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Tokyo Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 4-6 days

Best Time: October to November, March to May Read More

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"A beautiful melange of old and new. "

Tokyo Tourism

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is in every sense- a mix. This city is known for its technological prowess, its quirky pop culture, and its simultaneous attachment to tradition. With every area having something different to offer, it is truly the best place for any tourist seeking variety and adventure.

Nestled in South-Eastern Japan, Tokyo boasts not only of towering sky-scrapers, immaculate roads and architecture, but also of forests, traditional shrines and cherry blossoms in the spring. A combination of poetic wonder and technological marvel, Tokyo is a must-visit for any tourist. The city is not all about slick business suits and traditional kimonos either- it is a thriving pop culture phenomenon for gamers, developers, and anime fans alike, with its quirky technological innovations and virtual culture. Tokyo is best perceived as a collection of cities with different characters and vibes, rather than one city alone. The main tourist attractions in Tokyo are the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, the shopping districts of Harajuku and Shibuya (one of the busiest intersections in the world), the traditional Meiji and Sensoji Shrines, and of course, the cherry blossom flowers in April. However, aside from these attractions, Tokyo has little pockets of unique culture, technology and food that remain unnoticed by the mainstream. These include the Kabukicho entertainment district that has an eclectic robot restaurant, Roppongi, that is famous for its nightlife, and vampire and maid cosplay caf_s in Shinjuku (for the pop culture fanatic). Gastronomically, Tokyo is one of the must-see cities in the world as it has the most Michelin Stars, for the discerning connoisseurs. Japanese cuisine too has a wide variety- for the brave and the less adventurous alike. Dishes like sashimi (raw seafood with seasoning), ramen (noodles boiled with broth) and okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes) are its highlights, and ramen shops are commonplace in the streets of Tokyo. One can find peace and quiet in the Meiji and Sensoji shrines, and tradition in the shadows of the skyscrapers in the form of traditional festivals like the Shunki Reitasai in the spring, and at the same time get dazzled by the electronic splendour of the Akihabara district. For all the gamers and visual culture nerds, there are Pok_mon Centres at Ikebukuro and Shibuya, and regular anime conventions. Tokyo is the city of arcades and recreational gaming caf_s, which indicate its immersion in the virtual world and technology. Tokyo, thus, is a conglomeration of all that a tourist needs- adventure, peace, entertainment, recreation and beauty, all in one, with interesting contradictions and a culture of beauty and spectacle.

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Exchanging Money in Tokyo

The most convenient options for currency exchange are in banks and post offices mostly, some licensed currency exchange generators at the airports and a few large hotels. By and large, whether you need to exchange your currency before or after arriving at Narita depends on the currency you carry. For instance, USD is relatively easy to exchange, but South-East Asian currency is difficult to exchange. ATMs mostly refuse cards issued outside Japan, except for the ones found in post offices and the 7-11 convenience stores around the country.

Shopping in Tokyo

For fashion, Ginza, Asakusa, Shibuya, Harajuku and Roppongi are akin to paradise for any kind of shopper in Tokyo - from chic boutiques and thrift stores to high-end name brands, these places have them all. Tokyo is also home to countless other consumer goods - like anime and manga goods, electronics, vinyl music and traditional goods and fashion as well. Ikebukuro and Akihabara are the best place for electronics, while trendy and anime-themed shopping is the best in Shibuya and Harajuku. For good skincare products, Shibuya is the place in Tokyo. Nihonbashi is a district that will delight tourists with eclectic Japanese traditional food and goods. For a new experience, Odaiba is a large shopping complex built on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, which has all kinds of stores for the seasoned shopper. Ochanomizu is a delight to all those looking for first-class sports and musical equipment. Finally, the cheapest places for shopping in Tokyo are flea markets (held in temples, usually on Sundays) and 100-yen stores, the biggest of which is located in Harajuku.

Nightlife in Tokyo

In Tokyo, there are two types of bars - the ones with a predominant Western vibe, and traditional Japanese establishments (rare) that serve sake (traditional Japanese rice wine). There are plenty of themed bars and pubs, and nightlife is not complete without karaoke bars (as famously seen in Lost In Translation) and a wide array of activities from traditional drinking games to host and hostess bars. Something that is unique to Japan is the host/hostess culture, where very good-looking servers occupy guests with banter, conversation and good food - of course, this is a little heavy on the pocket. Maid and butler culture is also very popular - so specialty maid and butler host bars can be found in Ginza and Ikebukuro. Kabukicho is, of course, the most famous •entertainmentê district of Tokyo, which is home to a number of strip clubs and love motels. Some of the must-visit nightlife places in Tokyo are: Aisotope, Womb, Gas Panic, The Watering Hole (Yoyogi).

History of Tokyo

Not originally Japanês capital, Tokyo (earlier known as Edo) was established in 1590, and was closed off from the rest of the world for nearly two centuries. When the Shogunate fell in 1867, Tokyo was taken as the new capital of Japan, and the Meiji Era began, during which the arts and sciences flourished in Tokyo, with a boom in foreign trade and economic activity. However, during the early part of the 20th century, Tokyo faced a terrible crisis with the Kanto Earthquake and the devastation caused by World War II. It has managed to emerge from the ashes now, and has established itself as an economic and cultural stronghold.

