International Map Year ICA
Welcome to Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo!

• 10 Reasons Why Tokyo is Ideal for ICC 2019

Diverse Maps in Japan

Diverse Maps in Japan

1. Showcasing the Diversity of Cartography in Japan

The looks and the usage of maps are quite different in every country and culture around the world. The biggest difference between the East and West in terms of cartography originates back to the written characters used in our daily communication. The Japanese people use Chinese characters which are ideograms and Western writings are shown in phonograms. This distinct difference and the development of rich visual communication method in Japan led to the evolvement of a very unique map culture in our country. A wide variety of maps exist in Japan, from well-organised maps composed by cartographers, to user-friendly maps created by graphic designers for specific users. Maps featuring patisseries in the neighbourhood, shrines and temples for special interest groups, and stamp rallies for children, are unique to our country.

Japan, being a nation challenged by frequent natural disasters such as tsunamis and typhoons, also has high knowledge and technology in creating maps for disaster management. They are not only used for rescue actions but are applied for disaster prevention and prediction.

For ICC 2019, we plan to hold a Local Map Exhibition to share these mapping technology and culture of Japan. Particularly for the disaster management maps, we wish to share our knowledge with countries and regions facing similar natural disaster risks and support them in finding solutions to the challenges.

Stamp of Ino

Memorial stamp of Ino

Ino Map

1:20,000 topological map around
Shinjuku Area in Tokyo (1887)

2. The 150th Anniversary of Cartography in Japan

The year 2019 marks the 150th Anniversary of the very first national land survey in Japan conducted in 1869. Going back 50 years, Tadataka Inō, a Japanese surveyor and cartographer, completed the first map of Japan, using modern surveying techniques, already applying the idea of longitude and latitude. The maps and land surveys developed in the following years were all based on the Inō maps, known for its high precision and quality. The year 2018 is the 200th Anniversary of Inō’s death.

The Japan Local Committee is highly motivated to celebrate the two memorable years with our fellow members of the International Cartographic Association (ICA).

3. The Perfect Timing to Visit Tokyo - The Site for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Tokyo was selected as the site for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and is now seeing a rapid advancement in the City’s infrastructure. In welcoming the increasing number of international visitors, maps and signage in multiple languages are common all over Tokyo and are being improved further.

ICC 2019 will be a great opportunity for cartographers to see and test the usability of the printed maps and original mobile applications prepared for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. ICC delegates are invited to give their feedback on their feasibility during the Conference.

Venue in Tokyo

Location of the Venues

4. Japan’s Continuing Contribution to the International Cartographic Community

The International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM), managing the progress of the digital geospatial datasets of the whole globe (Global Map), plays a significant role in the field of cartography. The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) has not only participated in the project, but has served as the Secretariat of ISCGM since its establishment in 1996. In addition, GSI has provided technical assistance to National Geospatial Information Authorities (NGIAs) in developing countries.

The Japanese government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have continuously supported developing countries in national mapping and surveying. GSI also provides educational courses for technical managers working at National Surveying and Mapping Organizations (NMOs) and NGIAs in the respective countries.

5. Japan’s Longstanding Contribution to ICA

The Japan Cartographers Association (JCA), established in 1962, has been the National Member of ICA for more than 50 years. Japan was one of the founding members and has contributed to almost every activity of ICA, including national reports, international cartographic exhibition and the Barbara Petchenik Children's Map Competition.

The current president of JCA, Takashi Morita, is the former vice-president of ICA. Three vice-presidents, five honoured members, five commission chairs and three Awards Committee members of ICA have been selected from Japan. Thus, we are familiar with the ICA activities and culture, understanding the expectations of ICC participants.

6. Strong Support for Young Researchers

For ICC2019, we will support young researchers and researchers from developing countries to attend the Conference, to provide a wider opportunity for those who would bear the future of cartography to meet the leaders in our field and get a hands-on experience of our unique map culture. The support program will cover the fees for travel, accommodation and Conference registration for 50 young researchers.

7. Strong Support from All Related Associations and Industries

Many related associations and industries such as the GIS Association of Japan and the Association of Japanese Geographers have already shown support to ICC 2019 in Tokyo. The national government as well as the host City have also expressed their support. With the strong support of these local partners, we are confident that ICC in Tokyo will be a great success.

8. Great Support from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Government Support

Supports from the Goverment

In addition to the support from related industries, Tokyo Metropolitan Government offers financial support of JPY 10,000,000 (approximately EUR 74,074*) to subsidise the venue rental and/or travel costs of the invited overseas participants and registered accompanying persons. Furthermore, in-kind support of complimentary cultural programmes for 60 persons and half-day city tours for 320 persons will be offered. *EUR 1= JPY 135

9. Promised Safety, Cleanliness and Hospitality


Japan has a notably low violent crime rate amongst the 192 U.N. countries, according to the survey of UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). In Tokyo, participants can rest assured that they are in a safe and secure environment, meaning ICC delegates could enjoy exploring the City by themselves with a map in hand. What is more, Tokyo is famous for its cleanliness. The most advanced waterworks’ treatment plants provide clean and fresh drinking water for those in the metropolis. The natural friendliness and the willingness to help tourists that the Japanese people have will surely make your stay in Tokyo comfortable.

10. Leading Convention City

Tokyo hosted 228 international congresses in 2013, making it 5th in the world, according to the Union of International Associations (UIA). The proven track record includes large-scale governmental meetings like the IMF & the World Bank Group annual meetings in 2012 as well as association meetings like the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress and Exhibition in 2013 and the International Bar Association General Meeting in 2014. The fact that Tokyo is chosen by many international meeting organizers proves the quality of service and the success of the meetings that the City promises.

Tokyo Bay

Tokyo is Ready for You!