Tokyo is a busy city bustling with people. Here we have a curated a list of Tokyo wards ranked by population.
Tokyo’s 2024 population is estimated at 37,115,035.
Generally speaking, when we refer to Tokyo Metropolis, we are aware of its prominence as the capital of Japan.
Geographically, Tokyo spans a vast area of 2,194.07 km2 and is located in the Kanto Region on Honshu Island (847.14 sq mi).
One district, four subprefectures (Hachij-Jima, Ogasawara, Miyake, and Shima), 26 cities, and 23 special wards in Tokyo are the divisions of the larger Tokyo area discussed in this article.
The population of Japan is reportedly dropping as a result of unequal numbers of births and deaths, as well as strikes by COVID-19, which significantly damaged the global economy.
We are aware that the greater Tokyo region, with a million residents, is the most populous region in Japan.
However, officials have noticed a downward tendency in the population over the past two (2) years.
In 2019, the estimated population of Tokyo was 13.92 million.
In 2020, the estimated population of Tokyo was 13.5 million.
In 2021, the estimated population number in Tokyo increased to 13.96 million.
In this article, I’ll give you details on Tokyo’s 23 (special) wards to help you learn more about them and rank the wards in Tokyo according to population (starting from the lowest to the highest number of inhabitants). Let’s get started!
What is the most populous Tokyo Ward?
As of February 2024, the most populous ward in Tokyo is Setagaya Ward.
While official 2024 population figures might not be readily available yet, Setagaya Ward consistently held the title of the most populous ward in recent years, with an estimated population exceeding 830,000 in 2020.
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Tokyo Wards Ranked By Population
Area: 11.66 km²
As was already mentioned, of the 23 wards that make up Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku has the fewest residents per square kilometer.
Chiyoda’s estimated population in October 2020 was 66,680. Chiyoda-ku, in contrast to other wards in Tokyo, has no significant historical issues and is currently experiencing some of Japan’s fastest population growth.
- The ward is located in central Tokyo and is surrounded by well-known tourist attractions such as the Imperial Palace, Shrines, museums, and the National Diet Building, which causes it to attract more visitors to the city.
- It is also the center of the current government, which is based on the South American political model in Japan, which can be divided into Congress and the Presidential system.
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Area: 10.21 km2 (3.94 sq mi)
Chuo City is a vibrant ward in the heart of Tokyo that successfully blends modernization and tradition. Chuo-Ku, or Chuo City (in English), is the ward with the second-lowest population in the greater Tokyo area.
The ward was formed in 1947 by the merger of Kyobashi and Nihonbashi, and it is located between the business districts of Shinjuku and Roppongi, with easy access to both.
- Chuo’s business district is densely packed with skyscrapers, high-priced real estate, and corporate behemoths like the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Bank of Japan.
- There are numerous establishments and businesses in the area, including Ricoh’s headquarters and Daiichi Sankyo, a global pharmaceutical company.
- The roads, which are very similar to streets and have short distances between them, allow many people to commute around this area from various sides and parts of Tokyo.
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Area: 10.11 km2 (3.90 sq mi)
Taito Ward is the smallest ward area in Tokyo, and Taito-Ku, or Taito City in English, has the third-lowest population in the entire city.
- Numerous locals and tourists would find Taito’s many landmarks to be interesting and a place they would want to return to or call home. The parks, temples, museums, and zoos are examples of these landmarks. I had a great time staying here.
- It is a place that has a lot to offer me as a visitor, despite the ward having the smallest area in all of Japan. I enjoyed walking in Sumida Park’s waterways, lawns, and other greenery because I felt at ease there.
- The ward is also known for sumo wrestling matches. Although these matches are usually held in the Tokyo area, this part of Tokyo takes great pride in having some of the best sumo wrestlers in the world.
Area: 10.16 km2 (3.92 sq mi)
Among the 23 wards listed, it has the fourth-lowest population. Despite the fact that it does not flow through or contact the ward, the Arakawa River inspired the ward’s name. The wards of Taito, Adachi, Sumida, Bunkyo and Kita surround it.
The area was predominantly agricultural throughout the Edo period. Beginning in the Meiji era, factories were developed along the water’s edge, and the region became industrialized.
