Tokyo 東京 Travel Tips

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Tokyo (東京) is the capital and largest city in Japan. Officially known as Tokyo Metropolis, it is counted as one of the 47 prefectures of the country. The city - which is in fact a metropolis of many cities - has the largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a total GDP of US$1.479 trillion as of 2008. Tokyo Metropolis is located on the eastern coast of Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 with the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture with the City of Tokyo. It is the largest metropolitan area in Japan and the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, a large metropolitan area in the Kanto Region.

Tokyo, JapanA view of Tokyo, Japan (5 April, 2007)

Tourist Attractions of Tokyo

  1. Hamarikyu Gardens
  2. Kabuki-za
  3. Rainbow Bridge
  4. Shiba Park
  5. Sumida River
  6. Tokyo Sky Tree
  7. Tokyo Tower
  8. Tsukiji Fish Market
  9. Zojo-ji Temple

Department Stores in Tokyo

  1. Matsuya Department Store
  2. Matsuzakaya Department Store
  3. Mitsukoshi Department Store
  4. Wako Department Store

Tokyo Subway System

  1. Asakusa Line (A)
  2. Chiyoda Line (C)
  3. Oedo Line (E)
  4. Fukutoshin Line (F)
  5. Ginza Line (G)
  6. Hibiya Line (H)
  7. Mita Line (I)
  8. Marunouchi Line (M)
  9. Namboku Line (N)
  10. Shinjuku Line (S)
  11. Tozai Line (T)
  12. Yurakucho Line (Y)
  13. Hanzomon Line (Z)

Special Wards of Tokyo Metropolis

  1. Adachi
  2. Arakawa
  3. Bunkyo
  4. Chiyoda
  5. Chuo
  6. Edogawa
  7. Itabashi
  8. Katsushika
  9. Kita
  10. Koto
  11. Meguro
  12. Minato
  13. Nakano
  14. Nerima
  15. Ota
  16. Setagaya
  17. Shibuya
  18. Shinagawa
  19. Shinjuku
  20. Suginami
  21. Sumida
  22. Taito
  23. Toshima

Neighbourhoods of Central Tokyo

  1. Akasaka
  2. Akihabara
  3. Aoyama
  4. Azabu
  5. Ginza
  6. Harajuku
  7. Ikebukuro
  8. Jinbocho
  9. Marunouchi
  10. Nagatacho
  11. Odaiba
  12. Omotesando
  13. Otemachi
  14. Roppongi
  15. Ryogoku
  16. Shinbashi
  17. Shiodome
  18. Ueno
  19. Yurakucho

Cities in Tokyo Metropolis

  1. Akiruno
  2. Akishima
  3. Chofu
  4. Fuchu
  5. Fussa
  6. Hachiōji
  7. Hamura
  8. Higashikurume
  9. Higashimurayama
  10. Hino
  11. Inagi
  12. Kiyose
  13. Kodaira
  14. Koganei
  15. Kokubunji
  16. Komae
  17. Kunitachi
  18. Machida
  19. Mitaka
  20. Musashimurayama
  21. Musashino
  22. Nishitokyo
  23. Ome
  24. Tachikawa
  25. Tama

National Parks of Tokyo

  1. Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park
  2. Ogasawara National Park
  3. Ueno Park

Outlying Parts of Tokyo

  1. Nishitama District
  2. Izu Islands
  3. Ogasawara Islands

Tokyo Metropolis has a population of over 13 million people (2011 estimate) while the Greater Tokyo Area has a population of 36 million people. The core and most populous part of Tokyo Metropolis is composed of 23 municipalities known as Special Wards. These are like cities within the Tokyo Metropolis. The Tokyo Metropolis is a very safe place for foreign visitors to explore. Although it appears mind boggling at first glance - and its sheer size may appear daunting, if you take a little time to get to know Tokyo bit by bit, you will become more familiar with it, and be better prepared to explore it on your own.

Ginza, TokyoGinza, Tokyo (4 April, 2007)

Climate of Tokyo

Tokyo Metropolis experiences the humid subtropical climate, with hot humid summers and mild winters with cool spells. January and February are the coldest months, with daily mean temperature of around 5.8°C (42.4°F) in January and 6.1°C (43°F) in February. The warmest months are July and August, when daily mean temperature rises to 25.4°C (77.7°F) in July and 27.1°C (80.8°F) in August. September is the wettest month, with precipitation of 208.5 mm (8.2 in).

Tokyo on Google Maps Street View

Visting Tokyo

By Plane
Narita International Airport (NRT) is the main international gateway for Tokyo. It is about 70 kilometers from downtown Tokyo. To get out of the airport, you have a few options:

  1. The most convenient is the limousine bus which goes to all major hotels in Tokyo. The fare is ¥3000 and the journey takes roughly 2 hours.
  2. The cheapest option is to take the Keisei Limited Express train. It goes to Nippori/Ueno station, and costs only ¥1000 for the 80-minute ride.
  3. The fastest option is to take the Narita Express. It reaches Tokyo Station in the heart of the metropolis, in 55 minutes, and costs ¥2940.
  4. Without a doubt the most expensive option is to take a taxi. You can go airport-to-door anywhere in Tokyo, but the privilege will cost you ¥30,000.
For more details, read Arriving in Tokyo.

By Train
The Shinkansen bullet train connects Tokyo Station in Chiyoda to other cities in Japan including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka.

Tokyo TowerView of Tokyo Tower from its base (4 April, 2007)

Getting around in Tokyo

The easiest way to explore Tokyo is by taking the subway. The lines converge on the Subway Map like a mass of spaghetti, but once you get used to it, it is certainly the easiest way to move about in Tokyo.

If you are going to use the subway frequently, I recommend you get the stored-value cards. There are in fact two types, Suico and PASMO, but they are functionally interchangeable. You pay a ¥500 deposit plus a stored value of up to ¥20,000.

In addition to the stored value cards, you can also buy special subway tickets that allow unlimited rides. However most of these are not worth getting unless you expect to spend much of your time on the train.

For more details about traveling in Japan, read about the Japan Rail Pass. Imperial Palace, TokyoPine trees on the grounds of the Imperial Palace (4 April, 2007)

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