Tokyo Travel Guide

Tokyo is at once a neon-lit modern playground full of skyscrapers, technological wonders and trendy nightclubs, and an ancient stronghold of Japanese culture. Visitors will soon appreciate why it's one of the world's great cities. Among other things, it's bursting with excellent restaurants; its nightlife is one of the hottest in the world; the shopping scene purrs day and night; the crime rate is virtually non-existent; there are fascinating ancient sites to be explored; and the public transport is arguably the most efficient in the world.

A holiday in Tokyo is definitely not advised for the agoraphobic, but those seeking a sophisticated getaway with a touch of genteel oriental culture will thrive in this seething metropolis, and those in search of some retail therapy will be delighted with a trip to Tokyo.

Best time to visit Tokyo

The seasons in Tokyo can be extreme, so the best time to visit is during the milder seasons of autumn (September and October) or spring (March, April, May). Summers are uncomfortably hot, humid and rainy, and winters can be freezing. The famous Japanese cherry blossoms tend to bloom around March and April, making this the most popular time for a holiday in Japan.

What to see in Tokyo

-Get an overview of Tokyo's culture and history at the fascinating Edo-Tokyo Museum.

-See Senso-Ji, the city's oldest temple, founded in 628 AD.

-Admire the profusion of cherry blossoms at Inokashiro Park.

-Marvel at views of the city from high up in the Tokyo Tower.

What to do in Tokyo

-Treat the kids to a day of fun at the Tokyo Disney Resort.

-Explore the electronic wonderland that is Akihabara shopping district.

-Visit the Meiji Jingu shrine and enjoy the museums and lush gardens.

-Stroll around the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the heart of the city.

Beyond Tokyo

Tourists keen to take excursions out of the city will find many worthwhile attractions just beyond Tokyo, including the historic city of Kamakura, with its numerous ancient temples and shrines, and the famous Mount Fuji, which is a delight for hikers. Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, is also just a quick train ride away.

Getting there

International flights land at either Tokyo International Airport (more commonly known as Haneda Airport), situated less than 12 miles (20km) south of Tokyo, or Tokyo Narita International Airport, located around 45 miles (73km) northeast of Tokyo. Both airports are easily accessible through the city's impressive public transport network.

Did you know?

-Mount Takao, on the outskirts of Tokyo, is one of Japan's most visited mountains.

-Tokyo's restaurants have more Michelin stars than any other city in the world.

-Tokyo's most haunted landmark is said to be the Akasaka Mansion.