History of Tokyo
This village dates back to the mid-12th century and is known to many as Tokyo, the main city of Japan. In the middle of the 15th century, a fort was built on this site, which was captured in 1590 by the military ruler Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of the shogun clan.
After the old government was overthrown in 1868, as a result of the transformations, the village was named Tokyo. This city is famous for its tempting charm, in which the avant-garde and the true culture of the East are surprisingly intertwined.
Where is Tokyo
Tokyo occupies the southeastern part of Honshu Island. The mainland region is located on the coast of the Tokyo Pacific Bay. On the southeast side, the city is adjacent to Chiba Prefecture, the western neighbor is Yamanashi Prefecture. To the north of Tokyo is Saitama Prefecture, and to the south is Kanagawa.
The eastern zone of the mainland territory of the metropolis is divided into special areas. In addition, the administrative zone of Tokyo includes two lines of Pacific Islands – Izui and Ogasawara.
Districts of Tokyo
Tokyo amazes visitors with its countless districts, an extremely intricate scheme that cannot be figured out without outside support, and the intricacies of subway lines in which one can repeatedly get confused.
The main part of the metropolis is a stone jungle made of cement and wires, enveloped in the noise of loudspeakers and the light of neon lamps. During rush hours, Tokyo transforms into a stream of people, and in the summer it becomes a gigantic pressure cooker.
Tokyo is a diverse city, the districts of which are different from each other and captivate with their uniqueness. The city has 23 separate districts and about forty small villages and towns. The following places deserve special attention:
- Shinjuku. The business center in which the powers that be in the city are located.
- Shibuya and Harajuku. Modern areas with boutiques, restaurants, hotels, shops.
- Asakusa area and Senso-ji Temple. All the intricacies of Edo time can be seen in this area.
- And its symbol is the Kaminarimon – the key gate of the oldest temple in Tokyo.
- Odaiba is one of the youngest areas of the metropolis, built in Tokyo Bay.
- Shinagawa. Area with entertainment complexes and an aquarium.
- Ameyoko, Kappabashi-dori and Akihabara are ideal shopping areas.
- Roppongi. An entertainment center with many clubs and not very good fame.
Weather in Tokyo
The most acceptable time to travel to Tokyo is April and May – it is at this time that the temperature and humidity are most pleasant there. Summer in the metropolis is hot, it is difficult to breathe, it is humid.
Only 180 days a year in Tokyo is dry.
The megalopolis is dominated by a temperate continental background with mild and comfortable winters and sultry summers. Snowfalls are quite rare, even exceptional, but they usually happen every year.
The standard temperature in winter is + 5 … + 7 ° C, in some areas it is observed up to +12 ° C. In summer, the temperature is quite high, up to + 25… + 30 ° C.
The swimming season in Tokyo begins in June, when the water warms up to +21 ° C, and ends in November, when the water temperature drops to +20 ° C. In the summer months, the temperature regime looks like this:
- July – + 21 … + 25 ° C;
- August – + 25 … + 27 ° C;
- September – + 23 … + 25 ° C;
- October – 21 … + 23 ° C.
Relaxing in Tokyo Bay
Tokyo Bay is the only beach in Tokyo. The unique feature of this place is the friendly atmosphere and the amusement park. Tourists come here mainly to visit museums and relax in natural parks. The gastronomic variety and attractions are also impressive.
This place is ideal for lovers. In Tokyo Bay, a lot of the simplest organisms accumulate. Due to their huge amount, the water looks dark brown during the day, and shimmers with lights and glare at night – an amazing sight.
The Japanese respect personal space and restraint. Therefore, it is not customary to reach out for a handshake first – such an action can be perceived as disrespect.
Excursions and attractions in Tokyo
There are plenty of monuments in Tokyo. After all, Japan is a country rich in historical values that respects and carefully protects cultural and historical monuments. Those who travel to the Land of the Rising Sun should definitely visit such attractions in Tokyo:
- Imperial Mansions and Oriental Gardens. This is the representative office of the Emperor and his wife, which is located in the very center of the metropolis.
- The prestigious shopping center “Giza”, “Nihonbashi” – “Bridge of Japan”, the fish market “Tsukiji”.
- Traditional Kabuki theater, whose art conveys the traditions of the country.
- Edo Museum. There you can get acquainted with the past of the city from the earliest times to the present day.
