Getting to know Tokyo
Metropolitan Tokyo includes the four prefectures of Tokyo, Saitaima, Kanagawa and Chiba.
The city of Tokyo itself, has 23 districts.
There is no specific area distinctively named as Tokyo downtown, yet in Tokyo you will find several “centers” each with its own charm.
Here are some places worth a visit:
The “amusement zone”, filled with shops and places to eat, offers a great view of Tokyo bay. You can visit Pallet Town, including Venus Fort shopping mall (build to look like medieval European townscapes), Mega Web auto theme park, Ferris Wheel (the symbol of Odaiba itself), a concert hall and an indoor amusement center. Oedo-OnsenMonogatari: for guests that wish to take a trip in the past, and live in Edo era for a while, and take a hot bath in one of the 13 bathouses. The impressive and futuristic Fuji TV headquarters other than a beautiful building to see, also has various facilities open to public such as an observatory, theatre mall and restaurants. And of course, many shopping opportunities, in large malls like Aqua city Odaiba, Diver City Tokyo Plaza and Decks Tokyo Beach.
Roppongi - Akasaka
The heart of entertainment. In this area you will find theatres, art galleries. Tokyo Midtown is here to show us all about high quality life in Tokyo, with lots of shops, restaurants and Suntory art museum, while in Azabyjuban shopping district you can easily find pretty much everything you need, including antiques. Roppongi Hills may be well known for its shops, restaurants and views from Tokyo city view but what you will hear from everyone about is, Roppongi nights as this part of Tokyo never sleeps, with theatres, cafes, restaurants, clubs and bars, one can enjoy Tokyo by night.
Surrounding the area of the huge Tokyo station, there is more than just trains in this part of the city. First and most outstanding, the Imperial Palace/ Nijubashi. The Edo Castle, became the Imperial Palace after the Emperor moved to Tokyo. Use the Nijubashi bridge to access the parts that are open to public. If you are looking for a chance of top brands shopping head to the Marunouchi Nakadori street, while for more underground shopping, Tokyo station has a lot to offer. The building itself is worth a visit while going underground you have to choose among numerous brands, kid’s games shops and some souvenirs. To add more culture to the visit, visit the futuristic Tokyo International Forum, that usually hosts a variety of exhibitions, musicals and concerts.
You can spend a full day shopping any brand you can imagine. From Bulgari and Dior to the most common Zara and Uniqlo, this area has it all. And if you get hungry, pay a visit to the famous Tsukiji Outer Market that offers all shorts of food, including gourmet delicacies. And absolutely no worries if you get lost in one of the department stores and night comes, the area is filled with restaurants and bars.
For the ones that wish to get a taste of Edo era, this is the place to visit. Pay a visit to Sensoji Temple the oldest and most popular temple in Tokyo, dates back to 628 according to local legends. Three shopping streets are worth a visit here: Nakamise street with its almost 100 shops dating back from Edo era. KappabashiDugugai Street for food lovers that wish to master the local cuisine, here you can find tableware, kitchen accessories and tools, but also the materials itself to cook a nice Japanese meal. Before leaving the area, pay a visit to Denbouin Street for some souvenirs with a scent of Edo era.
Speaking of shopping, for the most up to date and modern electronic goods, pay a visit to Akihabarta and you will be amazed.
Although the area houses the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the building itself it a landmark, Shinjuku has much more to offer. Great shopping opportunities in its depart stores and lots of Electronics to be found near Shinjuku station. Take a walk to Shinjuku Golden-gai district for some shopping in shops dating back the 1950’s, enjoy a meal in one of the small restaurants and as the night comes, head to the “town that never sleeps” Kabukicho.
Start your day with a walk in the Yoyogi park that hosts Meiji Jingu Shinto shine, build to house the souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Teens would prefer a walk to Takeshita Dori, filled with pop brands to fulfill all tastes, while for a wider variety of brands, head to the scenic Omotesando street lined with zelkova trees. You can either take the metro from Omote-sando station or walk to Shibuya station, for a photo at Hachiko statue and a view of how fast the rhythm of Tokyo is, in the crossing of Shibuya, described as the busiest intersection of the world.