By having the opportunity to visit this great cosmopolitan city, we will experience the splendor that the whole country has concentrated here: its ancient, refined culture dating back centuries, its breathtaking ultra-modern space architecture, the outstanding intelligence of the most able-bodied nation on earth, which has been accumulated over a long and the complex history of this people, and their excellence, embodied in all this, make Tokyo one of the most beloved and sought-after destinations for tourism and will encourage you to return here again and again, and together with our local private tourist guides, who, in addition to their native Japanese they also speak all other European and Oriental languages, such a trip will become simple and especially interesting.
High-tech city in the construction of skyscrapers - Tokyo - against the backdrop of the snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji
We all know the global importance of all of Japan in the world economy and its capital Tokyo in particular, so we can easily get to this city from anywhere in the world, it can be like direct non-stop flights from Moscow, London, Istanbul, Frankfurt, lasting from 8 to 14 (!!!) hours, as well as compound flights with transfers along the way in several other cities and countries of the world like Delhi, Singapore, Beijing.
Japan is the easternmost country on the globe and every new day starts here first, which is why Japan is called the land of the Rising Sun!
You can get to 2 airports that are about 65 km (40 miles) apart: Haneda International Airport, which is closer to the city, but the most popular airport for international flights is Narita International Airport. It is advisable to look at prices at both airports and compare them to see which one is the cheapest, as it is somewhat strange to find that a flight from Los Angeles is cheaper than a flight from closer cities such as Paris (1700 USD or 1500 EUR) or from Dubai ($1,550 or EUR 1,350), and even a flight from New York can cost twice as much ($836 - EUR 738 vs. USD 1,875 - EUR 1,650).
The cherry blossom has the meaning of a national symbol in Japan! For any Japanese, cherry blossoms, which in ancient Japanese spelling are denoted by a complex hieroglyph - 櫻, (in Latin Prunus serrulata) is a metaphor for life itself! The life of every person is as fleeting, fleeting, and beautiful as nature during these 10 days of flowering of this magnificent plant. Another meaning of cherry blossoms is the beginning of something new, rebirth, the beginning of beginnings. The cherry trees are believed to represent the mountain spirits, which in Japanese folklore have become the gods of the rice fields. It was at this time that the Japanese went to the mountains every spring to bow to the trees and then transplanted them into settlements.
This is affected by the seasonality of the passenger flow, the time of year, and special holidays in Japan, such as cherry blossoms, when aesthetes from all over the globe come to admire this unique phenomenon, and they are ready to pay any money for a ticket! It is worth noting that you do not need to apply for a visa to travel to Japan, since the vast majority of countries are exempt from visas, only in some countries there is a restriction on staying in the country for 3 months, and in others - for 6 months, for this, of course Alternatively, you will need to present a return ticket to your country.
The 332-meter Tokyo TV Tower is a tourist attraction and has become one of the symbols of Japan's capital. Every year, more than 2.5 million tourists visit the viewing platforms, halls, and museums of the tower. Under the tower is a four-story administrative building, with museums, restaurants, and shops. At an altitude of 145 meters, there is a two-story main observatory, and a small special observatory is available for visitors, located at an altitude of 250 meters. The Tokyo TV Tower is often used as a setting in films, anime, and manga and serves as an indication that the events unfold in Tokyo.
Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so taxis are not recommended here. Although those passengers who still dare to explore this type of transport will be pleasantly surprised by the snow-white gloves on the driver’s hands and the sterile clean interior of the car trimmed with white lace, while the driver will have a special uniform cap and he will speak several European languages.
The neon capital of the world - that's what Tokyo is sometimes called!
But not only the high fare for a taxi stops you from using this type of transport - you can also find yourself in a many-kilometer traffic jam, which, alas, happens here too, and then your route will be endless ... For someone who has 200 euros for the road from the airport to the city center are too expensive, we recommend using the metro even when you have just arrived at the airport, as this mode of transport is a testament to order, discipline, punctuality, and incredible cleanliness, high civic culture and impeccable almost sterile service are everywhere here, But that's not all! It's amazing that the subway not only goes to any area of the entire greater Tokyo but also takes you to satellite cities.
Sakura, planted along the subway line, is pleasant both for the residents of neighboring houses and for the passengers rushing in the subway cars!
