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Discover Tokyo

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Ginza
Ginza is Japan’s world class shopping and food hub. World famous brand stores rub shoulders with high class department stores while the area is jammed with quality restaurants where you can savor Michelin starred sushi or traditional Japanese cuisine. Other favorite attractions are the food halls in the basement floors of department stores. They feature all imaginable food varieties, from a diverse range of sweets, to alcohol and regional food specialties.

Shinjuku, Kabukicho
With over 3 million users daily, Shinjuku Station lays claim to the title of the busiest station in the world. In the vicinity is the beautiful park Shinjuku Gyoen national garden. There are commercial districts with high rise buildings, department stores and large electronics retail stores. Japan’s largest entertainment district, Kabukicho, is also located right near the station. The area is packed until late at night with patrons attending high class nightclubs, casual pubs, karaoke, and pachinko venues.

Ryogoku and the Edo-Tokyo Museum
Adjacent to Asakusa is Ryogoku, the Sumo precinct. Numerous sumo stables are located here and Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournaments are held at Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in January, May and September. A distinctive feature of this area is the restaurants that serve Chanko-nabe, a dish eaten by sumo wrestlers. Just nearby is the Edo-Tokyo Museum which exhibits the history of Tokyo from samurai days to the present.

 

What to Do in Tokyo

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VISIT the Roppongi area of central Tokyo, and you can check out striking new museums in what is known as the Art Triangle Roppongi: The National Art Center, Tokyo; the   and the Suntory Museum of Art (inside Tokyo Midtown). Discounts are offered for visiting all three. The
wave-shaped glass façade of the National Art Center, designed by internationally renowned architect Kisho Kurokawa, is extremely impressive, and the restaurant, cafés and museum shop compliment the center’s special exhibitions and educational programs.

Harajuku's Link to the Olympics

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Harajuku’s Forgotten Link with the Olympic Games

The 2020 Olympics will envelop Tokyo’s youth district of Harajuku, world famous as Japan’s center of street fashion. Every day tens of thousands of people come here to shop, hang out and see the latest trends. This square mile area is jam-packed with boutiques, fashion malls and chain stores – and it is located right at the center of the planned Olympic district.

Hopefully, the huge crowds and security presence that the Olympics would bring to Harajuku won’t smother the irreverent energy of this incubation center of Japanese pop culture. That would be painfully ironic because Harajuku partly came into being because of the Olympics.

The area was originally a small village inhabited by low-level samurai. Harajuku’s start as a center of fashion and youth culture came after WWII. U.S. Army barracks, called Washington Heights, were built in the nearby Yoyogi neighborhood, a former military drill area of the Japanese Imperial Army. Shops catering to American military families followed, and this attracted young people curious about Western culture.

When the 1964 Summer Olympics were held in Tokyo, Washington Heights became the Olympic Village for housing the athletes. People from all over Japan came to Harajuku for a chance to meet the athletes. The influx of young people persuaded young creators to set up shop in Harajuku. World famous Japanese fashion designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons got their starts in small apartments in the area.

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