Useful Information for Traveling in Tokyo

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Tokyo is the capital of Japan and one of the most crowded cities in the world. The city is also one of Japan’s 47 prefectures, consisting of 23 central city wards and multiple cities, towns and villages west of the city center. Today, Tokyo is famous for a seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and dining to its visitors.

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What to eat

Sushi is the first thing that comes to mind when people think of eating in Tokyo. Many people confuse sushi, which is rice and other things wrapped up tightly in seaweed, with sashimi, which is raw fish. So if raw fish is not something that appeals to you, you can still try different kinds of sushi that contain things like cucumber without raw fish. Many restaurants have plastic models of food in display cases so that without an English language menu, you can just point and order your meal. Other Japanese meals to try in Tokyo include sukiyaki, soba and udon noodles, izakaya, and teppanyaki.

Sushi via Time Out

Shopping

It seems like Japanese people shop more than any other people in the world. No matter where you are and no matter what time of day or day of the week, shops are crowded with people. There are many large department stores and these are some of the most popular shopping venues. Shopping is even a family event: whole families get together for a Sunday afternoon of shopping. Shopping can be done just about anywhere in a city as large as Tokyo, but there are several areas that are particularly known for their shopping choices: these include Ginza Marunoouchi, Odaiba, Shibuya Harajuku Omotesando, and Shinjuku.

Neighborhood Guide

First time visitors to Tokyo are in disbelief when they see the enormity of the city, the crowds, and the traffic. It is a huge city but it is cut up into small neighborhoods more or less like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. What holds all of the jigsaw pieces together is the frame: this is the Yamanote Line, the commuter train that encircles Tokyo. From many of the stations on the Yamanote Line, other routes originate to take millions of commuters away from the center of the city out into the hinterlands. Marunouchi is the neighborhood next to the Imperial Palace; Hibiya is the business heart of the city; Ginza is the poshest shopping area; and there are many more.

Yamanite Line via Japanistry Tokyo

Where to Stay

Tokyo offers many different kinds of accommodations. It is a very modern city, so there are no historic colonial period hotels like the Raffles in Singapore or the Oriental in Bangkok. Despite this, the hotels in Tokyo are known for their cleanliness, efficiency, and, most of all, for their superb service. There is one thing that many Tokyo hotels have in common other than their expense: rooms are usually noticeably small. Many of the hotels are five star luxury properties such as the Ritz Carlton, the Peninsula Tokyo, the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, and many others. Ryokan are old Japanese-style inns. You often see these outside of Tokyo, but there are some inexpensive Ryokan in Tokyo.

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