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Tokyo travel guide

Tokyo (東京, Tōkyō) is the capital of Japan and is the city at the center of the so-called Greater Tokyo, the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 37 million inhabitants. For centuries known as Edo, with the Meiji Restoration of 1868 the emperor and the capital moved from Kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo (in Japanese "Eastern Capital"). Much of the city was destroyed over the last century: a violent earthquake in 1923 first and the bombings of the Second World War then left very few traces of the ancient city. Today Tokyo looks like a city with an ultra-modern and chaotic appearance, with an endless expanse of houses and skyscrapers crossed by a dense network of elevated and underground highways and railways. The city is the seventh in the world for the number of skyscrapers, with 167 buildings over 150 meters high. But appearances can be deceiving: next to the skyscrapers you will find temples and shrines, next to the large stations you will find enchanting public parks and traditional gardens, next to the huge shopping centers you will find typical streets with small shops and lovely old-style bars. Tokyo is a city of a thousand contrasts and a thousand souls, a magical combination of ancient and modern, of progress and tradition. No matter how many days you plan to stay in Tokyo, it will never be enough. The city offers an unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture, museums, restaurants, and even nature. Every day new businesses open and close and every year many buildings are torn down and rebuilt. Tokyo is surrounded by mountains and national parks, crossed by large rivers and it overlooks the sea of ​Tokyo Bay, dotted with a lot of artificial islands. A city that will enter your hearts forever and where you will want to return countless times.
tokyo from above

How to get to Tokyo

Tokyo airports

Tokyo has two international airports, Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). Tokyo Haneda is historically the main domestic hub of Japanese airlines ANA and Japan Airlines, with a limited number of long-range flights. On the contrary, Narita is the main airport for international flights, especially long-haul flights from Europe, the Americas and the Middle East, and also the main airport for low-cost airline flights. However, in recent years, Haneda Airport has increasingly expanded its offer of international flights. To date, more and more destinations are also served by Haneda. Haneda is located within the city, on an island in Tokyo Bay and 15 kilometers from the city center. Narita is further away, it is located in the municipality of Narita in the prefecture of Chiba, about 60 kilometers from the city center. In general it is much easier, cheaper and faster to reach Tokyo from Haneda. If you are faced with this choice, for the same price of the flight, it is advisable to choose Haneda over Narita.
From Tokyo Haneda to Tokyo and vice versa a guide to all the solutions to travel between Haneda airport and the city: train, monorail, buses and taxis
From Tokyo Narita to Tokyo and vice versa a guide to all the solutions to travel between Haneda airport and the city: trains, buses, taxis and helicopter

Where to stay in Tokyo

Where to stay recommended hotels, ryokans, capsule hotels and budget accommodation in Tokyo

Tokyo travel guide district by district

Akasaka high-level residential and shopping area
Akihabara the paradise for nerds and otaku
Asakusa old neighborhood where the most famous temple of Tokyo is located
Bunkyo, Tokyo Dome large residential ward with many interesting places, such as the Tokyo Dome and the near amusement park
Ghibli Museum the only museum in the world on the universe of films by Studio Ghibli, designed by the master Hayao Miyazaki himself
Ginza luxury fashion stores district
Hamamatsucho a high-rise office district with one of Tokyo's most beautiful landscaped gardens and a peeing monk statue
Hamarikyu Gardens The largest traditional landscape garden in Tokyo and one of the most famous and visited, facing the sea and behind the skyscrapers of Shiodome
Harajuku Yoyogi park, Takeshita Dori and Omotesando
Ikebukuro the third biggest neighborhood for shopping and entertainment in Tokyo after Shinjuku and Shibuya
Imperial Palace The palace where the imperial family of Japan resides, surrounded by huge gardens and many other interesting attractions
Kabuki-cho the largest red light district in Tokyo and all of Japan! It is located in Shinjuku
Kichijoji interesting little neighborhood in western Tokyo, Inokashira park and Ghibli Museum are over there
Marunouchi (Tokyo station) the financial district of Marunouchi next to Tokyo station, full of elegant shopping centers, and close to the Tokyo International Forum and the Tokyo Imperial Palace
Meiji Jingu the most famous Shinto temple in Tokyo, surrounded by a large sacred forest
Nakano home for a big shopping center for otaku, the Nakano Broadway
Nerima large residential area, it is said to be the birthplace of anime
Odaiba artificial island in Tokyo Bay with many interesting places
Omotesando one of the most elegant shopping streets in Tokyo
Roppongi the nighlife district of choice for gaijin (foreigners)
Ryogoku the sumo district
Shibuya the neighborhood of young people, one of the most popular
Shimokitazawa small neighborhood for lovers of arts, many theaters and clubs with live music
Shinjuku the most incredible district of Tokyo!
Shiodome directional area full of skyscrapers
Tokyo Skytree the second tallest building in the world!
Tokyo Tower Tokyo Tower is one of the most famous buildings in Tokyo, from which you can enjoy the panorama from above. Nearby, the Zojoji Temple and the Azabu-juban district
Toyosu an artificial island in the Tokyo Bay that houses the new wholesale fish market of the city
Tsukiji the neighborhood that for over 80 years has housed the legendary Tokyo fish market, now relocated to Toyosu
Ueno Ueno Park, Ameyoko and many museums
Yanesen old district of ancient Tokyo Shitamachi

Guided tours, activities and other things to do

If you are planning a trip to Japan and you want to do something more than just visiting famous places and monuments, we suggest you to use Rakuten Travel Experiences.

How to use Rakuten Travel Experiences

Rakuten Travel is a very useful website to enrich your travel experience, especially if you are going solo or it's your first time in Japan.
Because of the language barrier (and more), in Japan it is very difficult to interact with the locals and to get off the tourist track.
Thanks to Rakuten Travel you can find a lot of interesting and sometimes unique guided tours and activities all over Japan (and not only in Japan), that you would otherwise never be able to enjoy.
But there's more: on Rakuten Travel you can also buy tickets for several famous attractions, events, transportation and other useful services for tourists. Last but not least, you can reserve a table in hundreds of restaurants.

Some examples

Take a look at Rakuten Travel Experiences

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