A business and cultural megacenter that's home to tens of millions of people, Tokyo is also the crossroads where the Japanese interact with citizens from all over the world. The media loves to focus on Harajuku's vibrant fashion, robot restaurants, maid cafes and the passionate uberfans known as otaku. But as busy as Tokyo is at giving birth to new ideas, cultures and inventions, it's just as fastidious about preserving tradition, carefully maintaining historical gardens, shrines and temples.
Tokyo is served by two international airports, Haneda and Narita. From there, you can reach central Tokyo by regular or limousine buses, or have the option of monorail (Haneda only) or trains. The Narita Express (N'EX) and Keisei Skyliner are JR and privately-run trains that connect Tokyo and Narita International Airport.
Getting around Tokyo is also easy, with a multitude of public and private railway systems and subway lines that run on schedule. While there is no specific city center, The Yamanote Loop train line marks the center of the city. Buses and cabs constantly circle the city. Buses usually run until late while train and subway lines generally operate until midnight. Getting a prepaid IC cards such as PASMO or Suica is recommended to make traveling within the city on private lines and other transport simple. Your most important purchase is a Japan Rail Pass if you plan on Japan-wide travel and using the national rail and bus network.
Edo Cut Glass
Originally made in Edo—present-day Tokyo—kiriko is decorated entirely with precision cuts. Exquisite patterns charact...
Fukagawa-meshi combines clams, miso and leeks to make a warming, flavorful soup that is poured over a bowl of rice. C...
A breed of chicken imported to Japan from Thailand as gamecocks. As a delicacy, Tokyo shamo yield an oil-rich cut of ...
A savory pancake made of finely chopped cabbage, flour, egg and dashi. Other ingredients such as pork, shrimp and oct...
The style of sushi most familiar worldwide. As Edo, which is now Tokyo, became wealthier, sushi became a less formal,...
Tokyo Pattern-Dyed Fabrics
The beauty of Tokyo Komon is in its subtlety. The fabric appears to be a solid color from a distance but up close a d...
Tokyo Dyed Silk
Elegance and sophistication define the subtle designs of Tokyo Yuzen kimonos, still produced in the city today. This ...
Murayama Oshima Pongee Silk
Prized for making beautiful, natural, lightweight kimonos, Musashi-Murayama Tsumugi is a blend of silk and cotton dye...
See the city take on a gentler aspect as the plum blossoms and cherry blossoms flower. Stretch out on a mat, drink sake and eat Japanese dumplings under the blooms at Shinjuku Gyoen, Yoyogi, Ueno or Inokashira parks.
Enjoy one of Japan's largest fireworks displays at the Sumida River. Head for Mt. Takao for its seasonal beer garden and to see some fireflies.
Visit gardens such as Koishikawa Korakuen, or hike the Okutama mountain ranges for fantastic fall foliage. Temperatures cool but the event calendar heats up, with the Tokyo Game Show and Tokyo International Film Festival major draws.
Winter illuminations appear throughout the city, ice-skating rinks open and revelers crowd Asakusa Temple and Meiji Shrine for New Year pilgrimages and festivities.