It is very important to download applications on your mobile phone that will greatly help you on your trips because at first, the route can seem very confusing. And learning to read Japanese characters instead of the usual Latin letters from the first visit is another crossword puzzle! And the apps will show you which route is recommended for that destination, and where to get in and out at the stations because the network is huge and the apps are very easy to use and they accurately indicate transfers and travel times. There are unlimited passes for foreigners for 1, 2, or 3 days, which is very convenient from an economic point of view because you will be served by 2 subway companies at once (Tokyo Metro and TOEI);
Advertising posters will dazzle before your eyes even in a sterile subway car!
Keep in mind that Tokyo Metro and Toei are independent companies so you will split tickets for both. Tokyo Metro tickets cost 170 to 320 yen depending on how far you travel. Toei fares are a little more expensive, ranging from 180 to 430 yen. For the purchase of tickets for several days, only a passport is necessary to present, and they are sold in Bic Camera stores at the airport and at some other points, but not at train stations. A single trip can cost up to 800 yen (almost 7 euros or 8 US dollars) as the fare is not fixed but charged by distance, so if you have already paid more, at the exit when you present your ticket at the indicated machine, you must go to the machine, which is a few steps away, and the rest will be returned to you; otherwise, you will have to pay the difference there.
Simply touch the Suica card to the reader at the ticket gate when going in and out of the metro station. There is no need to purchase a ticket from a vending machine each time you travel. The fare is automatically calculated at the station where you get off. When you get off the train, the fare will be calculated at that station and redeemed from the card.
Another option is to purchase a prepaid card called "suica" or "pasmo" you just present it and it works just like tickets only you can put a balance on it and use it as many times as you want, you can even pay in some shops inside the stations. Almost all stations have many entrances and exits, so it is necessary to know which exits from the station you will use, as you can get confused and avoid a long and unnecessary walk, as the distances inside the stations are huge and you can take up to 20 minutes from the moment you get out of the metro train until you find the exit to the street from the subway.
Behind the seeming chaos on the streets of Tokyo lies a well-observed and well-organized urban order! Otherwise, the city of 15 million would have fallen into a stupor ...
Asakusa is a suburb on the outskirts of Tokyo, where many Japanese temples are concentrated with the exquisite and traditional architecture that characterizes it, as we can delve into the way the Japanese live, their culture, their park life, where the library and kindergarten are located on a short distance from each other, and their majestic sanctuaries are right next to each other ... Therefore, it is convenient to have a local personal tourist guide who knows the history and traditions of the whole place well, and most importantly - speaks both Japanese and any of the European languages.
A Daruma doll (Japanese: 達磨) is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll sported after Bodhidharma, the inventor of the Zen tradition of Buddhism. These lookers, though typically red and displaying a bearded man (Bodhidharma), vary greatly in color and composition depending on region and artist. Though considered a toy by some, Daruma has a configuration that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of endurance and good luck, making them a famous gift of encouragement. The doll has also been commercialized by many Buddhist temples to use alongside the setting of goals.
Similarly, the Nakamise shopping street has several souvenir shops with affordable prices for everyone and an endless supply of goods worth paying for, including a kimono shop with colorful and beautiful options, or a shop with typical sweets. There are also plenty of restaurants serving both Japanese and other regional cuisines, as the tour will definitely leave you hungry. But we will write an additional detailed article about Japanese cuisine a little later.
Gyoza (餃子, gyōza) are dumplings filled with ground meat and vegetables and wrapped in a thin dough. Gyoza originated in China (where they are called jiaozi), but has become a very popular dish in Japan. Traditionally in Japan Gyoza are filled with a mix of finely minced pork, mushrooms, and cabbage, which creates a delicious mix of flavors and textures. However, the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating your own Gyoza. It is supposed to be deep into a ponzu sauce, or other homemade sauces consisting of rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and spices. Ponzu is a classic Japanese citrus sauce that can be used without the addition of soy sauce yet it still has a strong umami flavor. Umami is the fifth basic taste distinguishable on the human tongue.
