Tokyo looks to the future
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a huge metropolis with over 12 million people in one of the most populated urban areas on earth. Read more.
Tokyo looks to the future
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a huge metropolis with over 12 million people in one of the most populated urban areas on earth. An eclectic mix of ultra-modern architecture and technology alongside glimpses of old Japan make this energetic and wealthy city an unforgettable place for visitors. Tokyo lives up to its impeccable reputation for some of the world’s best dining experiences, including unbeatable sushi.
Bathing, sushi and shopping
Tokyo is a 24-hour city with an endless list of things to do. Start at the geographical centre of the city with a visit to Japan’s Imperial Palace. The leafy grounds are a delight to wander around, but keep in mind the palace itself is the home of Japan’s imperial family and is open to the public just two days per year. Tokyo’s oldest park, Ueno-kōen, is a wonderful mix of museums, temples and cherry blossom trees, with Shinobazu-ike pond perfectly placed for a romantic row in a hire boat. Two museums that shouldn’t be missed are the Tokyo National Museum, Japan’s answer to the Louvre, and the Hara Museum, a mansion come unconventional art space with mind-blowing exhibits. To get a view over the city, the best options include the Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest tower when built in 2012 and a new landmark for the city.
The Ō-Edo Onsen Monogatari hot springs theme park caters to those wanting a traditional, though slightly kitsch experience. The park recreates an old Japanese downtown indoors, where you can stroll about in your yukata kimono and partake in the multiple bathing and spa treatment opportunities. Tokyo doesn’t disappoint when it comes to world-class cuisine, with Michelin-starred establishments all over the city and the best sushi in the world. Breakfast sushi at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market is particularly worth getting up early for. After an early start, indulge in some retail therapy. From the electronics and anime stores of Akihabara to the hipster boutiques of Harjuki, Tokyo has something for everyone. For handicrafts, try the minimalist space at 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan arcade, where dozen of shops sell everything from pottery to woodwork and kimono-clad dolls. At the end of the day, book in for a karaoke session at one of the many local bars.
Unique accommodation in Tokyo
Tokyo boasts a myriad of hotels, from budget options in Taito to high-end luxury in Shinjuku. The much talked of capsule hotels are usually the cheapest alternative, however, most are men-only and have many rules of behaviour to comply with. Interestingly, it is even possible to sleep or camp in public parks throughout the city. Tokyo specialises in business hotels, located conveniently near train stations and perfect for single travellers on short stays. If expense isn’t such a consideration, book a room in one of Tokyo’s many opulent international hotels.
Get in fast and find your way around
International travellers will likely arrive at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, 70km northeast of the city. Haneda Airport handles most domestic flights. The fastest way to get from Narita to Tokyo is the Skyliner or Narita Express railways, with the journey taking less than an hour. Haneda Airport also has a convenient transit option in the Tokyo Monorail which runs direct to Hamamatsucho station with onward connections to almost anywhere in Tokyo. As the major rail hub for Japan, Tokyo is served by regular high-speed Shinkansen trains from cities all over the country. Once in the city, take advantage of Tokyo’s extensive mass transit system. Although it may take some getting used to, the services are clean, safe and fast. Rush hour can be daunting and is best avoided unless essential.
Landmarks in Tokyo
- Senso-ji (49)
- NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building (20)
- Shinjuku Central Park (21)
- Meiji Shrine (20)
- East Garden (20)
- Isetan Shinjuku (47)
- Sony Building (25)
- Tokyo Midtown (23)
- Roppongi Hills (20)
- Tokyo National Museum (20)
- Tokyo Dome (20)
- Tsukiji fish market (20)
- Imperial Palace of Japan (Kokyo) (20)
- Tokyo Tower (20)