JAPAN  |  Tokyo, Japan Travel Guide
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Tokyo, Japan

Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of Edo, the forerunner of modern-day Tokyo, Japan
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Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan. The capital of the 'Land of the Rising Sun'. The original and ultimate 'East meets West'. A city where the geisha and Wall Street come together. And sushi and the Big Mac. Where less is more. A city of samurais and corporate heads. A city that has given the world its gizmos and gadgets and much to ponder: think electronics, cars, video games, fads, Eastern superheros: think Sony, Play Station, Pokemon, Ninja Turtles, Godzilla, Kabuki, Toyota, Lexus, Honda. Tokyo is the definition of paradox, a city of discipline and excess, a global city of gargantuan proportions in a 4-by-4 cubicle. In Tokyo, there's no time think, but there's time to reflect. Hai (Hello) is a three-letter word, short and crisp, monosyllabic, yet Saiyonara (farewell) lingers.

Tokyo is of course a populous city, the largest in Japan, with a population of 13 million-plus. In fact, it is among the most densely packed in the world, with nearly 6,000 people per square kilometer (more than 15,000 per square mile). Real estate is dear, very dear. Life is lived large, but in tiny, bite-sized pieces. Hectic, fast-paced, even frantic, are the words that come to mind. For here is the most expensive city in the world, with the added distinction of being the richest metropolis in the world, with a GDP of nearly $1.5 trillion, ahead of even New York City.

Still, Tokyo is not without visitor appeal. There's Tokyo Disneyland (yes, more Americana!), monumental museums, theater, eye-popping shopping venues., the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Diet Buildings, the skyward-bound glass towers of the corporate world's Who's Who. There are the sushi bars, sake, and the neon world of Shinjuku. And in the not-too-distant distance there's Mount Fuji, unmistakable, unforgettable.

Tokyo is located roughly midway down the length of Japan, on the eastern side of the main island of Honshu. It is not only the seat of the Japanese government, but also the home of Japan's Imperial Family. Tokyo is well connected to other major cities in the island nation. It is Japan's largest domestic and international hub for air, rail and ground transportation. Tokyo's Narita International Airport is the principal gateway for international travelers arriving in Japan.

© Indian Chief Travel Guides

Last updated October 30, 2011
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