Tokyo: The Metropolitan Prefecture

Tokyo: The Metropolitan Prefecture

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and it is one of the world’s most populous cities. It is an unusual blend of modern technologies and gadget and old traditions and manners. The city has so much to offer that even on a trip for a week or so, you can’t visit all its attractive places. The tourism industry of Tokyo is very prosperous and millions of Japanese as well as foreigners visit the city every year. In the 16th century it was a small castle town known as Edo. Later, in due course of time it became the political centre of the country and was renamed as Tokyo, the eastern capital. In 1868, the emperor and the capital shifted from Kyoto to Tokyo. At present age, it provides great opportunity to the visitors for shopping, dining, partying and entertainment.


The major tourist attraction of Tokyo is the Tsukiji Fish Market in Central Tokyo. It is world’s largest and busiest fish market. It handles about 2000 tons of marine products daily. It was not established initially to be a tourist spot but now it had become a major tourist attraction. It was set up for purely business reasons. The increased tourist presence makes the place overcrowded and thus it is difficult for the vendors to do business. The main attraction of the Fish Market is the live Tuna auction at 5.00 am. But you have to check beforehand if public access is permitted that day or not. Reservations to take part in the auctions are made from 4.30 am itself. By 9.00 am the business starts to wind up, so you can visit the market early in the morning only. The Tsukiji market is divided into two sections, the inner section is for wholesale business and Tuna auctions, the outer section is for retail shops and restaurants. When visiting the Tsukiji Market, a good Sushi breakfast is a must.

fish market

Tokyo is also famous for its Sumo fighters. It is one of those things which you will find only in Japan. The Sumo grand tournaments occur for 15 days in January, May and September. A single match takes place for only a few minutes and is very popular among the masses. Japan is also famous for its high quality electronic goods. The Japanese technology of electronics is most superior in the world. The Akihabara District is the best destination to buy electronic goods. It offers a wide range of all kinds of electronic items from computers, television sets, music systems, etc. It consists of small one man shop which sells specialized items to large showrooms of goods. You can also buy new international models of goods and also second hand used products.


The Imperial Palace of Tokyo is also a major tourist spot. It is the residence of the Imperial Family of Japan and is famous for The Nijubashi Bridge that forms an entrance to the inner grounds of the palace. It is a set of two bridges, where the bridge in the front is made of stone and is named Meganebashi and the other bridge is a wooden bridge. The visit to the Imperial grounds could be done only on 2nd January and 23rd December which is celebrated as New Year’s Greetings day and as Emperor’s Birthday respectively. But the Imperial East Garden is open to the public for all days.


Tokyo offers great shopping experience to its people. The Shibayu District is the most entertaining and colourful place of Tokyo. This is the place where the fashion industry of Japan blossoms the most. It is home for many famous fashion boutiques, restaurants, nightclubs and pubs. It is the favourite destination for the youngsters of the city and the party never stops here.


After visiting the chaotic and the crowded areas of the city, if you want some quiet and serene place to visit then Meiji Shrine is your best bet. It is Japan’s most famous shrine. It was built in the honour of the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken in 1920. It was destroyed in second world-war but was later reconstructed. The place offer great walking paths for relaxing. It is the most popular tourist spot during first few days of a new year as millions of people attend the first prayers offered known as Hatsumode. During rest of the year, many traditional Shinto weddings take place in the shrine. Next to the Meiji Shrine is the famous Yoyogi Park. It is Tokyo’s largest city park and is famous for family picnics, jogging, etc. The park is well known for its ginko tree forest which turns golden in autumn season and is a scenic delight.

Gates-of-Meiji-Shrine (1)

The Tokyo Skytree is one of the new attractions of the city. It is the tallest building of Tokyo and world’s second tallest. It is the new television broadcasting tower and has become the landmark of the city. At the base of the tower, there is a large shopping complex and aquarium. The tower exhibits two observational decks at about 350 and 450 m of height which offers a spectacular view of full 360 degree of the whole city. The tower also offers the world’s highest skywalk.


Tokyo is also famous for its cultural heritage which can be witnessed during its three main festivals known as Sanja Matsuri, Kanda Matsuri and Sanno Matsuri. Sanja Matsuri is the annual festival of the city which occurs for a full weekend in the month of May. It is dedicated to the three founders and gods of the Sensoji Temple known as Shinto Gods. They are symbolically placed and paraded in the portable shrines for the prosperity and good luck of the businessmen and the vendors. It is celebrated in the Asakusa district which is visited by millions of tourists and residents. The Kanda Matsuri festival occurs in mid-May in every odd numbered year. It is the celebration for the wealth and prosperity of the people. The streets of the city are filled with vibrant colours and music. The Sanno Matsuri festival takes place in the month of June in every even numbered year. It continues for a week and is famous for a parade that is for about 20 km and nine hours long. The festival is associated with the protection of the city.


Tokyo is also fun for kids as well. The Disneyland in Tokyo is one such place for children. It is a theme park based on the characters and stories of Walt Disney. It has seven theme lands and is a great adventurous and thrilling place for children.Next to the park is the Tokyo Disney Sea which is also a theme park based on the legends and characters related to sea. It is enjoyed by people of all age groups but is generally preferred by adults and teenagers.


Tokyo is one of the world’s safest cities to visit. The crime rate in the city is extremely low. Even single female travellers will find themselves safe at night. There are small police stations at every block. In case of any problem you can go to them but they might have some difficulty regarding understanding English. You should try to use your common sense and be cautious of your own safety.

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