The Tokyo Branch Office of MIAT Mongolian Airlines has a lot to offer the ward’s economy. For several years, the stock of a large, efficient Mongolian airline has been rapidly increasing.
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Area: 11.29 km2 (4.36 sq mi)
The amazing Tokyo Dome City, museums, and galleries can be found in Bunkyo-Ku, also known as Bunkyo City in English, which is the fifth-ranked ward.
As previously mentioned, Bunkyo-Ku creates stunning landmarks like the Chinzan-so Garden, which contains historical artifacts and cultural beliefs that aim to be preserved while also allowing visitors to enjoy the lovely garden.
- The festival is known as the Bunkyo Festival and normally runs for 2 weeks, beginning in late April or early May
- It is also a residential and educational facility in the city of Tokyo.
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Area:15.11 km2 (5.83 sq mi)
This special ward ranked 6th with the most minor population among the 23 special wards of Tokyo. Shinjuku Station and Shibuya Station, two of the busiest train stations in the world, are located in this important financial and commercial hub.
The Shibuya family lived in a castle at Shibuya’s historical location from the 11th century through the Edo era. Shibuya eventually developed into a significant commercial and entertainment district as a railway hub for southwest Tokyo.
- Shibuya Ward became the first Japanese municipality to issue same-sex partnership certificates in 2015 after the council approved the “Ordinance for Promoting Respect of Gender Equality and Diversity in the Ward.”
- The scramble crossing, the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, is a landmark of Shibuya and is situated in front of the station.
- There are many businesses in the area that you can find and apply to, including Mixi, Tokyu Corporation, and Nihon Dempa Kogyo
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Area: 20.37 km2 (7.86 sq mi)
It was established in 1947 as a result of the amalgamation of Akasaka, Azabu, and Shiba wards after Tokyo City was transformed into Tokyo Metropolis. It is ranked seventh to least among the 23 special communities of Tokyo.
The contrasting Shitamachi and Yamanote geographical and cultural boundaries are visible in the present-day Minato ward.
Many embassies are also located in Minato, as well as a number of high-tech companies’ regional offices.
- The city of Minato comprises districts and neighborhoods. There are a lot of luxurious residential areas that can be found within the city
- Local and foreign companies are located in this area, one of the reasons why Japanese citizens consider living in Minato is that there are lots of opportunities to obtain
Area: 13.77 km2 (5.32 sq mi)
Sumida is ranked 8th among the 23 special wards. It is in the northeastern part of the mainland portion of Tokyo. The Sumida and Arakawa are the major rivers and form parts of their boundaries.
During the Edo period, the Sumida River was an important part of the water transportation system that supported people’s lives. It was utilized for food transport and travel.
- It is home to Tokyo’s main sumo stadium (Ryogoku Kokugikan) and a famous cherry blossom viewing area along the Sumida River
- Its economy is based on manufacturing and heavy industries, with the largest companies including Sumida Bank, Hanwa Paper Co., Osaka Electric Power, Fuji Jidosha Co., and Aisin Seiki.
- There are lots of notable people in Japan who lived in this ward.
Area: 14.67 km2 (5.66 sq mi)
The name “Meguro,” which means “black eyes,” is derived from Rysenji’s Meguro Fud. The area presently known as Meguro was previously divided into two towns, Meguro proper and Hibusuma, which were all part of Musashi Province’s ancient Ebara District.
The ward’s main attractions include sightseeing and landmarks, particularly green landscapes, cultural institutions, and religious institutions. Amazon Japan, Walt Disney Japan, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and many other prominent corporations have their headquarters in the ward.
Area: 13.01 km2 (5.02 sq mi)
It is surrounded by the wards of Nakano, Shinjuku, and Bunkyo in the south and Nerima, Itabashi, and Kita in the north. Toshima’s land is made up of about 20% commercial and public spaces and 47% residential sections.
In 1932, Sugamoch, Takadach, and Nagasaki were combined to form Toshima. The former city of Tokyo, which borders it and is rapidly growing, is well-known for its shopping and museums.
Area: 15.59 km2 (6.02 sq mi)
The history of the special ward begins when the towns of Nagata and Nakano were merged into the former Tokyo City as Nakano Ward. The ward was established on October 1, 1932.
The ward is only 5 minutes by rail from Shinjuku, a district renowned for its thriving subcultures, distinctive cafes, pubs, and shops selling anime-related merchandise.
