• Tokyo the nuit

Tokyo

The capital of Japan in all its splendour

Tokyo, between sea and mountains, ultra-modernism and tradition, renewal and old, frenzy and serenity, dynamism and absolute calm, the Japanese capital is a gigantic patchwork where everything meets in perfect harmony.

Located in the Kanto plain on Honshu Island, Tokyo has been Japan’s current capital since 1868. Literally, its name means “Eastern Capital” as opposed to the former capital Kyoto located further west.

Often cited, never equalled, the city of Tokyo is the richest and most populated city on the planet, and has become over the course of its history a fascinating megalopolis of unrivalled size in the world. Tokyo is home to most of Japan’s institutions, such as the main residence of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Parliament (the Diet), ministries, or foreign embassies.

Historically, Tokyo was called Edo (literally “The Estuary”) and was a small fishing village. It was not until the 15th century that the city was fortified and became the capital of the feudal government of the Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun. At the end of the 18th century, it was already the most populated city in the world, and in the 19th century, its castle (once the largest estate ever built in the world) became the residence of Emperor Meiji. Rebuilt after having been almost completely destroyed by the bombardments of the Second World War, Tokyo then experienced an era of inordinate development to become the most avant-garde city in the world. Today, it is Japan’s leading tourist destination.

There are many things to do in Tokyo. The districts not to be missed are Shibuya (the most lively, with its Omotesando Dori Avenue nicknamed “the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo”); Shinjuku (the skyscraper district, where you can find the Tokyo City Hall building which offers a breath-taking view of the city from the Shinjuku twin tower observatory); Asakusa (the traditional district); or Ginza (the modern and luxurious district). Harajuku’s shopping street, very popular with young people, is also worth a visit. Don’t miss the Odaiba district, on Tokyo Bay, with its beaches and Rainbow Bridge.

Among the buildings to see and visit are the Imperial Palace (Kokyo), the Kabuki-za Kabuki Theatre, the Tokyo Skytree and the Tokyo Tower. The parks not to be missed are Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku Gyoen and Ueno Park (where there is also a zoo). Be careful, however, the famous Tsukiji fish market no longer exists and has been replaced by the Toyosu market in Tokyo Bay.

On the museum side, the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka is a must for Ghibli animation enthusiasts, paying tribute to the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. You can also visit the Tokyo National Museum or the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art.

As for culinary specialities, you will be spoilt for choice between sushi, monjayaki, or even small cakes called ningyoyaki… True gastronomic capital, Tokyo is the most starred city in the Michelin guide, benefiting from a pleiad of diverse and varied restaurants, most of which offer exceptional traditional Japanese cuisine.

Tokyo in Japan map

General informations

In japanese : 東京

Region : Kanto

Population

  • Metropolis : 13.8 million inhabitants
  • Greater Tokyo : 42.8 million inhabitants

Density

  • Metropolis :  6,300 inhab/km²
  • Greater Tokyo : 2,700 inhab/km²

Special wards : 23

Link : Official website

  • cherry blossoms in Tokyo

  • View of Tokyo with Mount Fuji

Where to sleep in Tokyo

among the most valued hotels
Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo

Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel

Opened in December 2014 and just steps from all the glitz and glamour of Ginza’s shopping, dining and entertainment area, Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel features a 24-hour front desk, an on-site restaurant and free Wi-Fi access.

Park Hotel Tokyo

Park Hotel

Featuring stunning views of Tokyo and a convenient location just steps from Shiodome subway station, Park Hotel Tokyo offers stylish accommodations with free Wi-Fi.

Hotel Niwa Tokyo

Hotel Niwa

In the heart of Tokyo, Hotel Niwa features elegant accommodations with free Wi-Fi and a Japanese garden courtyard. It showcases 2 restaurants, a gym, and easy access to transportation services.

