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An Overview of Japan & Tokyo for Travelers

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Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south. In Japanese, the name โ€œJapanโ€ is Nihon or Nippon, which means โ€œLand of the Rising Sun.โ€ It was once believed that Japan was the first country to see the sun rise in the East in the morning.

For such a tiny total landmass, Japan has left an undeniable stamp on human history. If you are considering Japan as a destination, here is an overview of the country.

Extending along the eastern coast of Asia, Japan is a country consisting of a collection of islands. The mainland, as we think of it, is the island of Honshu. There are three other large islands, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu, and roughly 3,000 much smaller islands comprising what we call Japan. Put together, the total land mass is slightly smaller than California. The geography throughout the islands is mountainous, best exemplified by Mt. Fuji at 12,385 feet. As you might expect, the island country is inherently recognition of a volcanic are and Japan experiences earthquakes fairly frequently, some on a large scale.

Japan is an extremely urbanized country with most people living in major cities. The two prominent religions are Shintoism and Buddhism. The belief systems are harmonious and often share the same temples.

Per legend, Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu around 600 BC. The current emperor is a descendent of the first.

Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It is a city that seamlessly blends the ancient and the modern, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.

One of the main attractions in Tokyo is the city’s historical and cultural sites. Visitors can explore the Senso-ji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo, or the Meiji Shrine, which is dedicated to the spirits of the emperor Meiji and his wife. The Tokyo Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor of Japan, also offers tours of its East Gardens.

Another popular attraction in Tokyo is its shopping. Visitors can explore the many department stores, boutiques, and street markets that the city has to offer. Some of the most popular shopping areas include the luxury stores in Ginza, the fashion boutiques in Harajuku, and the electronics stores in Akihabara.

Tokyo is famous for its food scene and it is considered a paradise for foodies, from the traditional sushi and ramen, to the newest and trendiest restaurants. Visitors can try traditional Japanese dishes at a ryokan, or a traditional Japanese inn, or sample street food at one of the many food stands in the city.

For nature lover, Tokyo has to offer many green areas and parks such as Ueno Park that holds Zoo and museums, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and the Imperial Palace East Garden. The Tokyo Skytree, which is the tallest tower in Japan, offers a great view of the city from its observation deck.

The city also offers a variety of entertainment options, such as watching a Kabuki performance, a traditional Japanese theater, visiting one of the city’s many museums, or seeing a sumo wrestling match.

Overall, Tokyo offers an endless array of things to see and do, and a unique blend of traditional and modern culture, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler.

The people of Japan are called โ€œJapanese.โ€ The total population is just over 127.4 million people, but the population is decreasing slightly in size. Japanese is the primarily language spoken and literacy rates are 99 percent. Japanese males have a life expectancy of 77 years while women live to 84 on average.

With its mountainous island landscape, Japan is a hot destination spot for travelers. It is expensive, but a visit to Mount Fuji alone makes a trip worthwhile.

Tokyo just might be the largest city in the world, comprised of 23 individual wards, all with their own unique characteristics. Foreigners are easily intimidated by the sheer expanse of Japanโ€™s capital city and its 17 million inhabitants (5 million are commuters); however, due to this volume alone Tokyo has developed an unmatched public transportation system and an intricate network of visitor friendly information resources.

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Tokyo just might be the largest city in the world, comprised of 23 individual wards, all with their own unique characteristics. Foreigners are easily intimidated by the sheer expanse of Japanโ€™s capital city and its 17 million inhabitants (5 million are commuters); however, due to this volume alone Tokyo has developed an unmatched public transportation system and an intricate network of visitor friendly information resources. The best way to travel Tokyoโ€™s frantic bustle is to allow the subway to lead the way. A loose itinerary will draw you into true Japanese life through unexpected encounters and more intimate experiences.

Tokyo: A Consumer Capital

It may be ironic that one of the most expensive cities in the world also has one of the most rampant and flamboyant consumer cultures. Tourist attractions in Tokyo consist of many gargantuan shopping complexes in addition to the cultural favorites. The Ginza shopping district reigns supreme for ostentatious spending habits, with thousands of mega-stores, boutiques and an excessive array of non-functional novelty stores for the easily amused within us all. For a dose of New York in Tokyo, visit Shibuya, which is rife with higher-end shops, shrines, King-Kong-sized plasma TV screens and the busiest pedestrian street crossing in the world.

