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City Skyline from Sky Bar, Park Hyatt Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
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Tokyo Hotels

Types of Accommodations For Travelers to Japan
Hiroshima: It's more than a mushroom cloud
Interesting and offbeat places to visit in Tokyo
Japanese Geisha
Mount Fuji, the sleeping volcano
Sapporo Japan - An Introduction 
The Wonderful World of Sushi
Travel Tokyo Japan

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Street Scene in Tokyo's Ginza District at Night, Japan
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Tokyo (literally "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. 

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Interesting and offbeat places to visit in Tokyo   by Michael Henry

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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.

Snow Over Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan
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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.
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
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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 Asian tourists.

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.

People Eating Lunch at Ramen Tei, Asakusa, Tokyo, Kanto, Japan
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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 and musicians.

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.

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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.

Travel Tokyo Japan   by Paul Everton

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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 Japan.
Spring Blossom and Lake at Ueno-Koen Park, Ueno, Tokyo, Japan
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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 daily rates.

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Century 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.
Ginza 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 hotel.
Grand 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.
Imperial Hotel Tokyo
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 cocktail.
Sheraton 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.
Shibuya 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..
Shinjuku 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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