- Ueno Park. The best place to admire cherry blossoms. This place is known for its zoo, museums and ancient temples.
- Anime cities Akihabara, Ikebukuro. In Kanda it will be interesting to second-hand booksellers, there you can get rare copies, and in Ochanomizu there are all kinds of musical instruments.
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Park. This place is unforgettable at any time of the year, especially when cherry blossoms are in bloom.
- The Meguro Parasitological Museum. The weirdest museum, where you can learn fun facts about parasites, view a collection of more than 45,000 different parasites. The most popular exhibit is a worm over 8 meters long.
- Meiji Shrine. Built in honor of Emperor Meiji and his wife. It is the main Shinto shrine in the city.
- Tokyo Tower, Roppongi area. The tower is a sign of Japan’s post-war prosperity. In the same area there is the oldest park of the city – Siba.
- Hamarikyu Garden. The former residence of the emperor. At any time, you can admire the pond and garden, which is the oldest in the city.
- Happoen Garden. A modest but insanely beautiful place to walk. Here you can always retire in peace and quiet.
- Koishikawa Korakuen Garden. The oldest landscape site in Japan, dating back to 1629. In this place you can admire the beautiful views of China and Japan.
- Rikugien Garden. A magnificent landscaped garden, distinguished by its grace. An inspiring place, specially conceived for peace and relaxation.
- Residence of Iwasaki (the ancestors of Mitsubishi). An example of a combination of European and Japanese art. The building is surrounded by a traditional park.
- Temple of 47 ronin. Buddhist temple with colorful gates, where the ashes of ancient warriors who defended the honor of their master are kept.
- Kanto Earthquake Museum. Dedicated to the tragedy of 1923, when most of the city was destroyed, and many people died.
- Temple of Zozodzi. The most famous Buddhist temple is the main temple of the Jodo school. It contains an image of Amida. It was formerly the family temple of the Tokugawa clan.
- Garden of the New Otani Tokyo Hotel. A four-hundred-year-old garden with kare-sansui – a rock garden. Up to four hundred species of carp are bred in the pond.
- Ghibli Museum. Founded in honor of Japanese anime art. The design of the museum immerses guests in the world of fairy tales.
- Museum of Swords. Here you can get acquainted with the origin of swords and the secrets of their manufacture.
- Sumo wrestling museum. It is the most revered sport in Japan. The museum displays photos of famous sumo wrestlers, their costumes, prints and other interesting exhibits.
- Museum of Calligraphy. It houses a large collection of calligraphic objects of Japanese and Chinese origin.
- Museum of the Future. A platform for the latest masterpieces, where you can touch and even go inside.
- Edo Architecture Museum. Located in an open area and contains historic buildings. This is where tourists who want to know everything about Tokyo in the Edo period and World War II should go.
- Metro Museum. Here you can find your way in the intricate scheme of lines and other subtleties of movement.
- Shitamachi Museum. It tells about the life of ordinary residents of the old city of the Meiji and Taisho era.
- Tepia Center for Technology and Innovation. Will acquaint visitors with the latest discoveries.
- Toy Museum. A giant playground in which children are expected to have more than ten thousand of a wide variety of items, including fifty wooden toys created by Japanese craftsmen.
- National Museum. The oldest and largest in Japan. There are more than 120 thousand copies located in five buildings.
- Kite Museum. It is one of the most unique museums in the world.
- Disneyland. A huge entertainment complex located on an area of 47 hectares.
- Suginami Animation Museum. Workshops are also held here, in which any visitor can take part.
- Bonsai Museum. Here you can admire the miniature trees.
- Complex “Toyota Mega Web”. Museum and exhibition center dedicated to the most popular brand. In six sections of the complex, visitors can touch and even test cars.
- State Museum of Contemporary Art. Here are accumulated prints, watercolors, figures, statues, and other creations of European and Japanese masters.
- Kaigan. A memorial row in which guests can trace the history of the Meiji era through canvases.
Nightlife in Tokyo
A vacation in Tokyo is incomplete without an introduction to its nightlife. And this metropolis has something to present to its guests.
You can have fun and relax in the Ruby Room nightclub. Most of the guests of this place are foreigners, so tourists feel completely comfortable here. In addition, rest here is not affordable, and a short walk from it there is another entertainment club – “Oath”, where absolutely free to the music of local DJs you can dance until 5 in the morning on regular days and on weekends – until 8.
