The Kantō (関東) region of Japan, on the eastern side of the main island Honshu, is a broad plain dominated by and nearly synonymous with the megalopolis of Tokyo and its suburbs.
|| Tokyo |
contains not just the biggest city in the world, but mountains and semitropical islands too
|| Chiba |
suburban sprawl to the east and the site of Narita of airport fame
|| Saitama |
suburban sprawl to the north, with a wealth of unique and worthwhile destinations.
|| Tochigi |
popular escape known for historical site Nikko and many hot springs
|| Gunma |
mountains and hot springs to the north of Tokyo
|| Ibaraki |
coastal prefecture containing the hometown of natto, Mito
- Chiba - another Tokyo offshoot to the east
- Kawasaki - suburb sandwiched between Tokyo and Yokohama
- Tokyo - capital of Japan, largest city in Japan
- Yokohama - officially Japan's 2nd largest city, in practice a giant Tokyo suburb
- Kamakura - temple town within easy striking distance of Tokyo
- Nikko - the grandiose mausoleum of the Tokugawa shoguns
- Atami - coastal hot spring resort a short Shinkansen hop from Tokyo
- Kinugawa - former hot spring boomtown fallen on hard times
- Mashiko - town of clay pots and steam locos
Most visitors arrive in the Kanto region via Tokyo, and most of those arrive via Narita Airport, Japan's main international gateway.
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.
The Kanto dialect is the base of the standard Japanese taught in schools and spoken on TV. However, elderly people in some rural areas such as Ibaraki and Tochigi speak particular dialects which differ from standard Japanese.
The Michelin Guide gave more stars to Kanto (Tokyo) dining establishments than any other city in Japan.
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.