Tokyo, with a population of approximately 12 million is the capital of Japan. It is one of the busiest cities on the planet, as well as one of the most populous cities in the world. In fact, Tokyo is the thriving center of economy, culture and industry for Japan. Over the years, it has emerged as a center of the world economy and cultural focus as well.
You may want to know that from sightseeing outside the Imperial Palace to shopping in the new area of Odaiba, everything is carried on at a breakneck pace. What follows are some of the best shopping places for consideration:
- Ginza – where famous shops from around the world stand side by side. Ginza is also home to Kabuki-za Theatre;
- Shibuya – the spot for trendy young people;
- Ikebukero – features a huge underground mall and bustling shopping and entertainment district;
- Shinjuku – the sleepless new city center of Tokyo. One of the tourist attractions over there is Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, where you will find both Japanese and European style gardens. There are tea houses where visitors can take part in the traditional tea ceremony;
- Akihabara – a dense retail area where numerous electronic shops compete against each other. In short, this is a place for visitors and tourists heading to buy electronic items; and
- Tsukiji – an open-air wholesale food market catering to shops and consumers from everywhere.
You will be surprised to know that Tokyo is also home to a rich variety of cultural tourist attractions, for example in Ueno Park, the National Museum has twenty galleries filled with artifacts from 1500 years of Japanese history. Besides the National Museum of Western Art, Municipal Art Gallery, the National History Museum, the National Science Museum and the Gallery of Far Eastern Art are also the cultural tourist attractions in Tokyo for people to visit.
Other tourist attractions and places of interest are Sensoji Temple, the Five Storied Pagoda and Nakamise, and Hanayashiki Amusement Park in Asakusa. For the young, Harajuku is the place for them to hang out and Azabu-Juban is the upmarket for the liked minded.
So when is the best time to visit Tokyo? The answer is anytime of the year. If you are in Tokyo, you may not want to miss out on:
- The bullet train
- The traditional bath in the hot springs
- The trip to Mt Fuji
- The Meiji Shrine
- Tokyo Tower
- Shomben Yokocho
Smart money travel tips: While many businesses in Japan accept credit cards, cash is still considered as king in many smaller and more traditional shops and restaurants there. As such, I suggest you to carry some cash, as Japanese banks’ ATMs generally do not accept foreign cards except for ATMs at post offices and the 7-Eleven convenience stores. Also it is good to check with your bank for the withdrawal fees before leaving home.