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of Accommodations For Travelers to Japan
It's more than a mushroom cloud
and offbeat places to visit in Tokyo
Fuji, the sleeping volcano
Japan - An Introduction
Wonderful World of Sushi
"Eastern capital") is the de facto capital of Japan, and the most populous
city in the country. Tokyo is the seat of the Japanese government and the
Imperial Palace, the home of the Japanese Imperial Family. With a population
of over 35 million people in the Greater Tokyo Area. It has the largest
metropolitan gross domestic product in the world for a city, and it has
held the title of the world's most expensive city for a decade.
Prior to 1943, Tokyo was
the name of both one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, Tokyo-fu, and the
populous city of Tokyo in the eastern half of the prefecture. In 1943 the
city and prefecture were merged into a unique prefecture level government
entity, known as TOkyO-to or "Tokyo Metropolis".
This administrative region
includes the twenty-three "special wards" of the former city, many suburban
cities in the western half of the prefecture, and two chains of islands
extending south into the Pacific Ocean. About 12 million people, 10 percent
of Japan's population, live within Tokyo Metropolis's prefecture boundaries.
Tokyo is also home to many of the tallest buildings on Earth.
Tokyo is considered one of
the world's major global cities and a megacity. The word "Tokyo" may refer
to Tokyo Metropolis as a whole, or only to the main urban mass under its
jurisdiction (thus excluding west Tama and Izu / Ogasawara Islands), or
even the whole of Greater Tokyo Area, depending on context.
and offbeat places to visit in Tokyo by Michael Henry
Not everyone visiting Japan
is interested in the temples and museums. Sometimes to get to understand
a culture you need to go beyond the places suggested by your guidebook.
If you are looking for some strange and quirky things to see and do in
Tokyo, read on for some ideas.
|You will need to wake up
pretty early to see the Tsukiji fish market in full swing. Tourists can
only enter a small section of the market as they were becoming too much
of a nuisance touching and poking the fish. Skip breakfast from your hotel
and head to one of the many sushi restaurants located around the market.
Perhaps before you eat lunch,
you should visit the Meguro Parasite Museum. On display are over 300 species
of parasites, including a 30 foot tapeworm which was found inside of a
man - not recommended for people with weak stomachs.
From Meguro, take the JR
Yamanote line which circles Tokyo, to Harajuku. Harajuku is not only the
fashion center of Tokyo, but on Sundays, it is where younger Japanese dress
up and hang out for the day. Japanese refer this as "cosplay" and you will
see everything from gothic to French maid outfits.
Takeshita-dori right in front
of Harajuku station is a street lined with mostly cosplay and accessory
shops. This is where the teenagers buy their gothic and French maid costumes.
There is even a shop which
sells clothes and accessories for your pet dog. Crepes and waffles seem
to be the choice of food for the teenagers shopping here. If you want to
try one, be prepared to wait a while as the lines can get long.
Also on the weekend in Harajuku,
just across from the Yoyogi National Stadium, Japanese young and old put
on a variety of amateur musical, dancing and comedy shows. Some are good,
some are pretty average, others are just weird. Impress your friends by
getting some pictures of punk rock guys all dressed in high school uniforms.
Outside of Yoyogi Park you will find Tokyo's Rock-a-billy group decked
out in denim and leather with hair-styles to match, dancing to the tunes
of the fifties and sixties.
|Find out what all the controversy
is about by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine. Each visit by Japan's Prime Minister
to the shrine causes outrage and makes newspaper headlines across China
and Korea. Yasukuni Shrine is fairly unremarkable to look at, but what
makes it famous, is that it commemorates Japan's involvement in World War
Two. No fewer than 12 convicted Class A war criminals are enshrined at
Yasukuni. Interestingly, the shrine is a popular tourist destination for
If you have ever been to
a Japanese restaurant you will know about the plastic food displays they
use to put in the the front of their window. The plastic creations
are sold in a place called Kappabashi Street.
It is located between Ueno
and Asakusa. You can also pick up some interesting souvenirs, including
sushi key chains. Kappabashi is the place where restaurants and serious
cooks buy their cooking utensils and accessories.
