東京

Life in Japan’s capital is fast-paced and hectic

It is the blend of tradition with the new that gives the city its unique vitality. At first sight, Tokyo appears all skyscrapers and neon. Land is scarce and developers build anywhere they can. But this concrete jungle, which seems to go on forever, conceals a rich cultural mix. Tokyo is a megalopolis, made up of distinctive districts – from the art and culture of Roppongi to the trendy shopping area of Harajuku – and pockets of old Tokyo remain.

For consumers, Tokyo offers incredible choice

Tokyo signs

The Japanese are always looking for the next thing, from fashion, to gadgets (computers, cameras and mobile phones), to food. Eating out is cheap and very good - sushi, ramen and noodle dishes are popular – and Tokyo also boasts the greatest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.

There is plenty to see: the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park; the Mori Tower, with its views of the city (and Mount Fuji on a clear day), and Art Museum; the Edo-Tokyo Museum and museums in Ueno Park; Shinjuku Gyoen Park, built for the imperial family; the imperial palace itself; and Tsukiji Fish Market, the biggest in the world. Tokyo is a sea port and a visit to the Odaiba waterfront is also a must.

Tokyo noodle soup

The Tokyo National Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Japanese art and fans of animations Princess Monoke and Spirited Away, produced by Studio Ghibli, will enjoy the Ghibli Museum, where they can see the original sketches. 

The National Theatre is the best place to see traditional Japanese performing arts bunraku (classic puppet theatre), gagaku (music of the imperial court), and kabuki, which can also be seen at Kabuki-za.

The Japanese love popular culture: cinema, computer games, anime, manga; bowling, baseball, soccer and sumo; or just meeting friends for a drink in the izakayas and, of course, making their own entertainment in the many karaoke bars.

They also hold countless festivals throughout the year.  Millions turn out to watch the fireworks for obon, the festival of the dead, and to celebrate hanami, the beauty of flowers, specifically the cherry blossom in spring.

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