lines.  To the east in Chiba, large satellite cities developed next to Tokyo while new industrial cities emerged further along the coast.  To the west in Tokyo itself, the prefecture began to “fill in” with satellite cities, some already at or near 100% urbanization of land.  To the south in Kanagawa, the rural interior began to fill with suburbs in a more haphazard pattern.  Suburbanization also meant decentralization as Tokyo proper’s share of the population plummeted, and the dense core was rapidly losing people and “hollowing out”.

Tokyo-Yokohama-Tachikawa Metro Area     18,303,422     1st     + 49.6%
Kimitsu Micro Area     65,089     86th     + 329.2%     + 181 ranks     (Chiba)
Kumagaya Metro Area     63,419     87th     + 39.2%     + 8 ranks     (Saitama)
Ichihara Metro Area     53,408     101st     [new DID]     (Chiba)
Noda Micro Area     30,320     + 38.5%     (Chiba)
Atsugi Micro Area     28,744     + 124.9%     (Kanagawa)
Fukaya Micro Area     26,316     + 56.1%     (Saitama)
Gyoda Micro Area     23,051     + 0.7%     (Saitama)
Hanno Micro Area     19,382     + 39.7%     (Saitama)
Higashimatsuyama Micro Area     19,047     + 55.6%     (Saitama)
Ome Micro Area     28,423     + 52.1%     (Tokyo)
Kazo Micro Area     15,623     + 38.6%     (Saitama)
Mobara Micro Area     18,345     + 22.7%     (Chiba)
Hanyu Micro Area     12,431     + 31.3%     (Saitama)

Tokyo Ward Zone     8,793,123     1st     + 8.4%
48.0% of metro area     – 18.3% of metro area

Yokohama City     1,935,412     3rd     + 73.3%     + 2 ranks
10.6% of metro area     + 1.5% of metro area

Kawasaki City    907,004     7th     + 60.3%
5.0% of metro area     + 0.4% of metro area

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1970

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1970

While the suburbs of Tokyo expanded in every direction, the dense city center lost population.  Especially affected were Chiyoda and Chuo wards (the central business and government district), and Taito and Arakawa wards (formerly the densest part of the ward zone).  Toshima and Nakano wards remained dense, though, moving the residential center of Tokyo west somewhat.
Despite major loss in the densest areas, Tokyo proper still grew in population in the 1960s due to expansion and development of its rural outskirts.  Note also the major increase in artificial land in the harbor.

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1970

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1970

Yokohama began to take on a suburban character from the 1960s, with residential developments rapidly growing in the formerly rural inlands.  Port facilities in Yokohama and Isogo Harbors also expanded, radically changing the coastline and accounting for an apparent drop in population density.  The vast and rapid changes in the city caused it to leap ahead two ranks in population, and its share of the overall metro area increased even as Tokyo’s share dropped.
Kawasaki also grew inland, beginning to take shape as a long strip of urban land.

 


 

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1980

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1980

Greater Tokyo continued to expand and suburbanize through the 1970s.  By 1980 the area had more or less taken on its distinctive current shape: Saitama’s “railway fingers”, Chiba’s low-density industrial coast, Tokyo Prefecture’s solid ovoid of urban development, and Kanagawa’s complicated patchwork of residential areas.  Expansion of the employment area accelerated during this period, as more small neighboring cities fell into Tokyo’s orbit.  Some small urban areas temporarily split from Greater Tokyo, oddly enough.  At the same time, Tokyo proper had begun losing population to its own suburbs, a phenomenon more often associated with American and European cities.

NOTE: By Tokyo University’s calculations, Narita was already a satellite of Tokyo in 1980, based on the definition of Chiba as a secondary core of the metropolitan area.  By strict application of their definitions, though, Chiba did not meet the requirements of a core city until 1995.  Minus the influence of Chiba, my calculations show Narita to have remained independent until 1995.

Tokyo-Yokohama-Kawasaki Metro Area     23,436,297     1st     + 28.0%
Kumagaya Metro Area     80,340     83rd     + 26.7%     + 4 ranks     (Saitama)
Kimitsu Micro Area     66,809     92th     + 2.6%     – 6 ranks     (Chiba)
Ome Metro Area     53,188     + 87.1%     (Tokyo)
Fukaya Micro Area     42,579     + 61.8%     (Saitama)
Hanno Micro Area     33,296     + 71.8%     (Saitama)
Gyoda Micro Area     31,370     + 36.1%     (Saitama)
Narita Micro Area     30,088     + 201.8%     (Chiba)
Higashimatsuyama Micro Area     27,644     + 45.1%     (Saitama)
Samukawa Micro Area     21,651     [split from Tokyo]     (Kanagawa)
Kazo Micro Area     19,931     + 27.6%     (Saitama)
Hanyu Micro Area     14,561     + 17.1%     (Saitama)
Mizuh Micro Area     12,232     [split from Tokyo]     (Tokyo)