The Meiji Shrine or Meiji Jingu is a must as this Shinto shrine hosts Shinto wedding rituals in beautiful traditional costumes and requires a visit on a Saturday or Sunday. It is located in the heart of the capital of Japan - Tokyo and is surrounded by a beautiful deciduous forest and was created in memory of the Japanese emperor and empress. Upon arrival, you will feel the incredible atmosphere of peace that its leafy parks convey, receiving you behind an imposing always open door. It is located in one of the most central areas of the Japanese capital Shibuya, a very commercial area in the southwest of Tokyo, and it is recommended to arrive early as the crowds grow as the day progresses. This park has over 120,000 trees and celebrated its centenary in 2020.
Cherry blossom is often accompanied by a unique night illumination. And the reflection in the water enhances the already amazing effect at times!
South of this shrine, you can either walk or get off at the Shibuya subway station in one of the most important shopping malls in the world, and you will find everything you can imagine: clothes, souvenirs, electronics, restaurants, jewelry, other shops, etc.
The maneki-neko (招き猫, lit. 'beckoning cat') is a common Japanese figurine that is often considered to bring good luck to the owner. In current times, they are usually made of ceramic or plastic. The figurine represents a cat, traditionally a calico Japanese Bobtail, with a paw raised in a Japanese beckoning gesture. With a raised paw, pointy red ears, coins, and other accessories, maneki-neko have been bringing in luck and prosperity for centuries—and while the iconic statutes have varied origin stories, they all begin in Japan. In Tokyo, you can head straight to the source at cat-filled Gōtoku-ji, or visit the Imado Shrine, which also sells its own take on the maneki-neko.
And in the midst of this incredible bustle of the city, you will find in the same way one of the symbols of modern Tokyo: the statue of Hachiko. Few people do not know this touching story of loyalty and devotion. Look closely and among the bushes, you will see this faithful dog, about which legends are now added and considered almost a national symbol.
In April 1934, a bronze statue based on his likeness sculpted by Teru Ando was erected at Shibuya Station. The statue was recycled for the war effort during World War II. In 1948, Takeshi Ando (son of the original artist) made a second statue. The new statue, which was erected in August 1948, still stands and is a popular meeting spot. The station entrance near this statue is named "Hachikō-guchi", meaning "The Hachikō Entrance/Exit", and is one of Shibuya Station's five exits.
This bronze statue of an Akita Inu dog was erected here in 1934 during the lifetime of the legendary hero, and the story is that one day a farmer gave an Akita Ino puppy to a professor at the University of Tokyo, the dog regularly saw off and met the owner at Shibuya Station, and continued to do this even when the professor died of a heart attack at the university, but the dog did not know about it and continued to come to the station.
During the war, the monument was destroyed, but after it ended, in August 1948, it was restored again. Today, the statue of the faithful and devoted Hachiko near Shibuya Station is a meeting place for lovers, and the image of a dog in Japan has become an example of selfless love and fidelity. Hachiko's remains are kept in the stuffed form at the National Science Museum, Ueno, Tokyo, Japan.
After his death, Hachikō's remains were cremated and his ashes were buried in Aoyama Cemetery, Minato, Tokyo where they rest beside those of Hachikō's beloved master, Professor Ueno. Hachikō's fur, which was preserved after his death, was stuffed and his taxidermy mount is currently on permanent display at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo
The Akihabara area is the central area of Tokyo, which is famous for its characteristic and famous electronics stores, where the Japanese confidently hold the first place in scientific development and are one of the best representatives in this area of high technology. The main street is Tio-Dori Street and it is closed to car traffic so that people can safely walk and visit its countless shops in search of one of the many brands of electronics that has recently come into vogue with anime, so you must be familiar with the hustle and bustle of giant advertising neon screens and flashing lights radiating the Japanese modernity we always remember. So if you are looking for the latest technology and the best quality in the world at very good prices, this is the right place - here its neon lights will dazzle you.
Some Tokyo streets in the most crowded shopping districts are closed to traffic to give more freedom for endless and insatiable shopping.
In the Chiyoda area, we will find beautiful landscapes surrounded by mysticism in a place called Chidorigafuchi - this is a moat dug here during the reign of Edo, along the banks of which more than 300 sakura trees are planted, and the moat itself is flooded with water and you can ride a boat on it, admiring the beautiful trees against a clear blue sky. Chidorigafuchi is located next to the National Cemetery of the same name at the Emperor's Palace.
Slow boating along the Chidorigafuchi Canal under the lush crowns of cherry blossoms is a favorite pastime not only for the Japanese but also for numerous tourists!
