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Tokyo is the capital of Japan and with a population of nearly 40 million also the largest metropolis on Earth.
In the middle of the Greater Tokyo area is Tokyo Prefecture itself
and at its most populated core are 23 special wards called "ku."
Here you'll find Tokyo's multiple downtown areas which are all connected by the JR Yamanote line.
From Tokyo station it's only a few hours by bullet train to several other major cities
Despite its size or possibly because of it
Tokyo has developed into extremely orderly city with a convenient and reliable
public transportation system as well as a remarkably low crime rate. Although it has a high population density it can feel surprisingly
suburban or even rural once you venture away from the major railway stations.
In the 16th century Tokyo was a small castle town named Edo. It became the political center of the country when the shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu
established his feudal government here in 1603.
Quickly Edo grew into the world's largest city and at the end of the feudal period after the Meiji restoration
in 1868 it was made the new capital of the country and renamed Tokyo
The Emperor's residence was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo and the former grounds of Edo Castle were converted into the new imperial palace.
Today Tokyo is one of Japan's premier hubs for culture, cuisine, entertainment, and shopping and also has countless historic
temples, gardens, parks, landmark and museums.
Here are our top five recommendations in Tokyo
Number Five: Akihabara
Also called Akiba in the last few decades the Akihabara district has emerged as a center for anime, manga
and video game otaku culture in Japan.
It has dozens of specialty stores selling everything from figurines to collectible trading cards to retro video games.
There are also several multi floor arcades, called game centers, as well as maid cafes other themed restaurants.
On Sunday afternoon Chuo Dori, the main street of the area, is closed to car traffic
so pedestrians are free walk anywhere they like.
Another nickname for the Akihabara district is "Electric Town" because of the many electronic shops here
ranging from large department stores selling the latest technology to small stalls selling computer components.
Number 4: Meiji Shrine and the Surrounding Areas
A few minutes walk from Harajuku Station is the famous Meiji Shrine and its forested grounds.
Completed in 1920 the shrine itself is dedicated to the late emperor Meiji, and his consort Empress Shoken.
Ruling from 1867 to 1912 made you was the first emperor of Modern Japan.
During the Meiji period the country transitioned from being an isolated feudal nation to becoming an industrialized world power
The shrines grounds are a peaceful oasis amid the densely built up city.
Together with neighboring Yoyogi park, this forested area of Tokyo provides an excellent place to escape the busy city.
Near Meiji Shrine are several other worthwhile areas to explore.
Just across the street is Harajuku which is known as the center of teenage culture in Japan.
Here you'll find the famous Takeshita Dori shopping street
As well as the elegant Omotesando Avenue which has many high-end shopping options
and is the main approach to Meiji Shrine.
Lastly Meiji Shrine is only one stop from Shibuya.
The Shibuya District is famous for its shopping and is generally regarded as the capital of young fashion in Japan.
This is also where you'll find the legendary Shibuya Scramble pedestrian crossing where up to 3,000 people will cross at each light change.
Number Three: Shinjuku
Shinjuku is a lively entertainment and business district known for being one of Japan's premier nightlife spots
During the Edo era It used to be located outside the city center and was the first
rest stop along the Koshu Kaido which was one of the five major trade highways at the time
Since then Tokyo has expanded and Shinjuku has become one of its multiple major downtown areas
handling over three and a half million passengers every day Shinjuku station has become the busiest train station in the world.
To the west of the station is the skyscraper district where many of Tokyo's tallest buildings are located.
Among these is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building
which has free observation decks on the 45th floor of each tower that provide unique views of the city
On the east side of Shinjuku station is the nightlife district.
Here you'll find endless dining shopping and entertainment options.
A few popular places to explore our Kabukicho with its restaurants bars wild nightlife and neon lights.
Omoide Yokocho with its network of alleyways from tiny eateries
and Golden Gai which has over 200 small bars and unique restaurants
Finally for a change of pace in the Shinjuku area, about a 10-minute walk east of Shinjuku station
is Shinjuku Gyoen which is a large and beautiful park which contains three different themed gardens.
Number Two: Asakusa
One of the best districts to experience old-fashioned Tokyo is historical Asakusa.
Located in the center of an area traditionally known as Shitamachi
this was a part of the city generally inhabited by common townspeople during the Edo era.
The main attraction in Asakuka is Sensoji Temple.
Completed in the 7th century, it is one of Tokyo's oldest and most popular Buddhist temples.
Leading up to the main temple building is the iconic gate Kaminarimon and Nakamise Shopping Street
which is lined with vendors selling local specialty items and souvenirs.
Crossing Nakamise Street is Denpoin Street
which is designed to look like a street from the Edo era.
For food west of Sensoji Temple is Hoppy Street
which is a 70 to 80 meter long street that has a nostalgic charm and is lined with Izakaya serving Japanese pub food.
About 15min west of Asakusa near Ueno is Kappabashi Street.
This unique street has dozens of specialty stores selling everything needed by restaurant operators
except for food.
From pots and pans to dishes to plastic food samples
this street has it all and is an interesting place to wander.
A day in Asakusa could easily be combined with a stroll along the Sumida River
and a visit to nearby Tokyo Skytree, Japan tallest structure.
Number One: Food
As a city Tokyo has received the most Michelin stars of any city in the world
and offers an amazing range of dining opportunities.
Of course, like every region of Japan you can find local specialty cuisine items
such as nigiri-zushi, tempura,
soba, chankonabe, and monjayaki to name a few.
However because people from all over Japan have been relocating to the capital for hundreds of years
It's also possible to find authentic regional food from all across the country in Tokyo
Similarly the city has become the home of a wide variety of international
communities which have brought their local cuisine with them.
As a result Tokyo has become an excellent destination for finding a broad range of high-quality international food.
There are even several districts with concentrated ethnic specialties
such as Koreatown in Shin-Okubo
Little France in Kagurazaka
and Chinatown in Ikebukuro to name a few
It's safe to say there are dining establishments to accommodate all tastes and budgets in Tokyo.
You could easily spend several weeks exploring Tokyo and not experience everything
But we hope this top 5 list gives you a good place to start.
For more information about any of the places mentioned in this video or to explore another region
click the links on the screen now or head over to japan-guide.com
Your comprehensive up-to-date travel guide first-hand from Japan.
Thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe for more videos about Japan.
Happy travels.
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Top 5 Things to do in Tokyo | japan-guide.com

230 Folder Collection
Summer published on April 28, 2020
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