Tokyo

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Tokyo Travel Guide

Tokyo is a complex city. Actually, it’s not just one city, but a combination of - hold your breath- 26 smaller cities, 7 towns and 8 villages- covering, in all, more than 2000 sq km, with a proportionately large population. The district of Harajuku is fashionable, artistic, spiritual, spontaneous, pretentious, amusing, crowded. It is just one part of the monolith that is Tokyo. Asakusa, with its old Edo-era feel, Shinjuku, with it’s Blade Runner style buildings stretching towards the sky, and Shibuya with it’s infamous nightlife and even more infamous teenage girls, are just a few of the “cities” that make up the mega-city Tokyo.

Tokyo, to put it bluntly, has little of the beauty, serenity and dignity one tends to associate with Japan and the Japanese. It’s a harsh city, a concrete jungle where the leading concern is money- it’s probably one of the most affluent cities on earth, where millions change hands virtually every second. Fast moving city that it is, consumerism has caught on in a big way – people change their mobile phones faster than you can say ‘mushi mushi’ and fashions change even as they are still fresh on a hanger.

Tokyo can be insensitive and ugly- but somewhere under the hard outer shell, you can find beauty- in the hidden gardens, in the old streets where part of traditional Japan still lingers; in the ancient buildings which once comprised the imperial castle. Look for it- and Tokyo will still reveal a charm which can endear itself to you- a charm which is elusive no doubt, but definitely not extinct.

When in Tokyo, carry extra pairs of clean socks as it is customary to remove your shoes before entering some restaurants or if you are visiting a private home.


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