The best nightlife centers in Tokyo are “Womb Tokyo” and “AgeHa”.
The metropolis is also known for its red light district Kabuki-cho. True, thanks to the work of the police, the depraved pleasures in Tokyo are becoming less and less.
Entertainment, attractions and outdoor activities in Tokyo
In Tokyo, you can find a lot of entertainment and a great time. We will only describe the most popular ones.
In this city, you can rent a bicycle for free and ride it in the Palace Cycling Course park. Such rest is available from 10 am. Just keep in mind that the number of vehicles is limited.
The central part of Japanese culture is festivals that take place all year round, and without which a trip to Tokyo would be incomplete. The festivals are dedicated to a wide variety of themes: flowers, stars, yields, children, the moon, longevity and even the dead. During the procession, you can not only watch the festive procession, but also taste all kinds of dishes and see the performances of street performers.
One of the favorite places of tourists in Tokyo is Harajuku Station. Teenagers from all over the metropolis flock there, dressed in the most bizarre outfits. And in the nearby Yoyogi Park, guests of the city can find many interesting characters, see martial arts training, and watch amateur performances.
If you are sure that you have already figured out what this place is – Tokyo, you are wrong. A trip to the Five Lakes will convince you of this. This is an amazing place for lovers of active pastime: hiking in the mountains, boating, cycling, fishing. The most developed excursion place is Lake Kawaguchico. It is precisely the main transport hub of the Five Lakes.
Tourists are recommended to visit the “Fuji-Q Highland” amusement park, which has the most terrible roller coaster in the world.
Where to live, what to eat, what to ride in Tokyo
Living in Japan is not cheap. Experienced tourists are advised to look for accommodation using RoomGuru, it is there that you can find the most profitable option. We will try to briefly describe where you can live and eat in Tokyo.
Restaurants and cafes in Tokyo
Japan is famous for its cuisine, which, however, is not to everyone’s taste. One of the most entertaining cafes is Cafe du Lievre, decorated in the style of a hare hole. The design is dominated by green, and the menu contains many delicacies, salads and coffee for every taste. Desserts made from buckwheat flour are advised to try here.
After walking around the city, you can visit the themed cafe “Gundam”, dedicated to the series about the robot Gundam. The staff here are dressed in cartoon uniforms and the vegetables are cut into the shape of the Earth Federation emblems. Be sure to look into the restroom – there will be a camera watching you.
On every corner of the metropolis there are konbini shops where you can taste local dishes: rice balls, sandwich rolls, drinks, salads, sandwiches. There are such shops in supermarkets, but they are more difficult to find. Bento shops, curry shops, and noodle shops are also popular.
There are a lot of fast foods in the metropolis. There are European (McDonald’s, KFC), and only Japanese:
- «MOS Burger»;
- «Freshness Burger»;
- «First Kitchen».
It is better to taste the true oriental cuisine in Matsuya Restaurant Chain, Yoshinoya or Ootoya.
For gourmets, Tokyo also has a ton of restaurants. For example, Tsukiji Restaurant achieves the title of a first-class sushi restaurant, and Ginza, Akasaka and Roppongi Hills are ready to please with oriental cuisine at fairly decent prices.
In Japan, no tips are left – they are already included in the cost of the service.
Car rental and public transport in Tokyo
The Tokyo subway is famous all over the world. Some say that the card can instill fear in especially impressionable tourists: there are 300 stations and 13 main lines, JR lines and even private branches. The metro carries about 9 million passengers daily.
Experienced tourists are advised to take the JR Yamate circular line, which covers the main part of the city, as a basis. A full turnaround will take no more than an hour, and getting to any place will not be so difficult.
In addition, today’s maps and navigation systems consistently plot the road, suggesting numbers, car colors and arrival times. Moreover, almost 50% of metro stations have free Wi-Fi. This transport can be used from 6-00 to 24-00.
The cars inside are actively air-conditioned, so it’s better to take a light blouse or windbreaker with you.
The suburbs of Tokyo can be reached by Shinkansen bullet trains.
If you decide to use taxi services, it is worth considering that they have their pros and cons.