A Culture of Retrospect and Reflection

There is a tendency to become inundated and desensitized by the neon lights that line the city streets like masts in Japanโ€™s ocean of technology. While these electric temples serve to extol a hyper-modern age, Tokyo also possesses some of the most idyllic and serene shrines and pagodas in the country. Meiji-jingu is the most impressive of Tokyoโ€™s Shinto shrines, built with Japanese cypress and copper plates for the roof. Even though the shrine was destroyed during World War II, the reconstruction has not lost any of the grandeur. Just north of the city, Bonsai Park treats visitors to the zen-like art of cultivating these meticulously placed miniature trees and experiencing the calming of the mind. An essential experience for anyone traveling to Tokyo is the view of Mount Fuji in the early hours of dawn. This is possible from within the city, atop one of the massive skyscrapers such as the Government Building in Shinjuku. Directly in the center of Tokyo, the Imperial Palace (Kokyo) is an inner-city sanctuary that is home to the Imperial Family. The public can visit the surrounding East Gardens and walk along the double bridge over the tranquil moats of the palace grounds, but the palace buildings and inner courtyard are closed to visitors.

Travel to Tokyo with a willingness to get lost among the hustle and perhaps find yourself again in the silence of a shrine. The expansive city and system of subways make it nearly impossible to make a wrong turn.

Types of Hotels in Tokyo

The vibrancy of Tokyo metropolis is probably the most captivating facet of this high-tech city. Itโ€™s where the fusion of contemporary technology and the pastโ€™s traditions go hand in hand with its every day activities, creating a unique atmosphere and a completely different encounter for every visitor. One minute a traveler strolls on its dynamic shopper community amidst the hectic lifestyle of the city, the next minute, one can savor the soothing calmness in some of its most breathtaking gardens.

Tokyo is indeed one of the most visited places in the world, not only for its very modern city, but for everything that comes with it, including an energetic nightlife, scrumptious gastronomy within its thousands of restaurants, excellent futuristic places for shopping, remarkable attractions, and of course great choices for accommodations.

Travelers can find various types of hotels in Tokyo, thousands in fact, ranging from the very expensive to the cheaper ones. Hotels in Tokyo are scattered throughout the city, and lodging will never be a problem. A combination of some of the high end hotels in Tokyo and the low end hotels as well, can be seen almost anywhere. A lot of hotels that are in Western-style, specifically those associated with hotel chains in the US, have staff the speak English, so you donโ€™t have to worry about not being understood. There are different types of hotels in Tokyo and that includes:

Budget Hotels
These types of hotels in Tokyo are found in the Taito vicinity, particularly Ueno and Asakusa. Some hostels are also situated within that area; however if being off-centered doesnโ€™t matter to you, then other budget hotels can be found in the surrounding areas like Yokohama, and others.

Generally, the cheapest alternatives are capsule hotels; however, they are rather unenthusiastic of playing host to foreigners because of a relatively small number of behavioral rules which is somewhat hard to elucidate. Nearly the majority of capsule hotels are for โ€œmen onlyโ€.

Mid-Range Hotels
Watch out for something called a โ€œbusiness hotelโ€; rooms are typically tiny, however they are suitably situated near stations. These are ideal choices for travelers who are on solo. Reasonably priced hotel chains can be found throughout the city and these includes Tokyu Stay, and ryokans (Japanese inns).

Splurge hotels
These are the best alternatives if you want to extravagantly spend on lodgings, which includes international high-end hotels and luxury hotels that are mostly found in western Shinjuku and Akasaka.

These diverse types of hotels in Tokyo are a part of what makes Tokyo an exhilarating and exceptional experience.

Tokyo Map and Hotels:

Hotel Deals Tokyo: Popularity

HotelStarsDiscountPrice before and discountSelect dates
Hotel Gracery Shinjukuโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-18% 182 150View Hotel
Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa Internationalโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-33% 141 95View Hotel
APA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi Ekimae-22% 84 66View Hotel
Nine Hours Shinjuku-North--View Hotel
Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyoโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-6% 302 285View Hotel
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodomeโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-25% 250 188View Hotel
Super Hotel Premier Akasakaโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…--View Hotel
Tokyu Stay Shinjukuโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-22% 203 159View Hotel
Hotel Nikko Naritaโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…--View Hotel
Richmond Hotel Premier Tokyo Schole-28% 160 115View Hotel
APA Hotel Sugamo Ekimaeโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-25% 81 60View Hotel
Grand Nikko Tokyo Daibaโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…--View Hotel
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyoโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-28% 280 202View Hotel
Tokyo Dome Hotelโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-22% 215 168View Hotel
HOTEL MYSTAYS PREMIER Naritaโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-30% 79 56View Hotel
Nihon Seinenkan Hotelโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-40% 203 122View Hotel
MyCUBE by MYSTAYS Asakusa Kuramae-26% 93 69View Hotel
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Ginza-Nanachomeโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-13% 127 111View Hotel
Shinjuku Washington Hotelโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…--View Hotel
Hotel Mystays Premier Akasakaโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-38% 143 89View Hotel
Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjukuโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-10% 172 155View Hotel
Narita Tobu Hotel Airportโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-6% 58 55View Hotel
Hotel Intergate Tokyo Kyobashiโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-26% 162 121View Hotel
Shangri-La Tokyoโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-7% 962 897View Hotel
Mitsui Garden Hotel Gotandaโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-23% 172 133View Hotel
Sunshine City Prince Hotel Ikebukuroโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…--View Hotel
the b shimbashi toranomonโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-19% 110 90View Hotel
THE KNOT TOKYO Shinjukuโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-42% 151 87View Hotel
Shinagawa Prince Hotelโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…-28% 168 121View Hotel
Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro--View Hotel

