Officially named as Tokyo Metropolis, Tokyo is one of the 47 prefectures in Japan. It is considered as one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Tokyo is the seat of the Japanese government and the Emperor of Japan. It is one of the top tourist destinations in the world thanks to its fascinating mixture of high tech metropolis and old world Japan.
Tokyo is a large city and diverse in its landscape. It has rugged mountains and subtropical islands all within its city limits. There are many sights and activities to entice even the pickiest of travelers. Here are just a few highly recommended things to do in Japan to add to your itinerary list:
Meiji Shrine – This Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of the Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken is located in a forest in Shibuya. The forest covers 700,000 square meters and is home to 120,000 trees of 365 different species. The shrine complex is divided into two major areas, the Naien and the Gaien. The Naien is the inner area with the shrine buildings including a treasure museum housing artifacts from the Emperor and Empress. The Gaien is the outer area where you will find the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery housing a collection of large murals depicting the lives of the Emperor and his consort. The National Stadium and the Meiji Memorial Hall is also located in the Gaien.
Sensō-ji – Located in Asakusa, the Sensō-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple. It is the city’s oldest temple and considered to be the most significant. Tokyo’s largest and most popular festival, the Sanja Matsuri takes place here over 3 to 4 days during the spring season.
Tokyo Skytree – Once the tallest structure in Japan in 2010, the Tokyo Skytree is a restaurant and observation tower located in Sumida. It is currently the tallest tower in the world and the second tallest structure after Burj Khalifa with a height of 2,080 feet. The Tokyo Skytree is primarily used as the television and radio broadcast site for the Kantō region. The tower’s observation decks are open daily from 8 in the morning until 10 in the evening. It is best to refer to their official website for the most up to date information on operating hours and admission fees.
Traveling to Tokyo internationally is easy as it is the main hub for the country. Tokyo has two large airports, Narita Airport and Haneda Airport. Narita Airport is Tokyo’s main international gateway. It is located in its namesake town, Narita just 70 kilometers from Tokyo. It serves mostly international flights. Meanwhile, Haneda Airport is located in Ota and is one of the busiest airports in Asia. Haneda Airport is officially known as Tokyo International Airport despite serving mostly domestic flights.
Tokyo also has smaller airports, the Ibaraki Airport and Chōfu Airfield. Ibaraki Airport is located 85 kilometers from Tokyo and serves mostly low-cost carriers currently limited to flights from Kobe, Seoul and Shanghai. Lastly, the Chōfu Airfield serves only turboprop flights to the Izu Islands located south of Tokyo.
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