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Tokyo City Guide: The Land of Samurai

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and one of the worlds most crowded city! You will find detailed information about the city, what to do and see in this Tokyo city guide.

Visit Tokyo City: Capital of Japan

History of Tokyo

Until 1868 Tokyo was known as Edo and it was a small castle town around the 16th century. Tokyo (Edo) became Japan’s centre when the Tokugawa Ieyasu founded a feudal government in this city. In a few decades, it already becomes to one of the most populous cities in the world. Capital of Japan moves to Edo from Kyoto in 1868 and got the name means eastern capital “Tokyo”. Most of the Tokyo were destroyed at the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and the WWII air raid in 1945.

Today, Tokyo has many things to offer its visitors. You can both experience the history and daily life in Tokyo. The city has excellent museums, historic temples and gardens, shopping districts…

Tokyo Airports

This is crucial for any Tokyo city guide. Tokyo has two airports Narita and Haneda. Many people get confused about which airport to should be chosen while taking a ticket. Both airports have high-quality standards. Narita airport is a little far away to the city centre from Haneda International Airport. Most of the international flights use this airport. both airports have good transport to get to city and airport. You can use Narita Express, Keisei Skyliner, buses, taxis. Haneda International Airport is more close to the city centre and generally use for domestic flights. This airport has a fewer transport option than the Narita but it takes less time to get to the city. If you are coming from Europe, America or Asia you will probably need to buy a ticket to the Narita International Airport.

Public Transport in Tokyo

Tokyo has one of the biggest, extensive and best public transport network in the whole world. In Tokyo, public transport services are operating various companies which can be a little overwhelming for you but don’t worry! Everything is fine even better than fine. There are 11 different company operates in Tokyo and each one is selling their own tickets. Be careful in here, you can not use the ticket between companies. There also bus companies but you won’t need them probably because rail systems is much more enough to get around in the city.

Tokyo Metro Website

10 Top-Rated Places to Visit in Tokyo

1. The Imperial Palace

In each Tokyo city guide, The Imperial Palace will the first in the list. This beauty was started to construct in 1457 with its first fortress.  Palace has gardens, galleries and natural beauties. There are also guided tours within the castle.  Palace is founded around over 3 kilometre square of areas. Oh! by the way, if you hit the castle on a special day you can see even the emperor if you are lucky enough!

The Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace (Source)

2. The Tokyo Skytree

You can never miss the skytree in Tokyo. It is a 634-meter tall tower which has communications and observation sections. The Tokyo Skytree is the tallest structure in Tokyo and the tallest freestanding tower in the whole world. Tower opened in 2012 and quickly became very famous.

The Tokyo Skytree Website

The Tokyo Skytree
The Tokyo Skytree (Source)

3. Ginza District (Shopping)

This unique area is the Tokyo’s busiest shopping district and as iconic as Times Square but it’s much older than it. Ginza is the commercial centre of the empire for a long time even for centuries. You will find many tea and coffee shops and restaurant that you can taste the Japan culture.

Ginza District
Ginza District (Source)

4. The Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji is the most famous shrine in Tokyo. It is located in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. The temple has history starting from 645 and has its original appearance still today. Temple is dedicated to Kannon, goddess of compassion from Buddhism.

The Senso-ji Temple
The Senso-ji Temple (Source)

5. The Meiji Shrine

The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken, who ruled Japan in the late 1800 and early 1900s. Construction of the shrine became in 1915 and finished in 1926. The original structure of the shrine was destroyed during the WWII and rebuilt in 1958 within its remains. The Meiji Shrine s surrounded by 175 acres of evergreen forest and around more than 120.000 trees which are unique to Japan.

The Meiji Shrine
The Meiji Shrine (Source)

6. National Museum of Nature and Science

The museum is located in Ueno Park. It is opened in 1871 and that makes it one of the oldest museum in the whole world. Today, it is completely renovated and holds vast collections belong to natural history and science.

National Museum of Nature and Science Website

National Museum of Nature and Science
National Museum of Nature and Science (Source)

7. Ueno Park and Zoo

Ueno park is an oasis in the centre of Tokyo. Park is the city’s largest and most popular tourist locations. With its various natural beauties park have also a couple of temples and museums to explore. There is a zoo also in the park which is opened in 1882, a really old one.

Ueno Park

8. Tokyo National Museum

The national museum holds more than 100.000 works belongs to the Japanese, Chinese and Indian art with more than 100 national treasures. National Museum opened in 1983 and it has also held various Buddhist sculptures dating to the 6th century.

Tokyo National Museum Website

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum (Source)

9. National Museum of Western Art

This museum is located a couple of minutes walking distance from the Ueno Station. National Museum of Western Art was built in 1959 and its plans belong to the famous architect Le Corbusier from Switzerland.  Museums exhibits have many important works from the French artist and most of the arts collected by the Kojiro Matsukata.

National Museum of Western Art Website

National Museum of Western Art
National Museum of Western Art (Source)

10. The Kabuki-za Theatre

The most famous theatre in Tokyo’s is The Kabuki-za. It is located in the Ginza district and home of the famous traditional Kabuki performances. Theatre has the capacity for around 2500 guest. Shows in the theatre can last a couple of hours. So get ready for it!

The Kabuki-za Theatre Website

The Kabuki-za Theatre
The Kabuki-za Theatre (Source)

Japan has its own unique culture and lifestyle which be different than westerners but it is also a crowd-puller one. Please share your thought and experiences about Tokyo and this Tokyo city guide!

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