Tokyo Ward Zone     8,351,893     1st     – 5.0%
35.6% of metro area     – 12.4% of metro area

Yokohama City     2,594,398     3rd     + 34.0%
11.1% of metro area     + 0.5% of metro area

Kawasaki City     1,015,620     8th     + 12.0%     – 1 rank
4.3% of metro area     – 0.7% of metro area

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1980

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1980

By 1980, Tokyo proper had finally urbanized 100% of its surface area, but the ward zone had already lost more than 400,000 people since 1970.  The population loss was most pronounced in the formerly densest wards.  Taito-Arakawa and Shinagawa practically evaporated as major residential centers, and overall population density was beginning to diffuse and become more uniformly spread across all wards.

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1980

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1980

Yokohama’s rural inlands continued to fill with residents, but like Tokyo the city center was slowly starting to lose population.
Kawasaki’s growth slowed a little, but the city had become large enough to be divided into wards, showing a distinct concentration of population at the center.

 


 

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1990

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 1990

The pace of Tokyo’s suburban sprawl slowed in the 1980s.  Already urbanized areas grew in density, while small developments continued to emerge around the edges and more local cities joined the employment area.   By this point, Chiba had extensively reshaped its coastline with artificial land, mostly for steelworks and refineries.

Tokyo-Yokohama-Kawasaki Metro Area     26,973,979     1st     + 15.1%
Kumagaya Metro Area     149,564     65th     + 86.2%     + 18 ranks
Kisarazu-Kimitsu Metro Area     110,591     80th     + 65.5%     + 12 ranks
Narita Metro Area     54,734     + 81.9%
Gyoda Micro Area     44,828     + 42.9%
Kazo Micro Area     28,390     + 42.4%
Hanyu Micro Area     18,089     + 24.2%

Tokyo Ward Zone     8,163,573     1st     – 2.3%
30.3% of metro area     – 5.3% of metro area

Yokohama City     3,080,051     2nd     + 18.7%     + 1 rank
11.4% of metro area     + 0.3% of metro area

Kawasaki City     1,158,209     9th     + 14.0%     – 1 rank
4.2% of metro area     – 0.1% of metro area

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1990

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 1990

Tokyo continued to lose population and even out into a more uniform density, hollow at the center where the business, government, and high-end retail districts were.

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1990

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 1990

In the 1980s, Yokohama passed Osaka to become the second most populous city in Japan.  With suburban sprawl slowing, Yokohama’s residential wards mostly increased in density rather than area, especially Konan south of the city center.  At the same time, downtown Nishi-ku had dropped in density to the point of near uniformity with the suburbs.
Kawasaki had lost some ranking to other cities, but continued to grow at a good pace and increase in density overall.

 


 

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 2000

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 2000

Greater Tokyo reached the height of its decentralization in the mid-1990s.  Tokyo proper accounted for just over a fourth of the urban area, as opposed to almost two thirds in 1960.  Suburban sprawl had largely stalled, with existing districts mostly increasing in density rather than surface area.  At the same time, Tokyo’s population loss was stalling too, and the trends were beginning to reverse…

Tokyo-Yokohama-Kawasaki Metro Area     28,817,981     1st     + 6.8%
Kumagaya Metro Area     170,494     65th     + 14.0%
Kisarazu Metro Area     32,700     75th     + 20.0%     + 5 ranks
Gyoda Metro Area     53,000     + 18.2%
Mizuho Micro Area     22,898     [split from Tokyo]
Hanyu Micro Area     22,454     + 24.1%

Tokyo Ward Zone     8,134,688     1st     – 0.4%
28.2% of metro area     – 2.1% of metro area

Yokohama City     3,338,859     2nd     + 8.4%
11.6% of metro area     + 0.2% of metro area

Kawasaki City    1,241,704     9th     + 7.2%
4.3% of metro area     + 0.1% of metro area

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 2000

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 2000

From the 1970 peak of almost 8.8 million, the Tokyo Ward Zone reached its nadir in 1995 at just under 8 million.  By 2000, though, it was actually growing again for the first time since the late 1960s- very slowly at first.
Note: the apparent “fragmentation” of Tokyo Harbor is due to the Japanese government changing the way it surveyed urban areas to incorporate more detail.

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 2000

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 2000

Yokohama experienced a burst of development in the north that formed the new low-density residential ward of Tsuzuki out of a formerly rural area in Midori-ku.  Apart from that, both Yokohama and Kawasaki generally increased in density overall, and the city centers had largely stopped losing population.

