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Tokyo: Traditional Meets the Future
Tokyo, one of the biggest cities of the world, is a mix of the traditional and the futuristic. It is a place of innovation and reinvention. When you leave your hotel, you can choose the traditional side of Japan, one of emperors, palaces, shrines, and sumo wrestling, or the futuristic Japan, with technology, anime, and pop culture. A city this size has many types of accommodation in many areas of the city, each with its own unique character and style. With so many hotels to choose from there is something to suit every style.
The Future is Now
Many areas of the city may seem like they are out of a Sci-Fi movie, even your hotel. The neon lights, skyscrapers, huge malls, and technology might make you feel like you are in another world. You can get a great view of the city from the top of the Tokyo Skytree. Another well-known tower is the Tokyo Tower, the slightly taller and red version of the Eiffel Tower. You can also visit this tower to get a great view of the city, but the Tokyo Tower is about half the height of the Skytree.
To buy a piece of the future and other innovative technologies Tokyo has to offer take a trip to Akihabara. Another place to find a bit of the future is the Ginza District. This area of Tokyo has been compared to Times Square, but just taken up a few levels. Be ready for lots of people, lots of lights, and lots of shopping. You will probably find things here you will not find anywhere else in the world. Two well-known districts in Tokyo are Harajuku and Kabukichō. Harajuku is known around the world for youth culture and fashion while Kabukichō is the red-light district of Tokyo, featuring many restaurants, bars, shops, and clubs. And don’t forget to take some time to enjoy all the sushi, ramen, udon, and tempura. There’s no better place than Tokyo.
A Walk into the Past
If you are tired of the future, you can also take a step back to a time when electronics did not exist. The Imperial Palace is a great stop for anyone wanting to know how the emperors and lords of 17th-century Tokyo lived. You can visit the many gardens and walk along the same paths as powerful figures in Japanese life from long ago. Edo Castle, built in 1457, is another great stop along the timeline of medieval Japan. Much of the castle is in ruins after two devastating fires, but there are sections that have been preserved or restored for visitors to see. For a bit of Japanese history in terms of theatre, the Kabuki-za Theatre is the place to see a traditional Kabuki performance.
Find Peace in Buddhism
Another way to look to the past is to visit the quiet shrines and temples of Tokyo. If your hotel is not quiet enough these places will help you find peace. Sensō-ji Temple is one of the oldest religious places in Tokyo and is the most popular Buddhist spot in the city. The street leading up the entrance of the shrine is quite busy, with all kinds of shops, but the shrine itself is peaceful. The Meiji Shrine and its 175 acres of forest are a great place to find some peace and quiet in this bustling city. Zōjō-ji and Yasukuni are two other shrines you can visit if you want to learn more about Japan’s Buddhist history.
Something for Everyone
Tokyo has a lot to offer adults as well as their families. Before you start your long day of sightseeing, it might be a good idea to try the Tsukiji Market. This market is packed with all kinds of food: fruit, vegetables, fish, seafood, and more. It has so much to choose from; it is not only the largest fish and seafood market in the world, but one of the biggest markets in the world. Look for some of the best sushi and noodles you have ever tasted. After you have had your fill of Japan’s world-famous culinary delights, it’s time to get in some sightseeing.
For the young, or young at heart, there are four major elements of fun you will not want to miss: Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Sea Life Park, Ueno Zoo, and the Ghibli Museum. Animals abound in real life, in American style animation, or in anime at these four sites. The Ueno Zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan and is surrounded by a beautiful park. Ueno Park is Japan’s most popular park, especially during the spring when the cherry trees blossom. Also, close to Ueno Zoo is the National Museum of Nature and Science. The museum has hundreds of exhibits going all the way back to prehistoric times and into the future with exhibits on cutting-edge robotics.
A Bit of History
Japan has a complex and fascinating history that you won’t want to miss. There are many museums that offer a look back at how Japan has become the country it is today. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, also known as the Miraikan, offers insights into Japan’s role in technology. The Edo-Tokyo Museum offers a complete history of the city and surrounding area. The Tokyo National Museum is a must-see as it is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. It holds the largest collection of Japanese art and artefacts in the world.