Tokyo, Japan

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Tokyo can be found at the heart of Japan known for being the country’s capital and a key tourist destination in the world. The name of Japan’s capital was previously called as Edo but eventually called Tokyo in 1867.

It serves as one of Japan’s 47 prefectures and also included in the list of the nation’s most developed spots. Its surroundings are filled with high rise structures, vast shopping porticos and a generous amount of high end bars for its vibrant nightlife. Despite its abundance of modern creations, Tokyo also offers a good number of tradition honoring sights with several shrines, museums and vintage guesthouses.

Getting Around Japan’s Capital

It is normal for any tourist to feel frustrated when getting lost in the city since locals also get lost once in a while too, including taxi drivers. However, the best way to get around Tokyo is by taking the Japan Railways train to get to the nearest station of a certain destination.

It is best to take a map or ask for directions while walking around or just end up hailing a taxi. It can be helpful to note though the distances of destinations in the city can longer than what anyone can think. Biking is another option to go for except that the rider must be very keen with the city’s strict traffic rules.

Other transportation modes available include the buses and the Tokyo Metro subway. Bus drivers are often obliging to help anyone who may find it hard to get around the neighborhood. As for the subways, there are also the Toei lines apart from the Tokyo Metro.

Districts Around Tokyo

With a huge geographical profile that Tokyo has, it is best to get to know the three main districts of Tokyo.

Central Tokyo

This section includes Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku, Shinagawa, Toshima and Meguro.

Old Tokyo

This section includes the places of Sumida, Taito, Bunkyo, Koto, and Arakawa.

Suburbs

Toyko’s suburbs consist of Nakano, Ota, Setagaya, Suginami, and the Eastern and Northern part. The Eastern part comprises of Adachi where the Three Great Temples can be seen while the Northern part has Kita, Itabashi and Nerima.

Popular Things To Do In Tokyo

Tokyo certainly has a gamut of activities and entertainment to offer to its visitors and residents. Some of its most popular sites include the Tokyo National Museum and the Ueno Zoo. Explore green spaces of nature of the Ueno Park or experience shopping and dining at its best at Ginza for some designer items and the Tsukiji Market for food.

Enjoy Tokyo Tower’s lift or get a bird’s eye view of the entire city of Tokyo at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. For those curious about the city’s history, there are the Imperial Palace and the Edo-Tokyo Museum which are just two of the leading sites to go to.

Any Tokyo trip will not be complete without dropping by the Meiji Shrine or the Sensoji Temple.

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 fashion trends, 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.

Other Basic Facts To Know About Tokyo

When in Tokyo, tourists won’t have big problems in communicating with the locals since most of them already speak the English language. It may be fun to be familiar with some basic words and phrases like Sayonara (Goodbye), Thank You (Arigato Gozaimasu) or Yes (hai) among many others.

There are also several important notes to take when getting to know better the dos and don’ts of their culture. Some of the most general ones include not playing at all with chopsticks, always be punctual, avoid talking too loud in public spaces, do not blow nose in public, wrap umbrellas after use during the rainy season, and follow the no tipping policy.

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 to offer for each visitor.