Tokyo Tourist Attractions
Tokyo is the capital city of the parliamentary democratic monarchy of Japan, the Imperial Residence with the Emperor's Palace and the seat of Government and of Parliament.
Tokyo is situated in East-Central Honshu, the largest of Japan's main islands. The city lies north of the Bay of Tokyo, between the River Arakawa to the east and the River Tama to the west.When speaking of Tokyo it is essential to distinguish between the prefecture of Tokyo and the more circumscribed concept of Tokyo City. The prefecture, the metropolitan district of Tokyo, comprises 23 districts (or "ku"), 26 cities, seven urban districts and eight villages. Two urban districts and seven villages lie on the islands of Izu and Ogasawara which come under Tokyo for administrative purposes. The prefecture covers an area of 831sq.mi (2,410sq.km).The cityscape in Tokyo has been changed twice in history - the 1923 earthquake and the extensive bombings during World War II. Due to this devastation, the architecture in Tokyo is mainly modern and contemporary.Tokyo is a major international centre of finance with the the largest metropolitan gross domestic product for a city as well as the title - the world's most expensive city! It is also the largest hub for rail, ground, and air transportation in Japan. With the most extensive urban railway network in the world, Tokyo residents rely on rail for their main mode of transportation.The cultural side of Tokyo include numerous museums, theaters, festivals, internationally noted cuisine and a number of sports. Sports clubs include baseball, sumo, football or soccer, tennis and gymnastics. The theaters feature Japanese and modern dramas, symphony orchestras, and pop and rock events.
Central Tokyo is home of the Imperial Palace, many museums and galleries, shopping and sightseeing opportunities.
The huge shopping center of Ginza is home to high end shops in grand stores. All manner of goods can be found here from areas around the world. Coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants are also prevalent.
One of Tokyo's major tourist attractions is the Imperial Palace. The complex, which includes the beautiful grounds, is surrounded by 17th C walls and a moat.
In Japan much fish is eaten. But where does it come from? Much of it is imported. But whether deep-frozen or freshly caught, together with oysters, crayfish, ink-fish and crabs, all this mouth-watering food ends up being displayed on Tokyo's famous fishmarket.The market covers an area of 50ac (20ha). It lies 210yd (200m) south of the Tsukiji-Honganji Temple. Sales on this wholesale market commence at four in the morning every day. Accordingly it is best to visit the market between 4:30am and 8pm. Wear watertight shoes and don't forget to take spare film for your camera.
The Yasukuni Shrine is in the Marunouchi District northwest of Mizugami Park. It was built in the Shinto style in 1869 and is dedicated to Japan's war dead. The entry to the outer precinct is through two immense Torii. At the south entrance stands a 39ft (12m) high granite Torii, and at the entry to the inner precinct there is a bronze Torii 74ft (22m) high. Both of these were put up in 1933.The bronze statue on the left hand side of the entry represents Shinagawa Yajiro (1843-1900), a leading political figure of the Meiji period.The grounds of the Temple are beautiful with gingko trees and ornamental cherries. This gave rise to the usual farewell of soldier departing for the war: "We'll meet again under the cherries on Kudan Hill."The spring festival at the shrine takes place between 21 and 23 April, the autumn festival from 17 to 19 October.Yasukuni Shrine, in as much as it is a sanctuary for state Shintoism, still gives rise to political contention. It was here that with great secrecy the urns containing the remains of the men condemned to death by the International Military Court in 1948 as war criminals were laid to rest. By this act of burial they acquired the status of "hotoke", that is beings who were god-like and deserving of reverence. For some time now the ministers of the right-liberal government have been visiting the Shrine.
Address: Kudan Kita, 3-chome Shiyoda-ku, Japan
Tokyo's City Hall stands just a few minutes' walk away from the Main Railway Station. Built by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, it is the seat of Tokyo's municipal government. In front of the building there stands a bronze statue of the feudal Lord Dokan Ota (1432-86) who built Chiyoda (Edo) Castle, now the Imperial Palace, and who is considered the founder of Tokyo.
Roppongi is a district in central Tokyo noted for the Roppongi Hills area and the busy nightlife. There are many forms of entertainment including restaurants.Roppongi Hills is one of Japan's largest integrated property developments with the main focal point, the 54-story Mori Tower at the center of it all.
Interactive displays include space development, nuclear energy and bikecology (Man and Bicycle). The museum allows access to the newest scientific and technological advances.
