Tokyo, the neoteric capital of Japan, is futuristic yet conventional. The city, known for its neon-lit high rises, exists in perfect harmony with the Shinto Shrines. A poetic mixture of tradition and technology, Tokyo never fails to surprise. Never.
Unfortunately, the ‘alpha+ world city' has been left in ruins, twice. First, in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and later after extensive firebombing in World War II. Due to that fact, finding old buildings in this metropolis is quite tricky. The exception being The ‘Asakusa' Shrine, which miraculously survived the air raids of 1945. Also known as Sanja-sama ("Shrine of the Three Gods"), it is one of the most famous Shinto shrines in the world.
Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture," which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolitan government administers the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo.
Can't decide what exactly to check out? Miss No Label is there to help!
T O K Y O T O P 5
A K I H A B A R A
Akihabara, a district known for being an ‘otaku' cultural center, and a shopping district for computer goods, is located in the Chiyoda district of Tokyo. It indeed is a manga/anime lovers Mecca. It is also the best place to geek out and/or shop for tech.
SEGA GiGO, a six-story complex full of arcade machines, claw games, and capsule dispensers is one of the leading attractions. It indeed is a gamers' paradise. You can also head to one of the ‘Maid Cafés' afterward, where the t insanely friendly and cute maids are masters in conversation.
All in all, Akihabara is where your fantasies come alive.
S H I B U Y A
In my opinion, it's Shibuya, which is the actual heart of the city. Famous for its nightlife, this extremely savvy shopping district is also home to the world-famous (Thank you, Tokyo Drift!) Shibuya Crossing. At peak times, more than 1000 people cross this intersection, coming from different directions, still managing to avoid bumping into each other with effortless agility. Hard to believe, right?
After experiencing this organized chaos, one can head to Shibuya 109, a significant shiny mall with more than 100 boutiques, for a look at the latest cutting-edge fashion.
Hungry souls can head to Ichiran and have one of the best Ramen available in Japan. The queue can be a little upsetting, but it's definitely worth the wait. You can also consider getting lost in time at Nonbei Yokocho (‘Drunkard Alley'). You'll find bars, bistros, and quirky shops at Nonbei, conveniently located right by bustling Shibuya Station
S H I N J U K U
Any trip to Tokyo is incomplete without visiting Shinjuku, the entertainment center of Tokyo. It means shopping, eating, and partying. Also part of Shinjuku is the ‘Sleepless Town' Kabukicho, a world-famous red-light district housing over three thousand bars, nightclubs, love hotels, massage parlors, hostess clubs and the like.
A must visit place here would be The Tokyo Robot Restaurant. It is a themed restaurant, with a live show featuring robots, and gorgeous Japanese dancing girls. The restaurant has several shows each night costing 5,000 JPY which includes a bento box and a 1.5-hour stage show. You won't mind the less than stellar food out there because the show is pure Tokyo madness. Yes, insanity.
T O K Y O T O W E R
Standing 333 meters high in the center of Tokyo, Tokyo Tower is the world's tallest, self-supported steel tower and 13 meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. Located in Minto Ward, it is a symbol of Japan's post-war rebirth as a dominant economic power.
The tower's primary observatory at 150 meters can be reached via elevator or a 600-step staircase. Thanks to the tower's central location, the observatory offers an exciting view of the city despite being only at a relatively moderate height. If the weather is fine, visitors can also see the Boso peninsula, Mt. Tsukuba and even Mt. Fuji far in the distance.
Entry Fee: 900 Yen
Timings: 9 a.m to 11 p.m, seven days a week.
F U J I G O K O
Though technically not a part of Tokyo, many consider their trip to the city incomplete without visiting Fujigoko also known as Fuji Five Lakes. It lies at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji. Mt Fuji or Fujisan as Japanese people call it, is known for its breathtaking views, especially during cherry blossom season. Mt Fuji is an active volcano, which last erupted in the 1700s.
The Fuji Five Lakes are Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Sai, Lake Shoji and Lake Motosu. The lakes are said to be dammed by volcanic lava eruptions. Fujisan is considered sacred by the people of Japan and undoubtedly the area surrounding it feels mystical as well. Sip a cup of matcha at one of the many resorts in the area and/or just enjoy the view. Worth the 100 km ride from Tokyo.