Language of Tokyo

The most commonly spoken language around Japan is Japanese, but in Tokyo, Japanese has a special dialect, with the usage of Hiragana and Katakana characters. Most inhabitants speak in Japanese, except for high-end or multinational establishments, where other languages such as English, French, Chinese and Korean are spoken. Also, asking younger inhabitants in the area would be advisable, since English has been included in their curriculum, and businessmen also know rudimentary English. Basic phrases include: •Helloê: •Kon-ni-chi-waê •Nice to meet you!ê: •Yo-ro-shi-ku On-_-ga-ya-shi-ma-su!ê •Thank you!ê: •A-ri-ga-to-go-za-i-ma-su!ê •Excuse meê: •Su-mi-ma-senê Yes: •Haiê No: •iieê

Tokyo Customs

1. Dress codes in Tokyo are generally modest. Usually everyone in Tokyo, except in Harajuku and Shibuya dress conservatively, for this is the office-going business crowd of Japan. Therefore, tourists are advised to not wear anything over-the-top in a district like Akihabara, but they can wear anything they like in Harajuku. 2.Tipping is not a practice in Tokyo, or Japan in general. Most restaurants are mechanized, therefore tipping isnêt even necessary in certain establishments. 3. Japanese society is usually very respectful and quiet, so tourists are advised to learn some rudimentary formal Japanese, to communicate with the elderly and people in older, more traditional establishments. Also, proper dining etiquette is compulsory, like not sticking chopsticks into a bowl of rice, and drinking modestly with deference near seniors.

Religion of Tokyo

Japan is mostly irreligious, but those who identify as religious follow Shintoism and Buddhism, with Shinto being predominantly followed. Ceremonies are all markedly Shinto in nature, while certain tenets of Buddhism are adopted by the Japanese.

Daily Budget for Tokyo

For the frugal traveller on a shoestring budget, including travel, food and a temple visit, at least JPY 5500 is required per day. For the comfortable traveller, about 8,000 to JPY 15,000 is required. For the luxury traveller, more than JPY 15,000 to 20,000 per day can be spent. Tipping is not a custom in Japan, and is never accepted at most restaurants.

Currency in Tokyo

In Tokyo, the currency used is JPY, everywhere. Foreign currencies are usually not accepted outside of the international airport. All credit and debit cards are accepted here increasingly, but for payments and at smaller monuments,restaurants and shops, cash is necessary. The concept of rechargeable stored value cards is prevalent for buses or the subway. Counterfeit money is not a problem in Japan.

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FAQs on Tokyo

What are the places near Tokyo?

The top places near to Tokyo are Osaka which is 396 km from Tokyo, Kyoto which is located 363 km from Tokyo, Nagoya which is located 258 km from Tokyo, London which is located 9561 km from Tokyo, Dubai which is located 7935 km from Tokyo

What are the things to do in Tokyo?

The top things to do in Tokyo are Tokyo Sky Tree, Shibuya, Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Royal Palace, Tokyo DisneySea, Hamarikyu Gardens. You can see all the places to visit in Tokyo here

What are the top hotels in Tokyo?

There are 4736 in Tokyo which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Tokyo are Japan Lifestyle Apartment FJ07, Apartment in Toyko 047, Apartment In Asakusabashi Area 4F, Shinjuku Apartment 102, Funkey Apartment in Shinjuku 519543, Rooms. You can see all the hotels in Tokyo here

What is the local food in Tokyo?

Food in Tokyo, usually, is assumed to be sushi or California rolls, which is definitely not the case. Japanese cuisine has a variety of different flavours, with great emphasis on seafood. Tokyoês food is mostly Japanese in origin, and mostly Japanese interpretations of French or European cuisine. Ramen is the most common food here, which is noodles boiled in vegetable broth, and rice and Japanese curry is another popular option. For the more adventurous, sashimi is a must-try- specially the raw sea-urchin, and the delectable selection of seafood that Japan has to offer. Other traditional items include yakitori (skewered grilled chicken with spices), tonkatsu(a crisp pork cutlet), taiyaki(a fish-shaped cake stuffed with sweet and savoury fillings) and tempura ( battered and deep-fried vegetables and seafood).As for beverages, Tokyo traditionally has sake (rice wine) and matcha tea. Matcha is a fine ground powder of processed green tea, which has many health benefits and is very popular among the Japanese. To the seasoned, discerning connoisseur,Tokyo is paradise, for it has the most Michelin stars, and for the wine enthusiasts, Tokyo has its own variant of rice wine, called sake. Tokyo has its own variety of cuisine which is as unique and versatile as the culture it possesses.
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What is the best time to visit Tokyo?

Tokyo is a land of climatic extremes, with scorching summers and cold, snowy winters with blizzards. Therefore the best time to visit Tokyo, unquestionably, is during the spring (March-May) when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and autumn from October to November. The cherry blossoms, otherwise known as Sakura, are one of the biggest tourist attractions in Japan. Traditional Japanese festivals are held throughout the year, and the best ones are always held at the spring-to-summer juncture, which makes the spring ideal for a visit to Tokyo. Autumn is also an ideal time to visit Japan as the foliage is at its prime, and the scenery at the shrines is a sight to behold. Also, there is a crispness to the air in the autumn, so it is better to carry warm clothes. Summers (June - September) in Tokyo are peak tourist season, which brings with itself high lodging charges and unbearable humidity. Winters (December - February), on the other hand, are chilly but manageable but you won’t have the chance to witness the beauty of Tokyo at its full potential at this time. 
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Tokyo Reviews

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Aishwarya Arora

6 years ago
Tokyo is one of the most beautiful places in the entire world I think and should be a must travel. I went there quite a while back with my family and we stayed there for 2 years. This place is cultur (Read More)ally diverse and filled with so many traditions! While traveling, we saw numerous museums, gorgeous festival celebrations, well lit temples and tasted many internationally noted cuisines. It's a city rich in music and theater as well! The chief attractions here for me were The Imperial Palace and The Ginzo district - the perfect place for shopping and picking up some gifts for friends and family back home. I'd definitely suggest people to visit!
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