Tokyo is a gigantic, ultra-modern metropolis where you really need to live for several months to see at least half of its sights. This city is the core of the second most densely populated urbanization in the world, the Tokyo metropolis, which has more than 37 million people. It is impossible to describe Tokyo, just as it is impossible to comprehend this city, where high-tech innovations coexist with views of old Japan. See ANDYEDUCATION for education and training in Japan.
Tokyo stuns the alien immediately, without preparation. With its many neighborhoods, its incredibly complex urban layout, which is impossible to figure out without the help of the police, its independent subway lines, which you get confused several times a day. A huge part of the city is a continuous jungle of concrete and wires, illuminated by multi-colored neon and filled with the noise of loudspeakers. During rush hours, Tokyo’s population turns into a human mass, and during the summer, the entire city becomes a giant pressure cooker. Good advice for all newcomers to Tokyo – don’t get too attached to your list of “must-see” places: here you will definitely end up where you never expected to be.
How to get to Tokyo
Planes regularly fly from Moscow and a number of cities in the Far East and Siberia to Tokyo. It takes about 10 hours to get from the Russian capital, and 2-3 hours from the regions. From Russia, all flights arrive at Narita International Airport, from where it is another 75 km to the city. The fastest way to get to the center of Tokyo is by high-speed trains, but if there is no hurry, then a bus will do. Taxi drivers will charge exorbitant prices, but they will meet you with a sign and take you comfortably. In addition, there is another airport in Tokyo – Haneda.
Districts of Tokyo
23 special districts, 4 dozen small cities and towns, a lot of quarters – it is difficult to understand the intricacies of the administrative division of Tokyo, and there is no need for a tourist to do this. What is the difference between Kita, Koto, Ota and Futyu is useful for the adherents of intellectual shows to know, while the traveler will need information that meets specific goals.
It makes sense for nightlife lovers to settle closer to the ebullient Shibuya and his neighbor Harayuki, young Tokyoites come here to hang out, that’s another sight! These areas (as well as Ameyoko, Kappabashi and Akihabara) are good for shopping. There are many clubs in the Roppongi area, but no less notorious for the yakuza, the “Nigerian” bars and the wave of robberies that swept the streets a few years ago.
For a portion of surprise, we ride a monorail to the Odaiba island region with futuristic buildings, future Olympic venues, theme parks and even the Statue of Liberty. Multinational Shinjuku is famous for the busiest train station in the world, the Imperial Park, tiny bohemian bars on Golden Gai, the country’s largest red-light district – Kabuki-cho and the largest district of skyscrapers.
Look for the atmosphere of old Japan, authentic markets, temples, historical monuments, festivals and museums in Harajuku, Asakusa and Ueno. Ginza is the most prestigious and most expensive metropolitan quarter, one of the cultural centers of the city with the Kabuki Theater, the Imperial Palace and endless shops, restaurants and cafes. Also, the same Roppongi, Taito and Toshima are considered the focus of culture and art.
- Which area of Tokyo has the most interesting skyscrapers
- Where is the best panorama of Tokyo
Finding accommodation in Tokyo is another adventure. The choice of options depends not only on the wallet, but also on personal preferences and the desire to get a new experience. For guests with unlimited budgets, luxury international hotel rooms range from JPY57,000 for junior suites to JPY180,000 for executive suites. The most luxurious hotels in the capital are located in Shinjuku, Akasaka and near Tokyo Station. There will be beautiful views and sophisticated service, but for the exotic you need to go to other establishments.
For example, in traditional Japanese ryokans – the ones with tatami mats on the floor, mattresses instead of beds and paper doors, they will help you plunge headlong into the atmosphere of book and film Japan, not yet robotic and not sparkling with neon. But be careful when choosing, sometimes the word “ryokan” in the name of the hotel acts as a bait, but in reality there is no smell of traditions and the spirit of antiquity. For a night in a good Tokyo ryokan, you will have to pay from 10,000-16,000 JPY.
Another marvel of Japanese tourism thought is capsule hotels. It is categorically not recommended even with the slightest tendency to claustrophobia – it is offered to spend the night in such hotels in the combs-compartments of common rooms, something like the top shelf of a compartment on a train. Many capsule hotels accept only men, but there are also women’s and mixed options. True, the division into “boys-girls” will most likely be floors. This is a note to traveling couples. A night in a capsule will cost only 1700-2700 JPY. A funny bonus of such hotels is the saunas that guests can use. Often in such establishments there are also more private rooms: a tiny room, a futon mattress, a small bathroom or shower, but you can stand up to your full height and there will be no neighbor at arm’s length. For a day for two they will ask6000-8000 JPY Approximately the same amount will be a night in a decent “troika” without any special claims.
Do not take the capsule in the smoking compartment. Even if in ordinary life you smoke like a steam locomotive.
Less exotic, but budget – hostels and guest houses. Everything is in order with the level of service, there is only one minus: such housing is loved by young people from America and Europe, sometimes too noisy and violent in their unrestrained and detached from home fun.
Communication and Wi-Fi
When traveling to Tokyo for a short period of time, all possible communication problems are solved in advance – you just need to download the Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi application to your smartphone or tablet or use the Free Wi-Fi Japan service from NTT EAST.
Having constant access to the network at hand, there is no need for a complex, expensive and not very convenient system of renting local phones or devices for connecting to mobile Internet, as well as buying prepaid cards. For emergency calls home, roaming is enough – it is unlikely to be more expensive than manipulations with local SIM cards, and for the most talkative or uncomfortable without a mobile in the palm of your hand, it makes sense to take care of purchasing one of the special tourist “sim cards” even before leaving, the tariffs of which are very high. very democratic.
Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass
A wonderful find for those who like to wander around museums and exhibitions is the Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass. The owner of a fat pocket book with tickets gets free admission to dozens of permanent exhibitions in more than fifty museums in Tokyo, zoological, marine and botanical parks, science centers, and also provides significant discounts for visiting temporary exhibitions.
Grutto Pass is sold at the box office of any of the establishments on the list, as well as in tourist and information centers, LIBRO and PARCO bookstores, it costs 2200 JPY. If we take into account that the average entrance to Tokyo museums for an adult visitor costs 500-800 JPY, then the purchase will be beaten off after 3-4 trips. Grutto Pass is valid for 2 months from the moment of activation. Subscriptions are nominal, non-transferable, “burn out” if you accidentally tear off the cover. When visiting the museum, a stamp is placed on a special page, they say, having collected a certain collection of prints, you can participate in the lottery. But even without it, the Grutto Pass buyer definitely wins.
Weather in Tokyo
Based on the weather, the best months to visit Tokyo are April and May, with comfortable temperatures, acceptable humidity, and tolerable rain. In addition, cherry blossoms fall on the border in March and April, because often this point is one of the most important when traveling to Japan. In summer and early autumn, the city is hot, humid, stuffy and wet, not the best time for a trip that involves long walks and excursions.
The statistics are relentless – only half of the days of the year in Tokyo do without precipitation.
If you are not interested in sakura, you can go to Tokyo in October, in general terms it is similar to the spring months, but with a little more rain and other colors in the gardens. Winter in the subtropical monsoon climate of Tokyo begins in December and ends by mid-March, usually during these months it is dry, calm and quite warm, there are no crisp frosts, a slight minus and rare snowfalls do not count.