Akiharbara is famous mostly
for cheap electronics, but more recently it has become the center for otaku
culture. Otaku is a word which describes mostly males who are into video
games, computers and animation. "Maid cafes" have sprung up to cater for
the otaku who visit Akihabara. In maid-cafes waitresses dress up in french
maid outfits or in character costumes from popular computer games. Maid
cafes greet their customers with a phrase which loosely translates as "welcome
master". Photography of the "maids" only seems to be encouraged.
|A narrow alley not far from
Shinjuku station is aptly named Shomben Yokocho, or piss alley for the
lack of toilets in the shops. It is a narrow street lined with Yakitori
or grilled chicken shops. Barbecue smoke wafts from each of the shops.
Fortunately public facilities are now available in the area. The place
has a interesting atmosphere of old Tokyo, but for a better feed of Yakitori
head off to the area around Yurakucho station.
The small Yakitori restaurants
sit right underneath the railway lines. The noise of the trains and the
vibrations they cause as they go overhead, only adds to the atmosphere.
The area is popular with Japanese salarymen grabbing a beer and a snack
before they head off on their commute home.
Once dinner is done, most
foreigners head off to the bars and clubs of Roppongi. For a more interesting
Japanese experience, visit Golden Gai area in Shinjuku. Golden Gai is a
group of tiny bars frequented with a client el of Japanese artists, writers
Development is fast paced
in Tokyo and many of the more interesting places like Golden Gai are threatened
by bulldozers. It is a sad reality but it is the ever changing fads and
fashions that make Japan less of a holiday, but the creation of many an
anecdote that will surely liven any dinner party.
|About the Author: Mike Henry
has lived in Japan for over ten years and is operator of the website Tokyo
Essentials - a travel and tourist guide to Tokyo.
Tokyo Japan by Paul Everton
Tokyo is a location where
the urgent rhythms of consumer culture collide with the quieter moments
that linger from older customs. It's feverish madness leavened by the most
Zenic of calmnesses.
The sheer point of energy
is the most striking expression of Japan's capital city. Tokyo is a location
where the urgent rhythms of consumer culture collide with the quieter moments
that linger from older customs. It's feverish madness leavened by the most
Zenic of calmnesses.
While it's true the exciting
vibe has a somewhat depressing flip side - shoebox living accommodations
estates & office blocks traversed by overhead freeways crowded with
traffic - Tokyo remains a glittering example of the 'miracle' of post-WWII
|What makes Tokyo intriguing
is the tension between mammoth scale and meticulous detail.
Sightseeing in its streets
can be a neon assault that leaves you elated & breathless, or an encounter
with the exquisite art of understatement. Jump aboard the subway &
see how one city is actually many.
Feeding is half the fun of
being in Japan, and the adventuresome foodie will be enjoyed to know that
nihon ryori (Japanese food) is far more than the sushi, tempura and sukiyaki
for which it is best known in other nations: there are over 20 different
forms of Japanese cooking to sample.
It isn't difficult to find
something to keep you out of trouble in Tokyo. Or take you into it. Whether
it's kabuki (popular Japanese theatre) or karaoke, izakaya (half restaurant-half
pub) or hot-spring hopping, the Big Umeboshi - the 'Giant Sour Plum' -
has it all, all year around.
If you stay in Tokyo or additional
major city for one week or longest, gaijin houses (also known as guesthouses)
are an cheap accommodation option worth considering. The minimal fee term
is commonly one month, but some houses likewise provide weekly or possibly
|About the Author: World
for hotels in Tokyo
FEATURED HOTELS, JAPAN
browsing hotels in Tokyo
Southern Tower Hotel Tokyo
Century Southern Tower Hotel
is located in central Tokyo, close to Takashimaya Times Square, Tokyo Metropolitan
Government Building, and Tokyo Imperial Palace. Nearby points of interest
also include Meiji Jingu Shrine and Yoyogi Park. Dining options at Century
Southern Tower Hotel include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Recreational
amenities include a health club. This 4.0-star property offers small meeting
rooms, audio-visual equipment, and business services. High-speed Internet
access is available in public areas. This Tokyo property has event space
consisting of banquet facilities, conference/meeting rooms, and a ballroom.
