Originally a small fishing village called Edo, Tokyo today is a metropolis of more than 13 million people, and one of the world’s great financial powers.
But Tokyo is also a city of contrasts that will delight all visitors: traditionalist can participate in formal, stylized tea ceremonies, and visit ancient shrines and temples built centuries ago, while younger travelers will enjoy pop-culture tours focusing on Japan’s unique anime art.
And a world of natural beauty surrounds the city: mountains, rivers, hiking trails and more. And for indoor enthusiasts, Tokyo is considered one of the premiere shopping venues in the world. As they say, there’s something in Tokyo for everyone.
Flights to Tokyo
Flying into Tokyo is easy, and the same holds true for finding cheap flights to Tokyo.
Narita International Airport (NRT): One of the busiest airports in the world, Narita serves as a hub for Japan Airlines and Delta, and is served by numerous U.S. airlines and carriers world-wide.
Attractions in Tokyo
There are far too many great attractions in Tokyo to list here; please consult the visitors’ sites below for more ideas.
Ginza – Stroll the Chuo-Dori in this spectacular shopping district featuring luxury department stores and electronics under a glitter of neon; but Ginza is also home to traditional Japanese theaters, eclectic food stalls, antiques and much more.
Yushima Tenman-gū Shrine – Originally built in 458 AD, this Shinto shrine was later expanded and rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries; today, students come to this ancient center of learning to make offerings here for success in their studies, and the grounds are justly famous for its beautiful plum trees and winter blossoms.
Imperial Palace – Surrounded by moats and massive stone walls, the palace is located on the site that was once the seat of power for the shogun who ruled Japan; today it is the residence of the Japanese royal family. Visitors can tour some of the grounds and gardens.
Shopping and Restaurants in Tokyo
Dining: Feast on Japanese favorites that have become popular around the world including sushi, sashimi, tempura and kabayaki, but you’ll also find French and South American dishes here, plus the increasingly popular Italian cuisine (and yes, they have pizza). Don’t miss the traditional yakitori (skewered and barbecued chicken).
Shopping: Japan has produced more than its share of world-renowned fashion designers; look for their clothing in boutiques and department stores along with other luxury goods. Also check out the increasingly popular 100 yen chain stores (the equivalent of about $1.20). For “last minute” shopping needs, most convenience stores are open 24/7.
Visit the U.S. State Department’s “country specific information” section for Japan, where you’ll find embassy contacts in Tokyo as well as visa/passport requirements, and guidance for tourists on everything from getting around to staying safe. Check out Travel.State.Gov.
More Information on Tokyo
Each of these Tokyo visitor guides have long lists of things to do and see; look for special offers and deals here, too.
Tokyo Tourism – The official tourism guide lists top attractions including walking tours, plus lists of popular dining and shopping spots as well as a “Tokyo basics” guide for visitors.
Tokyo Japan Guide – This site includes theater and nightlife plus top clubs, hotels and restaurants and a “must see” list of attractions.
I Go U Go Tokyo – Includes travelers’ reviews of sight-seeing “musts”, hotels and more, plus specials and discounts.