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.