Tokyo is a culture unto itself in an already unique culture. This capital city of Japan (also the largest city of the world) easily evokes the classic Anime and Manga images that are familiar in the west. The city is dense, modern, and hi-tech, with an astoundingly well coordinated subway system, vending machines selling all varieties of hot and cold foods (and many other items including beer and sake) and drunken Japanese businessmen stumbling out of the bar at 7am to head out to work.
Visitors to Tokyo will have a hard time finding the traditional culture of Japan. Instead, take time to view the modern technological marvels in the Akihabara district (also known as Akihabara Electric Town) or see the modern Japanese youth trying desperately to break free of the strict cultural rules by dressing in costumes and hanging out in the Harajuku district.
The most quintessential Tokyo neighborhoods include: Shibuya, which serves as the city\’s capital of cool, Ginza famous for luxury living, and Shinjuku in the west, which is home to all the crowds, neon, and shopping one would expect in a world class city.
For night life head out to the Roppongi district. Many nightclubs are for Japanese only and foreigners may not be allowed. The night view of the city from the Roppongi Hills observatory is a stunning way to start the night. A visit to Odaiba across the Rainbow Bridge will give you an alternative, and you can always chck out Tokyo Tower for great views.
Tokyo covers an area of 747.6 sq. miles (2187 sq. Km) and is estimated to have a population of 12.8 million people being a major global city and megacity. It is the capital of Japan, one of the largest cities in the world and an important travel destination.
Take a ferryboat ride across to Odaiba Tokyo and enjoy spectacular views of Tokyo Harbour. Odaiba is built on reclaimed land and is a futuristic waterfront city often known as New Tokyo. Ride onboard a driverless train "Yurikamone" to the Telecom Center and visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.
Indulge in this great day out to Mt Fuji. Also experience a ride on a Shinkansen for your return portion to Tokyo. Included in your day out is one-way Transportation by Motorcoach and return transportation by Shinkansen, lunch, English speaking guide, cruise on Lake Ashi, Mt Komagatake Aerial Cableway and all taxes.
Want a more active day out in Tokyo? Stretch your legs when you experience and explore the history of Japan's greatest city on this walking tour of Edo (the old name for Tokyo).
Yanaka has been famous for the area dotted with many temples since Edo period. Tomb of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, who was the last (15th) shogun of Tokugawa Shogunate. Later visit the Tokyo National Museum, opened in 1952 and Japans first ever national art museum. Visit Isetatsu, an old craft store selling traditional Japanese paper items, all handmade.
See all these sights of Tokyo in one day! Tokyo Tower, Tea Ceremony and Bonsai Trees, Barbeque Lunch, National Diet Building, Imperial Palace Plaza, Ginza Shopping District, Sumida River Cruise, Asakusa Kannon Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street. Included in your tour is an English speaking guide, transportation, lunch and all admission fees.
Come and visit Nikko - the center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship for many centuries, together with the beautiful scenery only Japan can offer. Tour highlights include the Toshogu Shrine, Irohazaka zigzag driveway up the mountains, Japanese-Style lunch, Lake Chuzenji, Kegon Waterfall, Ginza and Shinjuku.
Spend your afternoon exploring the sights of Tokyo city on this guided, half-day sightseeing tour. Highlights include: panoramic views of Tokyo from the World Trade Center's 40th floor; a drive through the famous Ginza Shopping District; a short cruise on the Sumida River; a visit to the Imperial Palace Plaza and Asakusa Kannon Temple as well as a drive through the Nakamise Shopping Street.
Tokyo is the capital and the largest city of Japan. The Japanese government, i.e. the Tokugawa Bakufu, moved to Tokyo (then called Edo) in the year 1603. With the Meiji Restoration of 1868, also the emperor moved to Tokyo, and the city became the Japanese capital. The actual city of Tokyo consists of 23 wards (Shinjuku-ku, Minato-ku, Shibuya-ku, etc.). About eight million people live in the 23 ward Tokyo. Tokyo has several downtowns that are located around the large train stations Shinjuku, Tokyo, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, and Ueno.
The prefecture Tokyo includes, besides the actual city, many other smaller cities and villages. The suburb area extends far into the neighbouring prefectures. Therefore, depending on the counting method, Tokyo may have a population of up to 30 million people. Tokyo and its surroundings was almost completely destroyed in the year 1923 when the Great Kanto Earthquake hit the Kanto plain.
The earliest Japanese history books, the Kojiki and Nihon shoki, state that the first emperor was crowned in 660 BC (in reality it may have been several centuries later), and that he is a descendants of the Sun goddess, the most important goddess in Shinto. It is believed that all emperors have been descendants of the same imperial family. An important part of the emperor's tasks are the performances of imperial Shinto rituals.
During the Edo period, nationalist scholars developed theories which demanded that due to his heavenly descent, the emperor should be worshipped like a god and also concluded that, therefore, Japan is superior to other nations. Those theories were taught at Japanese schools until the end of World War II. From the restoration of emperor Meiji in 1868 until the end of World War II, the emperor was the constitutional and absolute leader over government and military. The effective power, however, first laid with the oligarchic genro and later the generals and admirals.
The constitution of 1946 states that the emperor has only a symbolic function. He now mainly participates at ceremonies and diplomatic meetings, but has no effective power in the government. Since 1989, Akihito is the 125th Japanese emperor. His wife's name is Michiko. She is the first empress who did not come from the nobility. Akihito met her while playing tennis and their love story is very famous among the Japanese.
The most practical way to get around in Tokyo is to use the trains and subways.
The Yamanote Line is a circle line of the JR East that connects all the large satellite downtowns of Tokyo. It is one of the busiest and most important lines. Within the Yamanote circle exists a dense subway system of two major subway companies. From the large Yamanote stations several lines lead to the outer regions of the city and the suburbs. The lines are owned by many private railway companies. Some of these companies belong to a department store chain like Tobu, Seibu or Tokyu.
Every company has it's own fare system. The largest company, the privatized JR East is usually slightly more expensive than the other companies. The city of Tokyo does not have one downtown but a few of them. Accordingly there are many major stations throughout the city. The most important ones are:
Tokyo station: Besides many regional lines, the Shinkansen high speed trains (bullet trains) leave from Tokyo station to the North and West of Japan.
Shinjuku station: Many lines leave from this large station to the west of Tokyo prefecture and the North into Saitama prefecture. Around and above the station one can find many department stores, shopping areas, a big entertainment district, restaurants, and fashion hotels (love hotels).
Ueno station: Large station with lines leaving for Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures in the East and Saitama prefecture in the North. The shinkansen trains heading for Northern Japan also stop at Ueno station.
Ikebukuro station: Large station from which lines leave to the Western parts of Tokyo prefecture and Saitama prefecture in the North.
Shibuya station: Large station in the shopping and entertainment area of Shibuya-Harajuku.
Shinagawa station: Large station with connections to Kanagawa prefecture in the South, especially Yokohama which can be reached in only about 15 minutes.