Address: 2-1 Kitanomaru Park Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Kanto 102-0091, Japan
Ueno Park is the largest park in Tokyo and one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. It includes a large pond and lovely grounds, along with a zoo, aquarium, temples, and several museums.
Asakusa was once a marshy district and therefore the part of the city where the poor people lived. Even today it is still the place where the old traditional life style is maintained. At the end of a long street of shops where masks, carvings, combs made of ebony and wood, toys, kimonos, fabrics and precious paper goods are on sale, stands the Kannon Temple. It is the center of Asakusa. Around it, everywhere within the 50ac (20ha) temple precinct, there is a warren of lanes with little temples, booths and also places where the Japanese can indulge their passion for betting, especially on horse races. All the streets here are without names.
Asakusa Kannon Temple
One of Tokyo's oldest temples, Asakusa Kannon Temple is dedicated to the goddess of compassion. The buildings have been destroyed over the centuries but authentically restored.
The extension of the Yamanote Line in 1903 did much to further the development of Tokyo's most northerly shopping and pleasure center. Ikebukuro Railway Station is the center point for all transport. Here there is an underground shopping center (Ikebukuro Shopping Park), the Sunshine City skyscraper which with its 60 stories is one of the tallest buildings in Japan. It houses a hotel, an aquarium, a planetarium, etc. Nearby lie an estimated 150 "love hotels", 50 cabarets and theaters.
This entrancingly beautiful park is only eight minutes' walk from the Railway Station. It is a characteristic example of 18th C landscaping, with a knoll, called Tsukiyama, a lake and an island. What is unusual is the fact that the various landscape features are all connected with literary themes. The park was laid out for a counselor of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Since 1938 it has been in the ownership of the City of Tokyo. Nearby is the Gokukuji Temple.
Tokyo Disneyland offers many of the same attractions as its US counterpart and a few of its own including the fully covered World Bazaar, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, and Meet the World.
Japanese National Railways
The State system, Japanese National Railways, has a network of 13,000mi/ 21,000 km extending into the remotest parts of the country. Particularly notable are the Shinkansen high-speed trunk lines, which until 1981 could boast the fastest train in the world. The Shinkansen "bullet train" from Tokyo to Fukuoka, the speed of which is now exceeded only by the French TGV, covers 731mi/ 1,177km between the two cities in just under 7 hours, at an average speed of 112mph/ 180kmph. A journey on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto, passing Mount Fuji, is one of the high spots of a visit to Japan.Between Tokyo and Fukuoka there are also the Hikari and Kodama trains, which provide a service at 20-30minute intervals. The Hikari stops only at Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima and Kokura, while the Kodama has 27 intermediate stops and takes correspondingly longer for the journey between Tokyo and Fukuoka. In addition to these fast trains there are also ordinary express trains (tokkyu), fast stopping trains (kyuko) and local trains (futsu).
The Edo-Tokyo Museum was completed in 1993 to preserve the historical heritage of Edo-Tokyo. Other exhibits project life in the future.Visitors cross a replica bridge into Edo, renamed Tokyo during the Meiji Era. Highlights include politics, culture and lifestyle.
Address: 1-4-1 Yokoami, Japan
Sunday in Harajuku - a popular outing for many residents and tourists. Young people dress in a variety of styles and it has become a notable fashion capital of the world for its unique street fashion. Harajuku is also a popular shopping destination.
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Meiji Jingu Shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Sho-ken. Construction began in 1915 and was completed in 1926, the original shrine was destroyed during WW II. The present shrine was completed in 1958 and is surrounded by a forest.
Address: 9 Kasumigaoka, Japan
Atami is a popular vacation destination with hot spring water, hotels, and restaurants. The town is located on mountain slopes around Atami Bay. There is also a beach with a boardwalk and notable art museum.
MOA Art Museum
The MOA Museum of Art is located on a hilltop over the resort area of Atami. There is a beautiful view of the town and the sea beyond.The collection includes over 3,500 works of art highlighting East Asian art as well as paintings by Rembrandt and Monet, and sculptures by Moore. Another notable display is a reconstruction of a golden tea room apparently used for the tea ceremony by military commander Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century.
Kiunkaku was originally built in 1918 as the private villa of a shipping magnate, and then converted to a ryokan in 1947. It is mix of Japanese and Western architectural styles featuring stained-glass windows, fireplaces, parquet floors, painted European furniture, and tatami rooms.
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