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Travel guide to flights & holidays in Tokyo.


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Tokyo Holidays Overview

Tokyo is considered to be one of the most exciting cities in the world. Its neon lit façade offers an insight into the cutting edge modernity and its cultural and historical treasures offer an insight into a culture that fiercely holds on to its treasured past and rich heritage. It might take tourists a bit of time to capture the true beauty offered by Tokyo as many of its traditions and treasures are not easily seen. It requires the tourist to brush away stereotypical commercial sights and immerse into the deep culture and rich traditions.

Once travellers manage to step away from the skyscraper filled main roads, chances are that they will come across some of the most beautiful back streets, pleasant atmospheres, perfectly chipped bonsai trees, beautiful wooden houses, whisps of incense and breathtaking temples. It is in these sights that the true beauty of Tokyo can be seen and understood.

As expensive as it might seem, Tokyo is also known to be pleasantly affordable. Yes, it does feature over the top attractions like most major cities in the world, but it also offers a range of affordable hotels, restaurants and attractions that are sure to enthral and amaze. From the bargain shopping to tickets for a sumo match, from casual cafes that serve noodles and rice to beautiful izakayas, most of the highlights of the city are either free or available at extremely low costs. Some of the best things to do in Tokyo are the Sensoji Temple, the Meiji Jingu and the Asakusa neighbourhood.

The city is also known to have an extremely unique quality – it always seems to be on the mend and is constantly crackling with new fads every day. The people of Tokyo are extremely passionate about almost everything and it is one of those few cities that does not need Michelin stars to determine the quality of its dining scene.

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Tokyo holidays - Top Places To Go

1. Imperial Palace

What is it? Japan's Imperial Palace is regarded as the heart and soul of Tokyo, standing on a huge site that still bears the remains of Edo Castle, stronghold of the Tokugawa shogunate. The present palace was completed in 1888 and is still home to the emperor of Japan. The palace is off-limits but its grounds and surrounds provide a much-needed green open space for the city with Higashi Gyoen (East Garden), site of the Edo Castle keep, open to the public. On 2 January and 23 December each year visitors are able to enter the inner grounds and see the Imperial family make public appearances from the balcony. Guided tours of the palace are offered, but are only in Japanese, although an English pamphlet and audio guide are provided; these must be reserved in advance through the Imperial Household Agency. In spring the gardens are abloom with cherry blossom, particularly along the castle moat. Hours of Operation: East Garden is open daily except Monday and Friday from 9am to 4pm (until 3.30pm between November and February). Closed from 28 December to 3 January and when Imperial Court functions take place Phone:



2. Yasukuni Shrine
What is it? To the north of the Imperial Palace lies the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, built to commemorate Japanese war dead and now regarded as home to the souls of about two and a half million who perished in conflict, mostly in the Pacific War of World War II. Soldiers fought in the knowledge that their spirits would find rest and honour at Yasukuni in the after-life. The shrine has caused controversy for various political reasons over the years since it was built in 1869 in honour of supporters of the emperor, killed in the run up to the Meiji Restoration. More recently, with regard to the country's constitution that requires the separation of State and religion, cabinet ministers have been criticised for attending anniversaries of Japan's defeat in World War II held at the shrine. The shrine is confined behind a huge steel torii gate, opening onto a long avenue lined with gingko and cherry trees. The Worship Hall itself is a simple Shinto style building. North of the shrine is the Yushukan Museum, containing war memorabilia, some of which is disturbing and thought-provoking such as the human torpedo and kamikaze suicide attack plane. Hours of Operation: Shrine open 24 hours daily. Museum open daily 9am to 5pm (November to February); 9am to 5.30pm (March to October) Phone:



3. Edo-Tokyo Museum
1?4?1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku
What is it? Tokyo's museum dedicated to detailing the city's history, art, culture and architecture through the medium of visual displays is an impressive, not to be missed attraction. Edo was the old name for Tokyo from its foundation in 1590 when it became the seat of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun. Exhibits include a replica of an ancient Kabuki theatre, maps, photographs and portrayals of the lives of the city's merchants, craftsmen and townspeople in days gone by. Hours of Operation: Daily 9.30am to 5.30pm; Saturdays closing at 7.30pm. Free tours given daily between 10am and 3pm Phone:(03) 3626 9974



Tokyo holidays - Top Events


1. Sumida River Fireworks Festival

From 2007-07-01

To 2007-07-31

What is it? Every summer Japan prepares for its numerous fireworks (hanabi) festivals held throughout the nation. The biggest of these is the display over the Sumida River, which is a major event on the cultural calendar of Tokyo, with spectacular multicoloured layers that blossom into the night sky to awe the millions of spectators gathered along the banks or in boats on the river. Many dress in traditional kimono and festival wear for the occasion. The highlight of the display is a dazzling competition between highly acclaimed fireworks manufacturers. For more information contact the Fireworks Office on +81 (0)3 5246 1111. Where is it? Sumida River



2. Eric Clapton Live In Tokyo

From 2006-11-20

To 2006-12-09

What is it? Eric Clapton is arguably the greatest guitarist alive and has influenced many guitarists playing today. His touring band consists of Doyle Bramhall II (guitar), Derek Trucks (guitar), Willie Weeks (bass), Steve Jordan (drums), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Tim Carmon (keyboards), Michelle John (backing vocals), Sharon White (backing vocals), Simon Clarke, Roddy Lorimer, Tim Sanders (The Kick Horns). Clapton has a large following throughout the world and is playing the far east leg of his tour until January. Where is it? Tokyo Budokan



3. Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival

From 2007-03-15

To 2007-04-17

What is it? Heralding the beginning of spring, cherry trees burst into a riot of pink and white blossoms all over the city drawing thousands of holidaymakers daily for cherry blossom viewing (hanami). The cherry blossom, or Sakura, is Japan's national flower and a symbol of Japan. For many years, the Japanese people have celebrated the cherry blossom season every year, which depends on the local conditions, but usually starts in Okinawa in January, reaching Kyoto and Tokyo in late March to early April, and Hokkaido in late May. They celebrate this popular festival with hanami parties under the trees with picnics, drinking, singing and dancing. Street stalls are set up and musicians serenade the merry picnickers, many of whom are decked out in outrageous costumes and masks. For more information contact the Tokyo Tourist Information Centre on (03) 5321 3077. Where is it? Various



4. Sanja Festival

From 2007-05-18

To 2007-05-20

What is it? The Sanja Matsuri or Sanja Festival is the biggest of Tokyo's three great festivals, along with the Kanda Festival and Sanno Festival, which alternate every year. During the annual festival thousands of frenzied devotees gather for traditional portable shrine processions, ancient ritual music and dancing, and other festivities. The processions are in honour of the three resident deities of the Asakusa Shrine, who are paraded through the streets in huge, elaborately decorated mikoshi or portable shrines carried on the shoulders of dozens of strong men dressed in traditional festival clothing, and surrounded by chanting worshippers. Up to 100 other mikoshi are carried around in processions meant to bring blessings and good luck to the area and its inhabitants. For more information contact the Tourist Information Centre on +81 (03) 3201 3331. Where is it? Asakusa Shrine area



5. Japanese F1 Grand Prix

From 2007-10-07

To 2007-10-07

What is it? The Japanese Grand Prix usually falls towards the end of the Formula One season and has over the years provided much excitement, and often been the track to crown the season's champion. In 2007 the race will move from Suzuka to the Fuji Speedway in the Shizuoka Prefecture. Where is it? Fuji Speedway




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About This Page

Information on Tokyo Holidays, Tokyo Hotels, Holiday Packages in Tokyo (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Tokyo Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.