 


 

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 2010

Greater Tokyo Metro Area, 2010

A new trend has emerged in Japan’s largest urban areas.  After decades of suburban decentralization, they are recentralizing.  After losing some 800,000 people from 1970 to 1995, the Tokyo Ward Zone has already recovered that number to set a new population record!  At the same time, the suburbs and satellite cities continue to increase in density.  The Greater Tokyo employment area absorbed some significant local cities over the 2000s, like Kumagaya and Kisarazu, but some notable cities actually broke off and became independent, like Narita and Koga.
Greater Tokyo, having passed 30 million people even excluding rural areas, is still decisively the world’s most populous urban area, though some Asian cities (especially Seoul) are beginning to approach the same scale.

Tokyo-Yokohama-Kawasaki Metro Area     31,331,790     1st     + 8.7%
Narita Metro Area     115,221     80th     [split from Tokyo]
Koga Metro Area     71,677     97th     [split from Tokyo]
Mizuho Micro Area     23,272     + 1.6%

Tokyo Ward Zone     8,945,695     1st     + 10.0%
28.6% of metro area     + 0.4% of metro area

Yokohama City     3,589,469     2nd     + 7.5%
11.5% of metro area     – 0.1% of metro area

Kawasaki City     1,417,671     7th     + 14.2%     + 2 ranks
4.5% of metro area     + 0.2% of metro area

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 2010

Tokyo Ward Zone Detail, 2010

As Greater Tokyo recentralizes, the wards that are growing the most are the same dense and central areas that emptied of people from 1960 onwards.  Central Tokyo is quickly going from hollow to filled-in, especially Chuo-ku, though Chiyoda remains a non-residential district dominated by government and finance centers.  The belt of wards to the north, long the densest area of Tokyo and long the region that was losing the most population, is now recovering too, with Toshima-ku especially increasing in density.

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 2010

Yokohama and Kawasaki Detail, 2010

Yokohama continues to slowly increase in density, but now Nishi-ku in the city center is growing markedly and becoming distinctly dense again.  At the same time, Yokohama’s share of Greater Tokyo population is decreasing for the first time as the area recentralizes around Tokyo.
Kawasaki is experiencing a major boom that has caused it to jump in rank, and in keeping with the trends the wards that have grown the most are already the densest central ones- Saiwai and Nakahara.

 

If there’s any city or region of Japan you’d like to see, just ask me in the comments!  Really, I do requests!

 

National land numerical information (densely inhabited district data)
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
1960: A16-60_08_DID.shp, A16-60_11_DID.shp, A16-60_12_DID.shp, A16-60_13_DID.shp, A16-60_14_DID.shp
1965: A16-65_08_DID.shp, A16-65_11_DID.shp, A16-65_12_DID.shp, A16-65_13_DID.shp, A16-65_14_DID.shp, A16-65_19_DID.shp
1970:
A16-70_08_DID.shp, A16-70_11_DID.shp, A16-70_12_DID.shp, A16-70_13_DID.shp, A16-70_14_DID.shp, A16-70_19_DID.shp
1975: A16-75_08_DID.shp, A16-75_11_DID.shp, A16-75_12_DID.shp, A16-75_13_DID.shp, A16-75_14_DID.shp, A16-75_19_DID.shp
1980: A16-80_08_DID.shp, A16-80_11_DID.shp, A16-80_12_DID.shp, A16-80_13_DID.shp, A16-80_14_DID.shp, A16-80_19_DID.shp
1985: A16-85_08_DID.shp, A16-85_11_DID.shp, A16-85_12_DID.shp, A16-85_13_DID.shp, A16-85_14_DID.shp, A16-85_19_DID.shp
1990: A16-90_08_DID.shp, A16-90_09_DID.shp, A16-90_11_DID.shp, A16-90_12_DID.shp, A16-90_13_DID.shp, A16-90_14_DID.shp, A16-90_19_DID.shp
1995: A16-95_08_DID.shp, A16-95_09_DID.shp, A16-95_11_DID.shp, A16-95_12_DID.shp, A16-95_13_DID.shp, A16-95_14_DID.shp, A16-95_19_DID.shp
2000: A16-00_08_DID.shp, A16-00_09_DID.shp, A16-00_11_DID.shp, A16-00_12_DID.shp, A16-00_13_DID.shp, A16-00_14_DID.shp, A16-00_19_DID.shp
2005: A16-05_08_DID.shp, A16-05_09_DID.shp, A16-05_11_DID.shp, A16-05_12_DID.shp, A16-05_13_DID.shp, A16-05_14_DID.shp, A16-05_19_DID.shp
2010: A16-10_08_DID.shp, A16-10_09_DID.shp, A16-10_11_DID.shp, A16-10_12_DID.shp, A16-10_13_DID.shp, A16-10_14_DID.shp, A16-10_19_DID.shp
Processed and edited in ArcGIS Explorer
Microsoft Bing Maps used as basemap

Advertisements

One response

  1. Matt

    I just wanted to say fantastic work! As a student of Urban Planning I really appreciate what you have done here (as well as long for my old life living in Tokyo).

    May 2, 2014 at 12:45 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s