Traveling to Tokyo is one of the best traveling experiences you will ever have. Even though the area has over 2,000 square kilometers that encompass the city, the subtropical islands, and the rugged mountains, it is one of the easiest-traveled areas in the world. The city is full of pop culture blended with old Japan. No matter what your pleasure, you will find it in Tokyo, the most populous metropolis in the world.
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Staying in Central Tokyo
Image via Flickr by Moyan Brenn
Minato is the center of Central Tokyo. Staying in a hotel near Minato puts you close to the business center and the nightclub districts of Roppongi. You will also be able to travel easily on JR trains and the Tokyo metro subway. The Wards of Central Tokyo include Chiyoda, where you will find the Imperial Palace. Chuo, where you will find the fish markets of Tsukiji and department stores of the Ginza. The luxury district of Shinjuku and shopping district of Shibuya. You will find the train hubs and business centers in Shinagawa and Toshima.
Recommended Points of Interest
If you love shopping, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando is the place for you. Here you will find a shopping mall filled with familiar stores and smaller domestic Japanese brands. The Plaza is also a great place to grab a bite to eat and relax. The best time of day to go is in the morning before the crowds get large and it becomes hard to find a place to sit. Once you’ve finished shopping, nearby points of interest include Meiji Jingu and Yoyogi Park.
Parks of Tokyo
Even with the tall buildings that make up much of the metropolis, Tokyo has some of the best parks in the region. Be sure to visit Tokyo Metropolitan Jindai Botanical Park and the Shinukui Gyoen National Garden. Shinuku Gyoen is reminiscent of Central Park in New York City. You will find a massive green space with a backdrop of towering skyscrapers. The Jinkaiji Temple is close to the Jindai Botanical Park. Be sure to visit the temple when visiting the park.
Restaurants of Tokyo
Travel up 14 floors in the Maruyamacho area for an izakaya-style dining experience at Gonpachi Shibuya. The restaurant serves Japanese food and sushi and has a nice bar area. You will also find Cedros in Shibuya. Cedros is highly recommended by visitors and serves American food and seafood. If you are closer to Chuo when you’re ready for dinner, the Tapas Molecular Bar serves tapas, but beware, it is a bit pricey. CafeRest’Cuzn Home Ground in Taito is a vegetarian option serving international cuisines. Prices at CafeRest are budget-friendly.
Best Time of Year to Visit Tokyo
You will find plenty to do in Tokyo year round. However, spring is a favorite time for both locals and visitors. Spring is when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the weather warms, and the parks fill with couples on leisurely strolls. Winter, while not the warmest time of year, is the perfect time to slurp a comforting bowl of ramen and see sights without masses of tourists getting in the way. It is also a great time to visit if you are into skiing at any of Japan’s amazing mountains.
Many other fantastic destinations are within Tokyo. Sometimes just taking a walk instead of the train puts you right at the doorstep of the best parts of Tokyo.