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Innovative, stylish and constantly evolving, Japan’s capital city is a vibrant metropolis where technology merges seamlessly with tradition. Located on the Japanese mainland, Tokyo is the most populous city in the world and is well known for its vibrant culture and futuristic cityscape.
There’s an endless choice of places to eat, drink and shop in Tokyo. Ginza is an upmarket area where you’ll find designer fashion as well as upscale dining and entertainment. On weekends, the roads are closed to traffic for the ultimate, uninterrupted shopping experience. Fashion-lovers should also check out the famous Harajuku district to revel in its outlandish fashion and up-to-minute style. Head to Takeshita-dori to discover unique designs at Tokyo’s iconic fashion bazaar.
The city is rich with traditional architecture and practices, with plenty of ancient temples dotted around the city. Meiji Jingu, a majestic Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, can be found in the Harajuku area. Hire a kimono and wander through the Geisha District of Asakusa. Here, you’ll find the famous Senso-ji Temple, as well as many seasonal festivals.
Nature-lovers should take a guided tour of Tokyo Imperial Palace, a huge, park-like estate surrounded by stone walls and a moat. Afterwards, head to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden for picturesque gardens made in three traditional styles: French, Japanese and English.
While it can be quite exciting to explore Tokyo on foot, the best way to navigate this huge city is by train. Tokyo’s subway system is relatively affordable and easy to use; most major stations have English language options at the ticket dispensers, and there are also English signs and announcements on train services. That said, it’s best to plan you journey before you head out, as train stations in Tokyo can be rather large and confusing. It’s best to avoid trains during rush hour as they are inundated with office workers. Taxis are expensive in the city, so it’s best to seek other forms of transport whenever possible.
Tokyo has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Throughout the summer months (June – August), the weather stays quite hot and humid, so most travellers prefer to visit in spring or autumn.
Spring is a beautiful time to visit Tokyo, as the weather is moderate and cherry blossoms begin to flower across the city.
The autumn months of September and October are also a great time to visit Tokyo as the humidity subsides and the temperature remains pleasant. During this time, the city is filled with stunning autumnal colours and a number of festivals, including the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Narita International Airport
Narita International Airport is the main international airport in Japan. The airport can be found between the Japanese cities of Narita and Shibayama, around 60 km east of Tokyo city. Flights travel to Narita International Airport from a number of destinations, including Auckland, Beijing, London and Los Angeles. There are direct flights available from Australia with services departing from the Gold Coast, Cairns, Sydney and Melbourne.
Located around 14 km south of the city centre, Haneda Airport welcomes a blend of domestic and international flights. Flights travel to Haneda Airport from a number of destinations, including Auckland, Kuala Lumpur, London and Hong Kong. There are direct flights available from Australia, with services departing from the Gold Coast, Cairns, Sydney and Melbourne.