As many as 2,000 citizens of Nakano gathered at the Rengazaka Ward Office in Chiyoda Ward on the day that they voted to make the ward officially part of Tokyo City.
Area: 18.23 km2 (7.04 sq mi)
The vast entertainment, business, and shopping district around Shinjuku Station are known as Shinjuku Ward.
With over two million passengers passing through each day, Shinjuku Station is the busiest railway station in the entire globe.
Even though many Japanese corporations have their headquarters or offices there, every employee of every company in Tokyo must pass through Shinjuku Station at least once per day.
While many enterprises still dominate Shinjuku Ward’s skyline, others have migrated outside the ward, and Shinjuku Ward’s influence can be felt throughout the entire city.
Area: 20.61 km2 (7.96 sq mi)
Kita-Ku (northward) is the oldest ward in Tokyo and is home to historic sites. To the east, south, and west lie other special wards: Adachi, Arakawa, Itabashi, Bunkyō, and Toshima.
Kita-Ku is a historical ward and the original site of Tokyo Castle, the government’s administrative center.
The ward is renowned for being working class and conventional, but Kita has gained more recognition outside since the French international school, Lycée Français International de Tokyo, opened in Takinogawa.
Area: 22.84 km2 (8.82 sq mi)
Natural lowlands and uplands, as well as reclaimed terrain, may be found in Shinagawa Ward. The Musashino Terrace ends at the uplands on its eastern side.
The 6,000 rooms offered by numerous large hotels close to the train station, the highest concentration in Tokyo, continue to serve Ward’s historical post-town function today.
The ward has a great contribution to the Japanese economy because of the headquarters, companies, foreign embassies like AIM (American International Management), and residential areas, which are mostly lived by foreigners.
Area: 34.80 km2 (13.44 sq mi)
Katsushika Ward is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tokyo. Katsushika Ward is located in the southeast of Tokyo. It shares boundaries with three wards of Tokyo (Edogawa, Adachi, and Sumida). The ward was established on March 1947
- The ward has the Tokyo Detention House, a prison. Katsushika is home to one of Japan’s seven execution chambers. The ward’s population was one factor in deciding where to place the execution chamber.
- The ratio of immigrants in the ward is extremely high (70 percent foreigners)
Area: 40.16 km2 (15.51 sq mi)
Here we have Koto, a special ward in Tokyo noted for its historically working-class industrial sector.
On the reclaimed ground from Tokyo Bay, reconstruction initiatives have produced upmarket, fashionable commercial and residential neighborhoods. Kameido, Kiba, Kiyosumi, Monzen-nakach, Shirakawa, and Toyosu are some of its principal districts.
- Koto does have one major industrial sector, however, as well as a thriving culinary culture.
- The area’s location close to Tokyo Bay and the convenience of the JR Komagome Station make Kameido a logical choice for investment
Area: 32.22 km2 (12.44 sq mi)
The wooden span that crosses the Shakujii River and gives the ward its name, “plank bridge,” dates back to the Heian era.
On May 3, 1947, it was designated a special ward. Nerima Ward was formed on August 1 of that year by the division of Itabashi into localities.
Every August, cities, and towns all over Japan host sizable fireworks festivals. The Itabashi Fireworks Festival, which features 12,000 fireworks fired into the air over the course of 90 minutes, is one of the biggest of its kind in the country.
Area: 34.06 km2 (13.15 sq mi)
The ward, also known as Suginami City in English, was established on March 15, 1947. The history of the region around Suginami has its roots in the early years of Edo (the ancient period of Japan between 1603 and 1868).
The town has a large number of Shotengai, charmingly retro-covered shopping arcades that provide a unique window into everyday life in Suzuka-Dori (literally translated as bubble city).
40 high school students in the area were hospitalized in 1970 after being exposed to photochemical smog. Due to the incident, more people are now aware of the risks associated with pollution.
Area:53.25 km2 (20.56 sq mi)
The name of the ward is derived from the Sukiya family, who owned much of the land before 1590
It is bordered by the cities of Katsushika, Sumida, Arakawa, and Kita in Tokyo, as well as Kawaguchi, Ska, and Yashio in Saitama.
