Many think of Tokyo as a hustle and bustle metropolitan, however Tokyo also boasts geographically mysterious and beautiful islands in the Pacific Ocean, mountainous valleys with great trekking courses. Tokyo offers many aspects to be discovered. The 11 islands of Tokyo, administratively part of Tokyo but about 1000 km away from the city, boast onsets (hot springs) and beach resort areas, including idyllic sandy, white beaches contrasted by the blue waters of the Pacific.
Ogasawara Islands are an archipelago of over 30 subtropical and tropical islands, added to UNESCO's list of World Natural Heritage sites in 2011.
Located only 50 minutes by plane from Haneda Airport, Hachijo-jima Island offers visitors its jungle-like greenery, ocean, and distinctive cultural heritage, especially its sericulture and kihachijo silk-weaving.
Izu Oshima Island is an inhabited volcanic island in the Izu archipelago in the Philippine sea, the largest of its Izu Island counterparts. At the centre of this island is the 758 meter tall Mount Mihara, an active volcano and on the the spans to the island’s north and western coasts. Surrounding are beaches that offer all sorts of fun aquatic activities. Aogashima island is also not to be misssed - offering a beautiful landscape formed by the overlapping remnants of at least four submarine calderas.
Tokyo has several mountains which attract many hikers and climbers as these are only one hour from the heart of the city.
Mount Takao is a mountain located in Tokyo which attracts the largest number of climbers in the world (2.6 million people) annually. Mount Takao offers beautiful scenery, including an interesting temple on the hiking trails.
Mitake Valley is a valley located in Okutama region of Tokyo, having various hiking options to neighbouring peaks and valleys. On your way, you will pass some Japanese inns, which have been catering to visitors and pilgrims to Mount Mitake for centuries.
Not only the skyscrapers, Tokyo has preserved much of its traditional culture, as can be seen in the Shitamachi area. Shitamachi literally means "city centre" and has been the place to experience a taste of the old town Tokyo atmosphere since Edo Period, long before the economic miracle of the seventies and eighties overtook Japan.
The most famous district of Shitamachi is Asakusa. Visitors can find Senso-ji Temple, best known for the giant red lantern situated at its entrance. This is a great place to start any exploration of Tokyo, by learning about the relationship between Buddhism and Shintoism, and getting to know some of the rituals associated with visiting a temple.
Ameyoko, known as a discount shopping street, located under the railway line from JR Ueno Station to Okachimachi Station, is famous throughout Japan for its wide varieties of products. Today, various products such as clothes, bags, cosmetics, fresh fish, dried foods and spices are sold along Ameyoko.
Kappabashi is a shopping street between Ueno and Asakusa which is almost entirely populated with shops supplying the restaurant trade. You will find specialized stores for knives, pots, dishes, pans, cooking utensils, stoves, and more. There are also a few stores which sell food samples made in plastic and wax, which we can see in the restaurant’s show windows.
Yanaka Ginza is the centre of commerce of Yanaka district, and is famed for its atmosphere which brings you back to the Edo Period. Located in eastern Tokyo, there is also a narrow shopping street called Sunamachi Ginza Shopping Street, a home to a bright, rhythmical energy and a lively atmosphere.
Tsukishima is located close to Tsukiji fish market. Here you can try one of Tokyo’s local dish called ‘Monjayaki’ - a runny, savoury pancake. Also known as Monja street, Tsukishima is lined with specialized eateries, competing for the hearts and minds of sticky soul food lovers to feel the Shitamachi vibes.
Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital and the greater Tokyo area is the most populous metropolis in the world, mixing the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. Discover the historical sites with a modern architecture while you are visiting Tokyo for the Rugby World Cup 2019!
Asakusa in Taito Ward is a place where the historical culture is still very much alive. Its centre is Senso-ji Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple with about 1400 years history. And since the opening of Tokyo Sky Tree in 2012, this spot has received much attention for its harmony of traditional culture and hypermodern development.
Another landmark Tokyo has to offer is Zojo-ji Temple and Tokyo Tower. Founded in 1393, Zojo-ji Temple is the head temple of Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism in the Kanto region. Standing next to Tokyo tower in the spacious Shiba Park, this outstanding sight is another of Tokyo’s juxtapositions of tradition and modernity.
Hamarikyu Garden close to Ginza area is a Japanese garden that has been remodeled as a public garden park, on the site of what was formerly a villa of the Shogun Tokugawa’s family in the 17th century. The traditionally-styled garden stands in stark contrast to the skyscrapers of the adjacent Shiodome district.
A few steps from Harajuku Station, Meiji Jingu Shrine was established in 1920 in dedication to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and the Empress Dowager. The shrine grounds are covered by a forest which provides a peaceful oasis just in the heart of metropolitan Tokyo.
Located on a sloping street, Kagurazaka is one of the most attractive and interesting enclaves in all of Tokyo. Kagurazaka was a popular entertainment district during the Edo Period, and some of the geisha houses are still open to exclusive clientele to this day.
Computer gamers, comic-book geeks, and kawaii fashions are among the fantastic characters in Tokyo’s subcultural pantheon. Discover what inspired anime and manga masters, check out the city’s latest fashion at Harajuku and Shibuya or tech crazes, with this essential guide to Tokyo pop culture.
The pop cultural trends are bubbling up from Shibuya. This dazzling commercial district has inspired many a fashion craze so keep your eyes peeled as you leave the station and hit pedestrianized Centre Gai, the entrance to which is marked by the 109 Building packed with boutiques selling the latest youth fashions.
Known as Akiba among Japanese, Akihabara created its reputation as Tokyo’s prime shopping area for electronic goods.
Naturally with Nakano Broadway in Nakano district, it also attracts many computer and tech-obsessed geeks (otaku) whose love of anime and manga retailers also starts catering for.
For more outlandish and youth-orientated kawaii fashions, a trip to Harajuku is the best course of discovery. While navigating your way along the shopping alley Takeshita Street which is popular among teenagers, visitors can discover more spacious and elegant surrounds of nearby Omotesando to find Kiddy Land, a major toy store selling masses of character goods inspired by anime and manga, with all the latest hits as well as old favourites.