Tokyo is one of the premier as well as breathtaking tourist destinations in Asia. A part of the Kanto Plain, Tokyo is the capital of Japan, located in the island of Honshu, in eastern part of the country. Formerly a fishing village known as Edo, Tokyo has now become one of the prominent global cities in the world. According to the Japanese Law, Tokyo is a metropolis, with a plethora of cities, towns, and villages. Its administrative area has been categorized into three areas: Central Tokyo comprising 23 special wards, the Trama region consisting of majestic hills and mountains, and the southern islands of the Pacific. Further, Tokyo is now regarded as an Alpha City, along with worldâ€™s other top cities such as London, Paris, and New York. Discussed further in this article are some of the top attractions in Tokyo.
Meiji Shinto Shrine is perhaps the most prominent among the attractions of Tokyo. Dedicated to the souls of the Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken â€“ the shrine was constructed and completed by more than 100,000 volunteers in 1920. Later, it was rebuilt as a result of its destruction during the Second World War. The centerpiece of the shrine is the huge torii or gate, which is erected with 1,700 year-old cypress trees brought from Taiwan. It is believed that passing through the torii purifies the heart of worshippers. Other highlights of the shrine are Naien or the inner garden coupled with a museum housing the artifacts of the emperor and the empress, and Gaien or the outer garden, which is home to attractions such as the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, the National Stadium, and the Meiji Memorial Hall, which is now a venue for Shinto weddings. Additionally, the shrine is noted for its spectacular areas filled with more than 100,000 trees of about 360 varied species.
A must-see attraction in Tokyo is Ueno Zoo â€“ a zoological garden located within Ueno Park. Earlier, a part of the Kanei-ji – a family temple of the Tokugawa Shoguns, the zoo consists of two sections: the East Garden, where you can find such exotic animals as specialties as giant pandas, Asiatic elephants, and snow monkeys, and the West Garden, which is inhabited by African hoofed animals including giraffes, hippopotamuses and zebras. Also, within the zoo is a section exclusively for kids, where a variety of domesticated animals, apart from wild ducks, geese, and cormorants, can be seen.
Another popular attraction of Tokyo is the East Garden of Imperial Palace, which stands on the former site of Edo Castle. Maintained in a faultless form, the garden is stunning, especially during the months of March and April when cherry and plums blossom.
Attractions in Tokyo also include Hamarikyu Japanese Garden, Kabuki theatre, Tsukiji Fish Market, Mingeikan -Japan Folk Craft Museum, and Kabukiza Theatre.
Tokyo is also a shopperâ€™s paradise, with more than 30 department stores and countless number of boutiques as well as specialist stores. Further, the city is truly a gourmet paradise, boasting of about 1, 00,000 restaurants, each of them serving an array of delightful cuisines from across the globe.
In short, Tokyo is one among those cities that people dream of touring one day!