10 Quick Reasons to Visit Tokyo
If you haven’t been visiting Tokyo by now, you definitely should. Gathering 23 city wards, 8 villages, 5 towns and several small islands in south Japan, Tokyo is one of the most vibrant cities in the world with a special charm that will most likely have you coming back after your first visit. So if you need to be convinced, here are 10 tips to pay Tokyo a visit.
How about an earthquake simulator that will shake you like hell? They do that at the Ikebukuro Bosaikan enter for disaster prevention. You can also “enjoy” a free fall from 35 stores high that should exert a gravitational force of 4G on the body, double in comparison with the standard roller coasters. That’s available in the Hakkeijima amusement park.
The dazzling show
Some of the hottest fireworks shows are in Tokyo. In August, they have nothing less than 7 festivals where people gather to admire tens of thousands of fireworks. Dare to make that experience even better? Then why not view the entire show while flying in a helicopter. The Urayasu heliport has two types of flights. Diamond, for 20 minutes costing 15,000 yen and the Pearl flight,which is 15 minutes long and cost some 9,800 yen ($140, respectively $90).
Massages … for men
After a long shopping day with your girlfriend, what can be more entertaining than a massage in one of the city’s metro stations. Some say it’s the only city in the world where you can get a massage at the metro station. We say it’s a great way to disconnect and relax.
Yes you can buy yourself a kimono from your own country (imported at Wal-Mart?) but it won’t be as good as the one you get in Tokyo. The Japanese culture is fascinating and so are the original kimonos. Choose yours from the Hayashi Kimono store at the Yurakucho metro station or in the Oriental Bazaar at the Harajuku metro station. Prices vary from 20,000 yen ($180) if it’s used, to 60,000 yen ($550) for a new one.
Japanese cuisine with a weird twist
Of course we all know how great sushi is or how healthy the Japanese cuisine can be. Tokyo offers surprising ways for you to dine. You can watch a theater show in the Cerulean Tower (26-1 Sakuragaokacho, Shibuya-ku) for 30,000 yen, or get yourself handcuffed at the entrance of the Alcatraz ER club (2-13-5 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, 1000Ã‚Â¥ to enter) for 1,000 yen. Dare you?
Don’t miss the Imperial Palace
Located on the former site of Edo Castle, the Tokyo Imperial Palace is a large park-like area that serves as the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. And because the palace buildings and the inner gardens are only open to the public on January 2nd or December 23rd (Emperorâ€™s Birthday), it’s considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plan accordingly.
The Japanese are renowned for the ultimate in technology, hence why Tokyo is the gadget freaks’ paradise. Prices may not be the cheapest you’ve seen, but it’s a sure bet that you’d be buying the latest. So how about a trip to the Sony Building (5-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku) where you can get to see prototypes that are not yet available on the market?
Famous for ceramics, glass, textiles, and many others, Tokyo is the place to visit if you’re trying to make your home decor as original as possible. That’s why a hunt through the city’s antique fairs is well worth it, and if you consider that you can bargain with the seller, things get even better.
Traditional pubs, classy bars, nightclubs and discos, Tokyo has them all. Because there’s always something to do at night in Tokyo. Surrounded by lit paper lanterns and bright neon lights, those in the mood for partying will definitely enjoy the entertainment districts that are just as “wild” at 5am as they are at 9pm.
Beneath the busy, modern appearance, the culture, from samurai and geishas to amazing temples and stunning gardens is different from anything else you’ve seen. And although Tokyo is one of the most “westernized” cities in Japan, the countryâ€™s rich and unique cultural heritage is all there. You just need to know where to find it.