Japan's capital city, Tokyo, is also the largest city in the country. As the third most liveable city in the world, it is home to the Japanese Imperial Family who reside in the picturesque Tokyo Imperial Palace.
Tokyo was originally known as Edo, meaning estuary. However, when the imperial capital was moved from Kyoto to Edo in 1868, it was renamed Tokyo, meaning Eastern capital, a more apt name for a city that now has one of the largest economies in the world.
The Japanese are very proud of their cultural heritage and it is on great display throughout Tokyo.
Museums in Tokyo
There are 9 major museums in Tokyo. From Japanese history at the Tokyo National Museum and the Edo-Tokyo Museum, to the amusing Tokyo Transportation Museum, there is no part of Japanese culture not represented in one of Tokyo's many museums. One of the must-see museums is the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum where artworks from Japanese artists are displayed. Exhibitions changed regularly so you are sure to find something you've never seen before!
Kabuki Theatre in Tokyo
Kabuki, the traditional Japanese theatre, can still be found in modern Tokyo at Kabuki-za Theatre in Ginza. To accommodate English-speaking audiences, there are English guides and headsets available so you can enjoy an act or the entire four hour show!
What to do and see in Tokyo?
The Best Shopping in Tokyo - The Ginza
For designer fashions and upscale dining and entertainment in Tokyo, then The Ginza is the place for you! On weekends the roads are closed to traffic, so you can get as much uninterrupted shopping done as you like!
Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace is located in the heart of Tokyo. Tokyo Imperial Palace is surrounded by gardens and separated from Tokyo with stone walls and a moat. Guided tours of the grounds are available. Although access into the Palace and inner gardens are restricted, visitors are allowed in the Imperial Palace East Gardens on most days of the year, except Mondays and Fridays.
Asakusa - Tokyo's Geisha District
Asakusa is located north east of Tokyo. Asakusa is where you can see the famous Buddhist temple, Senso-ji, many festivals and Tokyo's oldest geisha district. For travellers on a budget, Asakusa is a great place to stay.
Tokyo's Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Head to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden for some of the most picturesque gardens in the world. There are three distinct gardens including French, English and traditional Japanese. Head to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden from late March to April to see the 1,500 cherry trees blossoming.
Sumo Wrestling at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo
Ryogoku Kokugikan is an indoor sporting arena in Tokyo famous for its sell out sumo wrestling tournaments. As well as the popular New Year and summer sumo wrestling tournaments, a sumo wrestling museum is also located at Ryogoku Kokugikan where you can learn about the history of sumo wrestling and the prestige the sport holds in Japanese culture.
Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market
Tourists should head to Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market for a glimpse of the largest wholesale fish market in the world. The Japanese are notorious for their love of seafood and it is on full display at the Tsukiji Fish Market. Tourists are allowed to view the auctions between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. from a designated area. After viewing the busy fish markets, head to the outer markets and dine on some fresh sushi!
The Wax Museum at Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower is the largest man-made structure in Japan. Step onto the observation decks for a 360 degree view of Tokyo then visit Foot Town at the bottom of Tokyo Tower, where you will find restaurants, souvenir shops, the Guiness World Records Museum and the Tokyo Tower Wax Museum. You're guaranteed a lot of fun when you head to Tokyo Tower.
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