Japan is often said to be a "vertical" society, in which a given person has a higher or lower social level based on their status, age or number of years in an organization, a concept that takes some getting used to when coming from the U.S. Interestingly, there's a similar relationship between Tokyo and the rest of the country that seems to be a relic from Japan's past. Basically, Tokyo is by definition the "heart" of Japan by virtue of its being the designated capital, which is reflected in interesting linguistic ways. For example, all trains come in two types, nobori or "climbing" and kudari or "descending," and after a while I figured that this had to do with whether the train was going towards or away from Tokyo. Similarly, there are words like jokyo suru which means "to come to the capital," a concept I can't picture us making a special word for in English. "Standard Japanese" is defined as whatever people in Tokyo happen to speak, which is again quite different from the U.S., which has no official geographic linguistic center.
Tokyo is the center of Japan in more ways than are immediately apparent to the casual observer.