Tokyo is one of the most interesting cities in the world, simultaneously mixing old and new, high tech with centuries of tradition.
Full of charm, Tokyo is at the cutting edge of art, modern and contemporary architecture, fashion and design.
It's a fast paced city that only pauses for the flowering of the cherry blossoms, where psychedelic pop culture thrums alongside serene ancient Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.
Shopping in Ginza, the neon lights of Shinjuku and karaoke in Roppongi are all essential Tokyo experiences, but this city has many faces.
- Eat fresh sushi in one of the stalls on the perimeter of the extraordinary Tsukiji Fish MarketOpens external site in a new window, the world’s largest fish market
- Visit the gourmet food hall of TakashimayaOpens external site in a new window and pack a picnic to eat at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
- Snap the Harajuku cosplayers as they pose in character for tourists at Yoyogi Park on a Sunday afternoon
- Watch rikishi (sumo wrestlers) parade at Ryogoku Kogugikan, the National Sumo Hall
- Visit Tokyo DisneylandOpens external site in a new window, the third most popular in the franchise after Orlando and Anaheim.
Central Tokyo is defined by the area in and around the Yamanote Loop train line. Uptown to the south and west from the Palace, the traditional area offers most of the city’s cultural and historic attractions.
Downtown to the north and east is more contemporary with a greater concentration of shops, restaurants, hotels and nightlife.
Tokyo is also the gateway to the beautiful hot-spring town of Hakone and Mount Fuji, and just a bullet-train ride away from the high-culture of Kyoto.
The centre for finance and politics, this area at the heart of the city is also the location of the Imperial Palace.
Tokyo Station, where most bullet trains depart for the country’s other major cities, is the main station of the area, and also a large commercial complex. You can find and enjoy various specialty goods and regional foods from all over the country.
Famous for its luxe shopping and label-wearing fashionistas the area has wide pavements and eight blocks of exclusive boutiques, department stores, restaurants, nightclubs and neon lights.
Chuo Dori is the main boulevard. The elaborate facades of many stores make Ginza worth strolling for the design alone – and on weekends it's ‘pedestrian heaven’ from noon when the streets are closed to cars.
Both a business centre and transport hub, and home to the world’s largest train station, Shinjuku Station, this area is characterised by its busy mega-crossing.
After dark it’s a nightlife hub with izakaya (Japanese pubs), bars and nightclubs – it’s the neon lights of Shinjuku that have come to represent Tokyo for most visitors. The train line cuts the area into east and west sections – west is government, skyscrapers and the Park Hyatt Tokyo; the east is big-brand shopping and entertainment district.
This large area encompasses the fun and Tokyo’s teen epicentre that shifts effortlessly from daytime shopping to night time clubbing within the blink of a neon light.
At the Hachiko exit of Shibuya Station large video screens display everything from slick advertising for soft drinks to pop music videos. Nearby the narrow, pedestrian street Center Gai is the stage for attention-seeking trendsetters while the ten story 109 is a collection of boutiques whose ambassadors have become the emblem for Shibuya style.
Along with embassies and international corporate headquarters this area has five-star hotels and fabulous nightlife that includes live music venues, pubs, discos, restaurants and bars. Roppongi HillsOpens external site in a new window and Tokyo MidtownOpens external site in a new window are two grand consumer complexes or vertical cities – these come complete with high end hotels, restaurants, fashion and art. Within Roppongi Hills, Mori Art Museum is a knock-out, while the observation deck of Mori Tower is also spectacular for its panoramas.
Ebisu, Daikanyama and Hiro-o
These trendy neighbourhoods are close to Roppongi and central Shibuya and have eclectic boutiques; funky vintage stores and French-style patisseries and a generally European flavour on the streets. Apart from the shopping there are a range of restaurants, bars, English pubs and some of the city’s best izakaya. Landmarks within Ebisu include the Westin Hotel, Yebisu Garden Place, the Beer Museum Yebisu and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of PhotographyOpens external site in a new window.
Big brands are well represented in this nightlife and shopping district. Leafy Omotesando runs through the heart of Harajuku and Aoyama so the boundaries are delightfully blurred between young street culture and more sophisticated and expensive pleasures. The Prada flagship in a distinctive five-sided bubble-glass building acts as a beacon for the area’s high-end fashion and design. Omotesando HillsOpens external site in a new window is a swanky retail space for fashion and food.
On the eastern bank of the Sumida River, this low-lying shitamachi district was once the most dynamic part of town, and the centre of kabuki. The main attraction in Asakusa would be SensojiOpens external site in a new window - Tokyo’s oldest and most visited temple. The temple is accessible via the Nakamise, a shopping street lined with a variety of traditional and local snacks and souvenirs.
To the north of the Imperial Palace is Ueno, a cultural hub of the city. Within the beautiful Ueno Park is a zoo, grand shrine and museums. Nearby Ameyoko Market has a jumble of more than 500 stalls packed with cheap clothing and footwear as well as interesting foods and spices.
Japanese Yen (JPY¥)
100V / 50Hz
It is a humid subtropical climate. Temperatures average 25-30°C during the hot and humid summer (June to August) while the generally mild winters (December to February) are crisp to cold, with averages around 6°C.
From the airport
Tokyo Haneda Airport
Haneda Airport is located close to downtown Tokyo.
The passenger terminal connects directly to the underground Haneda Airport International Terminal Station on the Keikyu LineOpens external site in a new window, and to the third floor Haneda Airport International Terminal Station of the Tokyo Monorail LineOpens external site in a new window.
Tokyo Narita Airport
Narita Airport is located 65km from downtown Tokyo.
If you want to get straight to your hotel, you can pre-purchase an arrival transfer shuttleOpens external site.
In and around the city
Tokyo has a comprehensive and excellent train network that is the most efficient and economical way to get around the city. Taxis are an option but can be expensive in peak hour traffic. Walking is easy within each district, too.
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