Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Located on the eastern side of Honshu Island, Tokyo lies on the southern tip of the Kanto plain, and is Japan's political, economic, cultural, and transport hub. Tokyo has a variety of attractions for visitors, ranging from natural scenery, architectural wonders, and historical sites – the city has them all; the main tourist attractions can be found in Ginza, Ueno, Asakusa, Roppongi, Shinjuku, and Shibuya; any visitor traveling to Tokyo should be sure not to miss these unforgettable sites.
Ueno Park is Tokyo's largest park, with an area of 525,000 square meters.The park is the former site of temple buildings and princely residences dating from the Tokugawa shogunate; the area was converted into a park in 1873. The park houses a number of museums, including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science, the National Museum of Western Art, and the Metropolitan Art Museum. Ueno Park is also the home of Tokyo's famous cherry blossoms. The park has almost 1200 cherry blossom trees. At the weekend, visitors flock to the park to admire the blossoms.
Address: Taito, Tokyo (close to Ueno station)
Shinjuku is Tokyo's, and probably all of Japan's, most famous and bustling shopping area, located in downtown Tokyo, slightly to the west of the center of the city; Shinjuku Station is a major transportation hub serving western downtown Tokyo. Shinjuku is centered around the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (the "Tocho"), which is divided into a Western Entrance area, the business district with its jungle of skyscrapers; a Southern Entrance area which houses Shinjuku's shopping and entertainment facilities, and the 'city that never sleeps,' Kabukicho, an entertainment quarter rarely found elsewhere in Japan.
Address: 3-15-15 Shinjuku, Tokyo (Shinjuku station)
The Tokyo Tower, officially known as the Japan Broadcast Tower, is located in Shiba Park, in the city's Minato district. The red-and-white steel tower is modeled on Paris's Eiffel Tower, and is 333 meters tall, 13 meters taller than its French counterpart. It is the world's tallest freestanding steel tower. The Tower it is also the venue where many famous Japanese TV series and films were filmed; the site is a definite must-visit for Japanese film and TV fans.
Address: Shiba-koen, Minato, Tokyo (take the Toei-Oedo line, get off at Akabanebashi station and take the Akabanebashi exit; the Tower is an approximately 5-minute walk)
Shibuya, Daikanyama, and Aoyama are Tokyo's three main venues for street fashion, and is a shopper's paradise for youngsters dedicated to fashion.
This is the vibrant epicenter for Tokyo's fashion-conscious youths; Harajuku and Shibuya are places where fashion comes to life, and simply watching people along the streets of the area will provide hours of fun. Shibuya 109 is a Mecca of fashion for High School girls that is highly rated by young fashion-conscious Japanese as well as foreign celebrities – the building is a birthplace for the latest fashion trends.
Address: Harajuku, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (served by the JR and Oedo lines)
Akihabara is an electronics street located in Tokyo's eastern Shitamachi district; here, you will find everything, from speakers to personal computers, from the latest audio systems to high-end televisions, refrigerators, and kitchen appliances as well as parts for all kinds of electronic devices; if it is electronic, you can buy it here – and at very reasonable prices. There are more than 500 electronic shops in Akihabara, and the street is an ocean of activity every day.
Address: Southwest Taito, Tokyo, part of Chiyoda ward; take the JR line to Akihabara.
Ginza is central Tokyo's main business district, and is known for its upmarket stores; it is Japan's most prosperous shopping area. Ginza is one of the world's great shopping destinations, on a par with Paris's Champs Elysées or New York's Fifth Avenue. The area is crowded with shops of all kinds, from century-old historic Japanese brand name shops to specialist stores selling global brand names. You will find all sorts of consumer goods here, with the emphasis on luxury goods, making Ginza an ideal choice for shopping.
Address: Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo; take the JR line to Ginza.
Tokyo is a major global metropolis, and offers a wide array of cuisines.The city will tempt you with traditional Japanese delicacies like sashimi, tempura, unadon, teppanyaki, and much, much more; alternatively, you can sample dishes as varied as Italian pasta, Turkish shashlik, Spanish paella, French foie gras, or any number of iconic dishes from around the world.
Teppanyaki is the highest form of Japanese cuisine, and differs from Chinese or Korean barbecued meats. In teppanyaki, the ingredients are placed directly onto the hot plate to cook; the ingredients are not pre-processed, but are fully cooked on a hot plate to retain their innate nutritiousness and taste.
Recommended restaurant: Hifumi-An
Address: 4-2-18, Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo.
In Japan, very few people can resist the temptation of ramen. You will find noodle shops more or less on every street corner. These will often be packed with office workers of all kinds. If you slurp slightly as you eat, don't worry – no one will be offended.
Recommended restaurant: Ippudo
Address: 3-26-27 Takanawa, Minato, Tokyo
Numerous urban bus routes operate in Tokyo, with numerous closely spaced bus stops; bus stops are also conveniently positioned alongside many tram stops and sites of interest. Buses in the city center are typically green in color; ticket prices are set at JPY 200 per adult, and JPY 100 for children younger than 12 years of age. Various bus companies also operate routes within the city area, and ticket prices vary accordingly.
Vehicles drive on the left in Japan, so passengers should get in and out from the left-hand side. Taxi doors open and close automatically; no need to do this yourself. When you get out, remember to ask the driver for a receipt; should you forget to take your luggage or want to make any kind of complaint, you will find a contact telephone number and the vehicle number on the receipt. You should also note that it is forbidden to smoke in most taxis.
The Tokyo subway system has a total of 13 lines, 220 stations, and a total of 312.6 kilometers of track. The system transports an average of 11 million people daily, and is the world's busiest underground railway system. The Tokyo subway system is currently operated by two separate companies, Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway.
You can visit Tokyo any time of the year, as the city has a maritime climate; summers are hot and humid, with typhoons a common occurrence, while winters are dry and mostly sunny. Average annual precipitation is 1500 mm, while the average annual temperature is 16.4°C.