The land of Yukio Mishima
Yukio Mishima was from the legendary city of Tokyo, Japan´s capital today. This country has been totally renovated from its turbulent past and after being the site for the world´s most deadly warfare experiment, has been reborn from its ashes, literally, and has become the world´s most avant-garde country. However, Japan is a contrast of extreme tradition in some respects and ultra modernity in others. It is impossible to sum up Japan in a few lines so perhaps the best thing is to arrive and let yourself be inspired by what surrounds you. If you don´t care for ultra modernity, there is ultra tradition too, so there is something for everyone in this nation. It is a rather expensive vacation but there are bargain prices to be had in Tokyo as well as the rest of the country.
Japan is an archipelago of 6.800 islands.
There are lots of things that Japan has exported culturally and otherwise to the rest of the world, particularly the West such as sushi food, manga comics and high tech gadgets. In Tokyo which is a great metropolis to visit, one can also experience traditional aspects of Japanese life. Tokyo is the worlds biggest city with 8 million inhabitants. It is a caleidoscope of modern versus ancient and traditional.
Tokyo is best divided into sections that have their own characteristics, these areas are Central Tokyo, Northern Tokyo, Eastern Tokyo, Southern and Western Tokyo and Bayside Tokyo.
Tokyo was initially a fortress town built in 1590 on the remnants of an existing structure dated back to 1457. In 1590 Tokugawa Ieyasu chose Tokyo as his base of activity, he was a warlord and by 1640 the Edo Castle was the greatest in all of Japan.
Central Tokyo is where the Imperial Palace is located and here is where the Emperor and the Royal Family live. This is a large part of the center of Tokyo. Nearby, towards the east lie the fashionable areas of Ginza, Marunouchi and Nihombashi which are the nuclei of Japan´s preeminent financial heart and its 5th Avenue equivalent. There is a gazillion bars here to suit anyone´s taste. For those into culture, there are several museums as well as the Tokyo International Forum. Return to the core and go towards the northeast of the palace and enter the world of state of the art technology and visit Akihabara where there are all sorts of cut price electronic gadgets, large commercial shopping malls selling all sorts of manga comics. If you go south from the center and here you can visit Akasaka which is steeped in ancient tradition, here you can find the Hie-jinja shrine, a historic shrine and in Roppongi there are several art museums such as the National Art Center of Tokyo, the Mori Art Museum, the famous Suntory Museum of Art as well as a huge complex called the Tokyo Midtown complex. A landmark in Tokyo is the Tokyo Tower.
Tokyo is also a seafaring city and in Bayside Tokyo you will find the sushi fan´s Paradise. Near the fish market of Tsukji are the serene gardens of Hama Rikyiu Telen. If you cross the beautiful Rainbow Bridge you reach an ultra modern area called Odalba. This area has been built on reclaimed land from the sea and here there is a fascinating ultra modern science museum called Miralkan.
To the north of the bay you can visit the aquarium of Kasai Rinkai-koen. Nearby is Tokyo´s Disneyland. Although fun for the kids, it isn´t spectacularly worth a visit especially if you want to see genuine Japanese things.
The hip area where young people hang out in Tokyo is at the south area, this is where Shinjuku lies, here there are skyscrapers, the red light district and department stores. Aside from these attractions, tradition also finds its way here and can be perceived in the most beautiful gardens of Tokyo, the Shinjuku Gardens. Anime can be seen in a couple of museums nearby. For those interested in the latest fashions, a visit to Aoyama and Harajuku right at the south of Shinjuku is where Tokyo´s latest fashions are exhibited both in stores and by people wearing the latest thing. Aside from this, there is something traditional here as well, the most venerated shrine of the city, the Meji-jingu. In Ebisu, at the south of Daikan´yama, a youthful fashion scene, is the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
There is an endless amount of things one can do and visit in Tokyo and the above is just a brief outline. In sum, there is a different Tokyo for each visitor.