Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world, and can feel overwhelming for any Western traveler. Tokyo is the capital city of Japan and has a population of more than 13 million people in the metropolitan area. The local metropolitan area, known as the Tokyo Metropolis, has a population estimated at 37 million people, making it the second largest metro area in the world. Tokyo is one of the few places in the world where you can see high-tech visions of a future world coexisting alongside scenes of ancient Japan.
When to visit
here is no bad time of year to visit Tokyo. With such a massive metropolitan area at your disposal for exploration, you'll find something to do any time of the year in Tokyo. Many Japanese citizens spend their beautiful weather days outside at Yoyogi Park. Here you'll find citizens from all walks of life gathering to socialize, practice hobbies from normal to out-of-the-ordinary, and even play sports.
If you are visiting Tokyo and hoping to shop, the warmer weather of summer and spring offer a great opportunity to visit the city's Omote-sando shopping district near Yoyogi Park. For those of you visiting during the cooler calendar months, visit a local sento [public bath] to enjoy a warming soak.
Tokyo is one of the few places in the world that actually enjoys four distinct seasons. The area's climate is classified as a humid subtropical zone. Summers in Tokyo are dominated by hot, humid weather with average high temperatures ranging from 68 F (20 C) to 86 F (30 C). Spring and fall offer inviting weather with mild highs and crisp low temperatures in the evening.
Winters in Tokyo are usually quite mild, with snow a rarity. The occasional snowstorm does strike Tokyo, but it occurs on average just once or twice a year. High temperatures during the winter months range from 32 F (0 C) to 50 F (10 C).
The city of Tokyo was founded over 500 years ago as a humble fishing village named Edo, and has served as the capital of shogunate empires and democratic governments since then. There are 23 central wards that combine to form the greater metropolitan area. The city covers 770 square miles (2,000 km2), and you'll find something new and unique in each ward.
Central Tokyo is home to Japan's political and economic power, and offers you the chance to explore the Imperial Palace, tour Parliament, and see the many electronics manufacturer's that call Akihabara home. Old Tokyo houses the temples of Asakusa and the National Museum.
When the weather permits, enjoy a picnic in the park during the Sakura [cherry blossom]. Tokyo is famous for its cherry blossom trees that bathe the city in beautiful shades of pink each March and April. Boat rides on the Sumida River are also a popular way to see the city.
As a city with a rich cultural history, Tokyo has limitless attractions. The city has numerous commercial shopping centers that allow you to shop, dine, and simply wander around as you take in the splendor of a culture very different from many Western nations. Each shopping district has its own appeal, such as the dazzling lights of Shinjuku, the youthful exuberance of Shibuya, and the upscale feel of Ginza.
The Tokyo Tower offers impressive views of the Tokyo metro area, but it is not the highest spot in Tokyo. You can also enjoy great vistas and panoramic views from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. If you want to see the city from the comfort of a seat, Sky Bus Tokyo offers quick tours around the city on the hour from its open-top double-decker buses.
Tips & Recommendations
• If you want to see traditional open-air bazaars, visit Ueno's Ameyoko market. Many other markets have modernized as a result of the nation's postwar occupation.
• Traffic snarls are common in Tokyo, but the city's public transportation is among the best in the world. Skip renting a car and rely on public transport.
• Japan in general is one of the safest nations in the world. Tokyo, as a result, is one of the safest major cities in the world.
You'll find Kobans [small police stations] every other block if you do need help.
• Tokyo's English-language life line is available by dialing 44.
Keikyu EX Inn Shinagawa Ekimae offers a large selection of attractive rooms. The high star rating ensures a comfortable stay along with excellent facilities. The accommodation is near Shinagawa Station for easy accessibility. You may enjoy a quick visit to nearby The Institute for Nature Study. The nearby Tokyo Conference Center Shinagawa is a popular venue.
Large and roomy, Ginza Creston is a popular choice. This is an above average 3-star holiday accommodation. You'll easily access all the city has to offer: Tokyo Station provides public transit connections throughout Tokyo. Landmarks in the area include Tsukiji Fish Market and Hama Rikyu Garden.
With a plentitude of rooms, Tokyo Marriott Hotel provides abundant choices. A good option for those who seek a greater degree of comfort in Tokyo. With Shinagawa Station so close, getting to and from your lodge will be a breeze. Conference attendees at Tokyo Conference Center Shinagawa appreciate it's proximity to here.
If you like a larger holiday accommodation, Flexstay Inn Sugamo is a good choice. Offering 2-star rooms, this is a great option for good quality at a low price. You may enjoy a quick visit to nearby Rikugien Garden.
With a 3-star rating, Kuretake Inn Premium Hamamatsucho can accommodate a variety of needs. This is a great location for walking to landmarks such as Tokyo Tower, Hama Rikyu Garden and Tsukiji Fish Market.
A larger establishment, Palace Studio Shinjuku Parkside offers a number of rooms to choose from. Book a comfy 3-star room here. Sight-seeing and travel is available via nearby Shinjuku Station. You may want to see Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Meiji Shrine; both are close to this location.
If you prefer a small, intimate accommodations, Khaosan Tokyo Original is a good choice. You can save by staying at this 2-star accommodation. From here you can walk to several attractions, including Edo-Tokyo Museum and Sensoji Temple. You'll be completely mobile, with Ueno Station connecting you to areas around Tokyo.
The modest-sized Khaosan Tokyo Ninja offers attentive service. Offering 2-star rooms, this is a great option for good quality at a low price. An interesting museum 1.1 km (0.7 miles) away is Edo-Tokyo Museum.
If you prefer a more intimate property, Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki is a good option. Here, great value for the money means you'll have more to spend on sightseeing, dining and other travel priorities. From here you can walk to several attractions, including Edo-Tokyo Museum and Sensoji Temple. The accommodation is near Ueno Station for easy accessibility.
For a budget property, the 2-star 1/3rd Residence Guesthouse Yashiki is good value. Sometimes the best things come in small packages, and this is one of those. Bustling Ueno Station takes you to all points of interest in and around Tokyo. Ueno Park is one of many landmarks in the area. Wandering through National Museum of Western Art and National Science Museum, both a short walk away, is time well-spent. Nearby is picturesque Tokyo Dome .
Hikari House is a relatively small property. This 2-star property is a good choice for budgeting your stay in Tokyo. Shinjuku Station offers fine public transportation. This location is not far from Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Shinjuku Gyoen Park.
Stay at the 2-star GIS Guest House Tokyo and save your money for other travel expenses. Tokyo Station connects you to the rest of Tokyo. If you stay here, the nearby Edo-Tokyo Museum is worth exploring.