Additional property amenities include gift shops/newsstands and a porter/bellhop.
Nikko Hotel Tokyo
Offering comfortable accommodation
and high standards of comfort, this modern style property is an ideal place
to reside for both business as well as leisure travellers. Situated
in the heart of Ginza, one of the most exclusive areas in the world, Nikko
Hotel Tokyo is a brief walk from Shinbashi Station, one of Tokyo's main
subway stops. This property is just 5 minutes by car from Tokyo Station,
Japan's rail hub and 70 kilometres from the airport. Begin
your day with a delicious breakfast and later taste a variety of dishes
at the onsite restaurant. Guests can also avail the services of the business
centre or make use of the sports and fitness facilities provided by the
Palace Hotel Tokyo
Providing all the convenient
facilities, Grand Palace Hotel Tokyo is an ideal accommodation spot for
both leisure and business travellers. Located in the centre of the
transportation network of Tokyo, the hotel enjoys a convenient access to
both Haneda and Narita International Airports. The nearest underground
Kudanshita Station is only a minute walking distance from the hotel, while
the JR station is about 7 minutes walk away. The onsite restaurants
serve a variety of delicious cuisine ranging from French to Japanese and
Chinese. The bar provide the ideal setting for you to relax and enjoy a
glass of fine drink. At leisure, you can explore this beautiful city
and its attractions.
Offering comfortable accommodation
and quality services, this property is an ideal place for a pleasant and
tranquil stay in Tokyo. Situated in the centre of Tokyo, the Imperial
Hotel is just a few minutes walk from the Palace, Hibiya Park, Ginza and
the Hibiya Subway Station. The hotel is just a kilometre from the Yurakucho
Train Station, while the airport is 60 kilometres away. You can dine at
any of the onsite restaurants that offer a hearty Alsatian, regional French
cuisine, Japanese as well as Italian specialities, served amidst the congenial
ambiance. The bar is also an ideal place for moments of conversation, while
sipping a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, tea, a frothy beer or your favourite
Miyako Hotel Tokyo
Offering warm hospitality,
inviting atmosphere and quality services, this property right choice of
accommodation, while visiting Tokyo. Surrounded by exquisitely landscaped
Japanese gardens, the Sheraton Miyako Hotel is in the centre of Tokyo as
well as close to the city's business and entertainment districts. This
property is 5 minutes drive from JR Train Station and 20 minutes drive
from the Haneda Airport. Guests can dine at the on-site restaurants, which
serve delicious Japanese, Chinese, French and Continental cuisines. After
a tiring day, you can unwind at the cosy bar with a fine drink.
Excel Tokyu Hotel Tokyo
Featuring an elegant decor,
pleasant ambience and comfortable accommodation, this property is the perfect
base for business as well as leisure travellers. Situated in the heart
of the city, Shibuya Excel Tokyu Hotel Tokyo is surrounded by the restaurants
and shopping areas. This property is close to the sightseeing areas such
as Meiji Jingu, NHK Hall and Roppongi Hills, while the airport is 60 minutes
by car. Offering spectacular views of the Tokyo City, the Shunsai Restaurant
serves delicious Japanese cuisine for you to enjoy. The Bientot Restaurant
serves French cuisine for you to feast on. Guests can enjoy delicious snacks
and refreshing drinks at the cafe, which is also an ideal place to relax
after a tiring day..
New City Hotel Tokyo
Set in a superb location
and offering attentive service and cordial atmosphere, the Shinjuku New
City Hotel Tokyo caters to the needs of guests travelling for business
or pleasure. Overlooking Shinjuku Central Park and landmark skyscrapers,
the property is located in Tokyo's new bustling area of Shinjuku. Just
by walking through the park, guests can easily access Tokyo Metropolitan
Government and shopping areas. The hotel's 400 guest rooms, with
the city's beautiful night view mixed in the trees of the adjourning park,
provide comfortable and relaxing space for its guests. Guests can
savour a variety of delicacies in the relaxed atmosphere of the onsite
Mermaid Restaurant and later chill out with a sip of their preferred drink
at the cocktail bar.
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