- The outer ward is roughly triangular in shape, lying to the west and northwest of Tokyo
- Adachi was ranked as the ward with the highest number of crimes among the 23 wards in Tokyo. The higher crime rate can be due to its larger land area and larger population compared to other wards.
Area: 49.90 km2 (19.27 sq mi)
If you like Japanese food, are interested in Japanese culture, and want to see a majestic Ferris Wheel, Edogawa’s Flower and Diamonds could be for you.
In addition, it shares borders with the wards of Katsushika, Sumida, and Kt to the west and the cities of Urayasu and Ichikawa in Chiba Prefecture (to the east).
To the south, Edogawas encircles the greater area of Kudanshita known as the “golden triangle.” This section of Tokyo is home to numerous boutiques and galleries
- Most of the residents of the ward are families
- The Edogawa river is one of the last remaining native rivers left in Tokyo
Area: 59.46 km2 (22].96 sq mi)
On March 15, 1947, the ward was formed by combining the old wards of Mori and Kamata. Ota is the southernmost of the 23 special wards, bordering Shinagawa, Meguro, and Setagaya to the north and Kt to the east.
The Ota hub is centered on the two stations, Kamata and Keiky Kamata, which house the Ota Ward Office and central post office. The Ota ward is currently one of Tokyo’s 23 special wards, with a population of around 1.0 million people.
The district is well-known for its attractive medieval shrines and temples, lush greenery, and several odd streets.
Area: 48.08 km2 (18.56 sq mi)
Nerima-Ku was listed second among Tokyo’s most congested wards. It is a popular ward for economic animations, with four distinct animation makers from four different companies.
Nerima is located on the border between the city of Saitama and the prefecture of Tokyo, however, it is not as densely populated as a much closer ward.
This neighborhood has many educational institutions, including 65 elementary schools, 34 junior high schools, 10 high schools run by the metropolitan government, one international school, and four colleges and universities.
Area: 58.06 km2 (22.42 sq mi)
Of the 22 wards that have been discussed, Setagaya is the most populous ward. The crowded ward is located near the Tama River, which divides the metropolitan area of Tokyo from Kanagawa Prefecture, in the southwest corner of Tokyo’s special wards.
The ward is also divided into five (5) districts: Segataya, Kitazawa, Tamagawa, Kinuta, and Karasuyama, all of which are in the Kanto region.
- Large residential districts, a reputation for living standards that embody an opulent lifestyle, as well as a desirable location for entertainment and notable landmarks, all contribute to Segataya Special Ward’s population density.
- When purchasing a home or apartment in this area, be prepared because prices start at 77,160,000 Yen (703,000 USD), with an average size of 97.02 sqm (1,044 sq. ft).
- The businesses and facilities that the ward can provide to the residents for entertainment, such as Cookie Jar Entertainment, Game Freak, and Rakuten Group, have a positive impact on the ward’s economy.
Tokyo’s Population History
Tokyo has a long history as a major population center in Japan, dating back to its time as the capital city of the country.
The population of Tokyo has grown significantly over the years, particularly in the post-World War II period.
In 1920, the population of Tokyo was around 3.7 million people. By 1945, the population had grown to over 6 million people.
After the war, Tokyo experienced a period of rapid growth, fueled by industrialization and urbanization, as well as population movements from other parts of Japan.
By 1960, the population of Tokyo had surpassed 10 million people, and it continued to grow throughout the 20th century, reaching a peak of over 13 million people in the early 21st century.
However, in recent years, there has been some concern about a decline in Tokyo’s population due to a combination of factors, including an aging population and a low birth rate.
What is the most populous Tokyo Ward?
The most populous ward in Tokyo is the Setagaya Ward, which had an estimated population of over 950,000 people as of 2021.
Setagaya is located in the southwestern part of Tokyo and is known for its residential neighborhoods, shopping areas, and parks.
It is one of the largest wards in Tokyo in terms of area, covering over 58 square kilometers. Other populous wards in Tokyo include Toshima, Edogawa, Adachi, and Nerima.
Which is the least populated ward in Tokyo?
The least populated ward in Tokyo is the tiny island ward of Niijima, which had a population of only 3,214 people as of January 2021.
Niijima is located about 163 kilometers south of central Tokyo and is known for its beautiful beaches, surfing spots, and marine sports.
While it is the least populated ward in Tokyo, it is a popular destination for tourists and visitors looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the island.