Richmond Hotel Premier Tokyo Oshiage

Richmond Hotel Premier Oshiage

Open from December 2015, Richmond Hotel Premier Oshiage is located just a 2-minute walk from Oshiage Subway Station, the closest station from the Tokyo Skytree. It features free WiFi and a restaurant.

The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic

The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic

Opened in 2012 with modern and stylish designs, The Gate Hotel is conveniently located in the historic neighborhood. It is within a 2-minute walk from Asakusa subway station and iconic Kaminari-mon Gate. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property.

among the most booked hotels
Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier

Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier

Offering high-floor views of the city and Tokyo Bay, Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier provides chic and stylish rooms that went through a renovation in March 2013. It is a 4-minute walk from Shinbashi Station and a 10-minute walk from the Ginza area. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property.

Grand Pacific Le Daiba

Grand Nikko Odaiba

Grand Nikko is in Odaiba, across Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo. It has luxurious accommodations and features 6 dining options, an outdoor swimming pool and a sauna.

Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome

Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome

Conveniently situated within a 3-minute walk from Shinbashi and Shiodome stations, the Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome has modern and stylish accommodations that went through a renovation in September 2013. It provides a luxurious spa and a free-use fitness center. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.

Royal Park Hotel The Haneda

Royal Park Hotel The Haneda

Royal Park Hotel The Haneda is accessible from Haneda Airport’s International Terminal, and has a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi. It has a business center and a bar, and currency exchange and dry cleaning services are available.

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Open from April 2015, Hotel Gracery Shinjuku offers comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi and a restaurant, only a 5-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station’s east exit. Seibu Shinjuku Station is a 3-minute walk.

among the best rated ryokans
Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu

Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu

Featuring a restaurant and public bath, Shigetsu Ryokan is next to Nakamise Street and a 3-minute walk from Asakusa Subway Station. Free internet is available in all rooms. Separate public baths are provided for men and women, and both baths offer a view of Asakusa’s 5-Storey Pagoda.

Ryokan Takemine

Ryokan Takemine

Located in Tokyo, 2.6 km from The Sunshine 60 Observatory, Ryokan Takemine features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Free private parking is available on site.

The Edo Sakura

The Edo Sakura

Opened in June 2013, The Edo Sakura features accommodations in a Japanese-style Machiya townhouse only a 5-minute walk from Iriya subway station and a 10-minute walk from JR Uguisudani Train Station. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the entire property and guests can enjoy looking out into the traditional garden. Ueno Station is a 15-minute walk away.

Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa

Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa

Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa is a 2-minute walk from Kaminarimon and Sensoji Temple. Asakusa subway station is a 5-minute walk away. The hotel has Japanese-style accommodations with a restaurant, a 24-hour public bath and free internet.

Sadachiyo

Sadachiyo

This traditional Japanese-style ryokan filled with Ukiyoe art and antiques is just a 3-minute walk from exit 1 of the Asakusa Train Station on the Tsukuba Express Line, has free Wi-Fi throughout and serves a set-menu Japanese breakfast. Rooms have a private bathroom and an LCD TV, and guests can also relax at the 24-hour public baths.

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Transportation in Tokyo

Tokyo Subway Route Map

tokyo subway route map

The city has 13 subway lines

Tokyo Metro Company :

  •    Ginza Line
  •  Marunouchi Line
  •  Hibiya Line
  •  Tozai Line
  •  Chiyoda Line
  •  Yurakucho Line
  •  Hanzomon Line
  •  Namboku Line
  •  Fukutoshi Line

Toei Company :

  •  Asakusa Line
  •  Mita Line
  •    Shinjuku Line
  •  Oedo Line

Access

Airports : 

  • Tokyo Haneda Airport
  • Tokyo Narita Airport

Main stations :

  • Tokyo Station – ο served by Shinkansen
  • Shinjuku Station
  • Shibuya Station
  • Ikebukuro Station
  • Shinagawa Station – ο served by Shinkansen
  • Ueno Station – ο served by Shinkansen