The city of Tokyo is a place where old cultural traditions merge with a fast paced city, one that is filled with technological advancements. This metropolis situated on the Pacific coast of Honshu is one of the largest among Japan's prefectures. Its geographical setting is huge and varied containing mountains and small islands to its south. Before becoming Japan's central metropolis for business, education and government, Tokyo was known to be just a small fishing village named Edo. Today, Tokyo is divided into several districts, each with its own uniqueness and beauty to offer. One of its famous districts is Chiyoda, which is the home of imperial gardens and shrines. Other notable districts are Akihabara which is known for its electronic gadgets and Asakusa which is known for its pottery shops and temple markets.
There are numerous things to do in Tokyo and first-time visitors can sometimes become overwhelmed. The best way to experience the real Tokyo is to have no itinerary at all. Walking around, sampling unfamiliar dishes and randomly visiting shops is the best way to do it. The Imperial Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions to visit. Take time to enter temples that are renowned for impressive beauty. The feeling of unexpected calmness while strolling through the grounds of magnificent shrines is a sign that one is having an ultimate experience. Other top sights to visit in Tokyo are the Sony building in Ginza, the Meiji Shrine and Korakuen Garden. Aside from seeing shrines and gardens, shopping is one of the things to look forward to when visiting Tokyo. The city is full of commercial centers that can satisfy anyone who has shopping urges. The stores are filled with electronic gadgets, funky clothes, anime, comics and a lot more than you can imagine. The Seibu and Tobu department stores are good hunting grounds for rare find fashion labels. The Roppongi Hills is also becoming popular among people looking for high-end shopping opportunities. There are flea markets too and some shrines that offer unique artworks. Tokyo is also known to satisfy adventurous food seekers. From bowls of steaming noodles to delicate slices of sashimi, Tokyo is the home of exciting and different flavors. It has a lot of restaurants offering all types of food that one can possibly imagine. Never leave Tokyo without trying their sushi and monja-yaki pancakes. Travelers with a budget can look around for bento box restaurants, noodle houses and bakeries that offer cheap deals. Getting around is not a problem at all because Tokyo's subway system is the most efficient mode of transportation in the city. Try to avoid it during rush hour because it can get crammed. Riding a taxi is not advisable though because they are very expensive. The government of Japan took the initiative of making the whole city tourist friendly by putting signs in Roman form so that it will be easier for one who is not familiar with the Japanese language to navigate the streets of Tokyo. Despite the busy and crowded streets, Tokyo is always exciting and there is no definite guide for a city that has a lot to offer. It is advisable to look at brochures and take packages that can give a little of everything.
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