Originally a small fishing village named Edo in the 12th century, Tokyo is now the bustling metropolitan heart of Japan. A city where shrines and skyscrapers, temples and ultramodern towers mix, it is one of the most visited places in the world. Recently ranked in the top spot for the ‘Best Overall Experience’ category of TripAdvisors World City Survey, Tokyo is a must visit for anyone who wants a complete travel experience. Huge malls, peaceful landscape gardens, fabulous food – Tokyo has it all. And this Tokyo travel guide will tell you everything you need to be doing when you land in the city of the Emperor of Japan.
Tokyo has an array of hotels catering to all budgets. For the backpackers operating on a tight budget there are many places which are extremely affordable, for example Khaosan Tokyo Guest House Ninja and Hotel Hoteiya. Midrange hotels include the popular Tokyu Stay Shibuya and the Sunroute Plaza, the latter being one of the most popular hotels for tourists. If you’re looking to stay with style you need not look further than the several classic luxury hotels like the Ana Intercontinental Tokyo, Hotel Okura Tokyo or the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo.
This is an absolute must visit. The 52nd Floor observation deck called the Tokyo City View, at the Mori Tower in the Roppongi Hills offers a breath taking view of the Tokyo Skyline. This has a 15$ admission ticket which will also allow you to visit the Mori Art Museum. For a further 3 bucks you can move up to the 54th Floor SkyDeck and revel in the view from there. This Tokyo Travel guide carters to all budgets and hence for the tight traveler an alternative the skyline can be viewed for free from the 45th floor’s observation deck of the TMGO (Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices) building.
No visit to Japan would be complete without visiting some of its iconic parks (and their beautiful cherry blossom trees). The most famous of these in Tokyo is Yoyogi Park. Free to enter, it boasts many features such as a cycling course, a bird sanctuary, gardens, soccer fields and of course places to grab a bite to eat while you sit in the tranquil surroundings of Tokyo’s largest public green space. Adjacent to the park is Tokyo’s most famous shrine. The Meji Shrine – dedicated to the spirits of the iconic Emperor Meji and his wife.
On your return your friends may not ask much about some stuff but they will surely ask this: ‘Did you try sushi?’ So don’t disappoint them and try Japan’s favorite dish at some of the finest Sushi places in Tokyo like the Sushi Yoshitake, Harutaka or Sushi Sho. After a traditional Japanese dinner why not go for the traditional Japanese drink? Tokyo has many Sake places on offer; like Shimomiya (in Nakano) and Sasahana in the Ginza District. Or you could decide to mingle in more deeply and have drinks and dinner down at an izakaya in Ebisu where ‘salarymen’ are the main guests. Round off the night in one of the numerous Karaoke bars situated in the area.
How many movies have you seen in which they always show a specific crossing in Tokyo, people’s movement fast forwarded to show the sheer amount of them? This is the famous Shibyua Crossing and it would be a shame to come to Tokyo and not be part of the stream crossing it – Tourist-san.