Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is situated inthe Kanto Region on the main island of Honsho.
Tokyo’s greater metropolitan area has apopulation of over 35 million, making it one of the largest and most excitingmegacities on the planet.
Rocked by earthquakes and scorched by war, this centuries old city has refused to kneel.
Just like the sun, Tokyo has continued torise, blending the old with the new, and the newwith tomorrow.
Tokyo is a spectacular matrix of villages, towns and cities, strung together by a subwayand train system that never rests.
Just like the Japanese pop culture monsterGodzilla, Tokyo’s size and energy can intimidate firsttime visitors.
Yet despite the neon, noise and sheer volumeof people, Tokyo’s soul beats with a heart of zen.
Tradition, ritual and respect are the hallmarksof Japanese society.
This is a place that cherishes its children, reveres its elderly, and treats visitors likehonored guests.
Tokyo is a city of multiple personalities; whenever you pop up from the subway, it can feel as though you’ve arrived inan entirely different city.
Yet Tokyo is an incredibly well-ordered society, everything has its place and purpose, and this is especially true, of its neighborhoods.
Begin your Tokyo journey gently, in the ancienttemple town of Asakusa.
At the city’s oldest temple, Sensoji, payyour respects to kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.
The temple was built to house a golden statueof the goddess, pulled from the nearby river by two fishermenin the 7th century.
Make an offering at the neighboring shrine, built to honor the brothers who found thestatue, and you too might receive some heavenly goodfortune.
When you’re ready to brave the streets of Tokyo, head to Asakusa’s, Thunder Gate and explore Nakamise Dori, a market street where worshippers have beenbuying religious charms and snacks for centuries.
After the crowds, re-center yourself in Uenopark, before delving into the cultural treasuresof the Tokyo National Museum.
While conformity and tradition are two of the glues that bind Japanese society, Tokyo’s youth love to express themselvestoo.
And nowhere is this more evident than thesuburb of Harajuku, renowned throughout the world as a centerof youth culture and fashion.
Harajuku is also home to one of Tokyo’s largest green spaces, Yoyogi Park.
On Sunday’s, locals gatherto relax, rehearse and just hang out, making it the happiest 134 acres in Tokyo.
Just to the north of Yoyogi Park, pass beneath a towering Torii gate and intoa forest of 100 000 trees, originally sent here as saplings from allover Japan.
and finally, pass through the main gates toMeiji Shrine.
Here, millions come each year to pay theirrespects to Emperor Meiji, the beloved 19th century ruler who helpedJapan throw off its feudal cloak and grow into to the dynamic country it istoday.
Just south of Yoyogi Park is Shibuya, home to one of the busiest pedestrian crossingsin the world.
Every area of Tokyo dances to it’s own distinctivebeat, …in Shubuya the beat, is shopping.
In nearby Ginza, huge department stores like the historic Wako Store await.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the mainstreet is closed to traffic giving Ginza a relaxed, and slightly surreal atmosphere.
Ginza hasa grittier side too.
Be sure to check out the tiny yakitori jointsand beer halls tucked away beneath the railway arches aroundYurakucho Station.
For a change of pace, explore the downtownbusiness district of Marunouchi, whose wide tree-lined avenues and boutiquestores lend Tokyo a certain, New York touch.
If you’re into anime, manga, or gaming, you’ll feel right at home in Akihabara Electric Town.
As its name suggests, this area really lightsup after dark.
As the sky glows in blaze of neon, head tothe restaurants and pubs in Shinjuku, one of the city’s main dining and entertainmentareas.
Stay up late, and let the magical lights ofTokyo’s nights, melt into your memory, …forever.
After exploring Tokyo’s neon forests, greet the new day at the Shinjuku Gyoen NationalGardens.
Tokyo’s youth may take center stage at YoyogiPark, but at these quiet gardens, it is Mother Nature’s beauty that is honored.
The Japanese have a saying, “dumplings arebetter than flowers”, so, no matter how much nature is revered, food comes first! Tokyo is one of the culinary capitals of theworld.
The city’s restaurants have been awardedmore Michelin stars than any other city, and when the food’s this good, Tokyo residentsdon’t mind waiting! For the freshest sushi and sashimi, head tothe Tsukiji Fish Markets, then after your meal, pick up some sushi knivesto take home.
When it’s time to rise above Tokyo’s never-ending canyons of glass and steel, ride the elevator to the observatories ofTokyo Tower.
For even higher views, head to Roppongi Hills.
From the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower, Tokyospreads out beneath you, all the way to Mt Fuji, Tokyo Bay and beyond.
Set on the western banks of Tokyo Bay, thecity of Yokohama is only a half hour train ride from central Tokyo.
This historic port became the first gatewayto Japan when the country opened itself to the West in 1854.
Compared to hyperactive Tokyo, life movesa little slower here, making it the perfect place to catch your breath.
Today, Narita is the gateway to Japan.
Whenmost people think of Narita, they think of its international airport.
Howeverthis small city of winding streets, ancient temples and gardens is a fascinatingwindow into old Japan.
Follow the Omotesando to the Naritasan Temple, dedicated to the Buddhist god of fire.
And before you depart, be sure to leave awish on the prayer wall.
Because, whether you're young at heart, or prefer things the old fashioned way, everything has it’s place in Tokyo, andthere’s a place here waiting, for you.