The main plus is that you can get to any place in the city. Cons: decent distance and constant traffic jams, as a result – low travel speed and high cost of the trip. In addition, the cost of travel at night increases by 30%. But Japanese taxi drivers are decent and do not try to deceive an inexperienced tourist – this is not accepted in Japan.
Buses are an unpopular form of transport that mainly connects various metro points or just runs around the block. This type of transport cannot be reached from one end of the city to the other.
Trams in Tokyo began to run at the beginning of the last century and are firmly entrenched in the city, entangling it with their network. But about half a century ago, the Japanese practically got rid of them, leaving only the metro and buses. Today in Tokyo there is only one branch – Arakawa, which has become a real attraction. The line runs a tram at a speed of 12.5 km per hour.
Tokyo has a well-developed line of bike paths, which are not recommended for inexperienced cyclists. In addition, the city does not stand out of the blue, but on the hills, so not everyone will like such a walk.
Japan adheres to the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. Therefore, the “crusts” of the IDP will not pass here. In fact, the rights can be legalized by translating them into Japanese, and passing an exam on knowledge of traffic rules. However, you need to remember where Tokyo is, what a densely populated and advanced country. Therefore, parking spaces are in short supply, and parking time is not cheap. In addition, intricate transport interchanges, left-hand traffic, expensive fuel, signs in Japanese and high fines do not speak for car rental.
Japan is famous for the law-abidingness of its citizens, the crime rate is minimal here. And tourists should remember this in order not to become a source of crime.
Best hotels in Tokyo
Finding housing in Tokyo is a separate issue. The choice is due not only to finances, but also to individual tastes and desires to learn something new.
Well-to-do tourists are greeted by luxury hotels, room prices in which vary from 57 thousand JPY to 180 thousand JPY. The most luxurious hotels are located in the Shinjuku area, Akasake and near the Tokyo station. There will be a gorgeous panorama and exquisite service. But you won’t find exotic here.
The curiosity is to be found in real ryokans (traditional inns), with braids on the floor and mattresses instead of beds. And paper doors will immerse you in the atmosphere of real Japan, without robots and neon. A night in a good ryokan hotel can cost 10-16 thousand JPY.
Intricate hotels with capsule rooms deserve special attention. Many of these hotels only accept men, but there are also women and mixed ones. A night in such a room will cost JPY 2.0-2.7 thousand. As a bonus, these hotels offer their guests free saunas.
Staying in such hotels is not recommended for the slightest tendency to claustrophobia.
For those who have no time to search for accommodation on their own, we offer a list of the best Tokyo hotels:
- Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, 4 stars;
- Asakusa View Hotel, 4 stars;
- Hotel Villa Fontaine Tokyo-Tamachi, 4 stars;
- Hotel Villa Fontaine Tokyo-Shiodome, 4 stars;
- Richmond Hotel Tokyo Suidobashi, 3 stars;
- Hotel Grand Arc Hanzomon, 3 stars.
Where and what to buy in Tokyo: tips for shopaholics
Shopping is a fun and time-wasting activity. It will be difficult for an incorrigible shopaholic to contain himself in Tokyo. But before going out to boutiques, you need to think about what exactly you want to buy.
For example, the most luxurious and expensive shops are located in Shinjuku, Ginza and Omotesando. Prices here shamelessly bite, but you can buy absolutely all new items from leading fashion houses.
Younger tourists go shopping in Shibuya and Harayuki. There is a huge number of departments of various world brands, and commercial centers are versatile. In addition, the prices here are much more democratic. Plus, there is an opportunity to keep an eye on some interesting features from freaks.
If you do not have any goals and preferences, but you want to go to local shops, then it is better to go to ordinary Tokyo supermarkets (the Japanese call them “depato”, from the English “department store” – “department store”). The largest of them are:
- Yurakucho Marui;
- “Granduo Kamata”;
The Tasaki chain of jewelry stores offers unique items made from natural pearls.
If you want to bring a gadget from Tokyo, it is better to go to the Akihabara area. The prices here are about 20% lower and you can also get a discount. The point is that Akihabara stores do their purchases directly from manufacturers.
It is better to buy simple Japanese souvenirs in shops of the “All for 100 JPY” format. One of these is located in the Harayuki area.
As you can see, the metropolis can be an amazing vacation spot. The combination of cultural tradition and modernity is a unique feature of the city of Tokyo. Believe me, whoever has been there at least once wants to visit it again.