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. And yet its offbeat side is what has gained worldwide fame. The media loves to focus on Harajuku's vibrant and evanescent 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 its traditional gardens, shrines and temples. The city also offers outdoor adventures, some unexpected natural wonders, and tens of thousands of restaurants and bars. Whatever your cup of tea is, you'll probably find all you can drink in Tokyo.
Tokyo is served by two airports, Haneda and Narita. From there, you can get to central Tokyo by regular or limousine buses as well as trains.
Getting around Tokyo is also easy, with a multitude of public and private railway systems and subway lines that run on schedule. Buses and cabs constantly circle the city. Buses usually run until late at night while train and subway lines generally operate until midnight. Getting prepaid IC cards such as PASMO or Suica is recommended to make traveling within the city on private lines and other transport simple, but your most important purchase should be a Japan Rail Pass.
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.
Enjoy fireworks, summer festivals, swimming pools, barbecues and beer gardens in the heat of summer. Eat some cold somen noodles. Head for Mt. Takao and see some fireflies.
Take a leisurely walk through Tokyo's Japanese gardens, or go on a hike for fantastic views of fall foliage. Tokyo Game Show draws hundreds of thousand of gamers, and for cinephiles there's the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Time for winter illumination to appear throughout the city, festivals traditional and experimental like the Hagoita-Ichi Festival, skating rinks and the Tokyo and Roppongi Christmas markets.