Tokyo tourism

When you speak of a region dubbed as the central happening in the whole of Asia, there is no shadow of suspicion that the actual setting is a bustling society jam packed with individuals coming from different races which are used to the fast paced style of living. The place being referred to is none other than the capital of Japan. Statistical reports reveal that the population now ballooned to 12 million making the metropolis one of the largest in the globe.

Due to the number of tourists who visit the city in annual basis, Tokyo tourism has really been flourishing. Not to mention, the region is the land of the rising sunโ€™s financial headquarters with locals that are innately overachievers in fields such as music, academic, politics, business, technology, advertising, fashion and arts, among the others. With those given, no wonder why there are a lot of people who desires to step into the metropolis as it means being a living witness of a history that will land on book pages in the future.

Innovation has also been one of the thrusts why Tokyo tourism has been very successful. This capital of Japan has long been identified as the leader. Looking back at the past, the country received criticisms as purely an imitator with no originality but as they always say, change is the only constant thing in this world, the assessment was munched constructively and regarded as a challenge to rise above the ranks. Today, the metropolis is a picture as a forefront manufacturer of the latest gadgets available in the market.

However, this capital of Japan is not entirely an image of a bed of roses because it also has its own share of letdown. The economy of the country has been the greatest obstacle of Tokyo tourism. At this present, the growth rate is only less than 1% each year as compared to the 6% progress obtained in the 1980โ€™s. There were several factors such as the increase of unemployment figures, destructive earthquake in 1995, discharge of nerve gas and nuclear energy catastrophe, to enumerate a few.

Japan Getaways

Getaways are meant to take a person away from all the hurly and burly of life to perfect peace and tranquility. An ideal getaway vacation can thus be at a place where you embrace the beauty of nature in complete serenity. The paradigm example of this is Japan where visitors themselves have discovered countless beautiful getaways. So lets take a look at some of the popular and ideal getaways in the land of rising sun.

Some frequently visited getaways in the Japan are as follows:

ยท Hagi- it is a nice historic archaic Samurai and castle town in the rural Japan. It is located near the western tip of the Honshu Island. Hagi has some of the wonderful museums and beaches. The Joka- Machi old samurai quarter is worth visitng in Hagi. Besides this the Kumaya Art Mueseum, the Kasuga Shrine near Joka Machi and the Sho-in Shrine are the must visit sites in Hagi.

ยท Idzumo is one amongst the four most important Shinto shrines of Japan. It is also called the home of gods. The shrine has tremendous historical significance.

ยท Sekigane is also an amazing Japanese getaway. It is a small village that has hot water springs and coastal mountains. At the end of this small but calm and amazing village is a walk up through bamboo groves to Kamei Park.

ยท The Kyoto Fu peninsula is a small peninsula that makes a great getaway. In order to reach this peninsula you need to drive from Kumihama to Mineyama, Omiya and Miyazu. On the south of Omiya there is a small shrine that too is religiously and historically quite significant.

ยท The Wakasa Wan (Bay) is another brilliant getaway. The Wakasa Wan National Park is quite popular here.

ยท The Obama Bay that stretches to the Oshima Peninsula is also a brilliant getaway. Similarly the Tsunegami Hanto Peninsula that has Rocky Mountains is also worth visiting.

ยท You can also go to see the Tojimbo Cliffs. These are located on a point of the Echi-zen Kaigan (coast) National Park. It is a popular tourist attraction because of its exotic beauty. If you visit here donโ€™t forget to go to the small fishing village, Anto nearby.

ยท The Central Mountains of Honshu Island are a big lure to visitors. This island has a collection of various mountains known as Central Alps. It is a great delight and lifetime opportunity to see these world famous ice-capped mountains.

ยท The Shiwaku Shoto Islands are a group of islands near Oakayama that has many small collections of islands in the Inland Sea. Hon-Jima and Mukkuchi-Jima islands make desirous getaways.

ยท Apart from these the place of Hokkaido in Japan is recognized as a top romantic getaway. Similarly there are other passionate getaways such as Ikspiari, Vinus Fort, Loverโ€™s Cape and Kobe Portpia.

But this is just the tip of an iceberg for there are many other known and waiting to be discovered getaways in Japan.

 

Tokyo Tours & Activities:

 

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