Tokyo (Tokyo Prefecture)
Welcome to Tokyo
Tokyo along with Osaka, Tokyo serves as Japan’s major gateway for overseas visitors. It also serves as the nation’s transportation hub, with easy connections via plane, train and bus to the rest of the country. As the nation’s capital and center for administration, education and finance, Tokyo is a highly developed metropolis, with modern high rises and an extensive network of urban trains and subways crossing the city. Some 12 million residents live within the city’s 2,102 sq. km. (840 sq. miles), with the fertile Kanto Plain spreading on Tokyo’s north and Tokyo Bay opening on to the Pacific Ocean to the East.
Yet despite the city’s modern appearance, vestiges of its colorful history remain. From 1603 to 1867, Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate government and was a town teeming with samurai, merchants and craftsmen. The Tokugawa shogun built Japan’s most magnificent castle, foundations of which still exist amidst the greenery of a public park, surrounded by a swirl of moats which to this day give central Tokyo its present structure. Museums in Tokyo number among the nation’s best, housing a treasure trove of decorative arts, antiques and artwork, while shrines and temples remain some of the city’s most popular attractions. Clients who wish to explore Japan’s traditional cultural pursuits can do so in Tokyo as well, whether it’s participating in a tea ceremony, learning the ins and outs of Japanese flower arranging, or Zazen meditation in a Buddhist temple we can arrange private instruction in flower arranging, the tea ceremony, Japanese calligraphy, and other cultural pursuits.
It’s this juxtaposition of the old and new, the East and West, that gives Tokyo its slightly exotic, slightly familiar atmosphere. It’s a city of skyscrapers and narrow neighborhood streets lined with flowerpots, a city of Kabuki and nightclubs, sumo and baseball, flea markets and designer boutiques, kitsch and the aesthetic. Best of all, it’s safe, night and day, inviting limitless exploration.