You can get here completely free of charge at any time of the day, but you can ride a boat only from 11:00 to 17:30 (except Mondays every day). The price for renting a boat for hire during the year is 500 yen for half an hour, but during the cherry blossom season it increases significantly to 800 yen for half an hour, but this spectacle is completely unique.
It is not uncommon to meet a girl in a traditional Japanese costume on the streets of Japanese cities! And this always causes sincere delight of traveling foreigners.
The park itself is unique and inimitable - the main attraction is its superb sakura or Japanese cherry trees, which, when their flowering season comes in March and April, are visited by countless tourists to admire and photograph this natural beauty, for which we must remain calm because you are wasting a lot of time on this. At night, a light show called Yozakura is held, which creates incomparable reflections in the water.
It is known that the Japanese are able to distinguish between 240 shades of colors, in Japanese there are 24 words for the season. In Japanese culture, there are different types of admiring natural phenomena:
Momijigari (紅葉狩) is a Japanese tradition of admiring the fall color change of leaves. First of all, the tradition is associated with the reddening leaves of maples of the palmate and Japanese species, but is not limited to them. Momiji is part of Japanese culture and has a notable influence on the tourism industry.
Well, since we ended up with you in the area of the Imperial Palace, this is a great chance to get acquainted with it. The modern Imperial Palace was built on the territory of the former castle of the Edo dynasty and has been used as an imperial residence from the second half of the 19th century to the present day. The complex of buildings of palace was built in various architectural styles - here you will find buildings of European architecture, and traditional Japanese architecture, the total area of the palace complex, together with parks, is more than 7.5 sq. km.
Sentry at the gate of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan
When Japan experienced significant changes in the organization of statehood and government in the 19th century, the ancient city of Edo was renamed Tokyo - that is, the eastern capital and the imperial court moved here, inheriting power in the country instead of the previous form of government - the shogunate - the feudal military government of Japan. Thus, at the very end of the 19th century, the former castle on small islands in the center of Tokyo was rebuilt as the Imperial Palace.
An elegant stone bridge is visible from the main entrance of the Imperial Palace. During the Edo era, it was called Nishinomaru-otemon Bridge, and it was prohibited to enter on horseback. The bridge was built in the span of three years from 1624 to 1627. The current structure was built in 1889.
Today the Palace is open to tourists, the tour lasts about an hour and is held in the morning. The territory of the courtyard is usually closed to the public, except for some holidays. The fact is that the Palace to this day remains the current residence of the Emperor and his family. You can come here only with an excursion led by local tourist guides, the rest of the time you can just look from afar at the palace building and its gates. The Outer Garden overlooks the Nijubashi Double Bridge leading to the majestic courtyard gate.
Bonsai (Jap. 盆栽 - literally "grown in a tray") is the art of growing an exact copy of a real (sometimes dwarf) tree in miniature. One of the directions of dendroart. Plant growth is regulated by pruning, pinching, limiting the size of the root system. It is believed that art was brought to Japan in the 6th century by Buddhist monks. The cultivated plants were used to decorate the niche of the house, the maximum height of the trees was therefore about half a meter. After some time, in connection with the development of the technique of admiring bonsai, they begin to use it during the tea ceremony. At this time, the art is called hachi-no-ki - "tree in a pot." Since the 18th century, the Japanese have finally turned this technique into art, and many styles have arisen. In the Tokugawa era, park design received a new impetus: the cultivation of azaleas and maples became a pastime for the wealthy.
And to get to the next destination - the oldest and most beautiful city of ancient Japan - Kyoto - we must jump on the Shinkansen train at the nearest metro station - which rushes at a speed of 350 km/h and takes us in 3 hours to the world of Japanese antiquity, beautiful Japanese girls in a traditional kimono and with faces under a thick layer of traditional makeup - the world is so misunderstood, but this makes it even more mysterious, beautiful and alluring!
The Shinkansen N700 series electric train is a high-speed Japanese electric train designed for use on the Tokaido and Sanyo lines. It was put into operation on July 1, 2007. The distance between Tokyo and Osaka (515 km) N700 overcomes in 2 hours 22 minutes. N700 trains reach speeds of up to 300 km/h, it accelerates faster than other Shinkansen trains. The N700 trains offer wireless internet throughout the route between Tokyo and Osaka.
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