City of Tokyo / 東京
Officially Tokyo Metropolis (東京都) is the capital and most populous prefecture of Japan. The *Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.393 million residents as of 2020.
Even more strangely, there is no such thing as the “city of Tokyo”. What most people, both foreigners and Japanese, are thinking of when they hear “Tokyo” is the special wards of Tokyo (特別区), sometimes just called the 23 wards (23区).
Originally a fishing village named *Edo, the city became a prominent political center in 1603, when it became the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate.
+ Больше информации > Wikipedia • Wikivoyage • UNESCO
Tokyo is vast: it’s best thought of not as a single city, but a constellation of cities that have grown together. Tokyo’s districts vary wildly by character, from the electronic blare of Akihabara to the Imperial gardens and shrines of Chiyoda, from the hyperactive youth culture mecca of *Shibuya to the pottery shops and temple markets of Asakusa.
+ MATCHA – JAPAN TRAVEL WEB MAGAZINE
If you don’t like what you see, hop on the train and head to the next station, and you will find something entirely different.
For most visitors, the biggest part of the Tokyo experience is just wandering around at random and absorbing the vibe, poking your head into shops selling weird and wonderful things, sampling restaurants where you can’t recognize a single thing on the menu (or on your plate), and finding unexpected oases of calm in the tranquil grounds of a neighbourhood Shinto shrine.
Go to an amusement park such as Tokyo Disney Resort / Park Tickets (map), which consists of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.
Serious collectors should head for the Antique Mall in Ginza (map) or the Antique Market in Omotesando (map), which despite the rustic names are collections of small very specialist shops (samurai armor, ukiyo-e prints, etc.) with head-spinning prices. Mere mortals can venture over to Nishi-Ogikubo (map), where you can pick up scrolls of calligraphy and such for a few thousand yen.
The Antique Festival (全国古民具骨董祭り, map) is held over the weekend about 5-6 times a year at the Tokyo Ryutsu Center.
Much of Tokyo’s budget accommodation can be found in the Taito area, especially Asakusa and Ueno. One of the cheapest ways to stay can be also a youth hostel, prices start at ¥1200, e.g. in the Shinjuku area.
Accessible Japan – general information, list of hotels with accessible rooms, tourist attractions.
Public transport of Tokyo
Metro | Subway Navigation for Tourists APP | + Toei
CityMapper – Tokyo | The ultimate transport app and technology for mobility in cities.
Getting Around (gotokyo.org)
BUS > –
RAIL > JR-EAST – operates largest railway network, including the Yamanote Line loop that circles the center of downtown (Rail Map).
There are two brands of prepaid fare cards, JR East’s Suica, and PASMO, offered by private (non-JR) lines. Functionally they are completely interchangeable and can be used on just about every subway, train and bus line in Tokyo (with the exception of Shinkansen and limited express trains).
AIRPORTS > Narita International Airport • Tokyo (Haneda) International Airport
WATERWAYS > The Cruise Ship Company operates a series of Water Bus ferries along the Sumida River and in Tokyo Bay, connecting Asakusa, Hinode, Harumi and Odaiba. Port Ferry Terminal (map), Takeshiba Terminal (map)
Wan Ferry • Cruise Ship (wiki) • Mizube Line (wiki)