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jungc20 Tokyo - A travel report by Chin
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Tokyo,  Japan - flag Japan -  Tðkyð
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jungc20's travel reports


  17 votes
Tokyo is a globally oriented city that still moves to an unmistakably Japanese rhythm. It is the most affluent city in Asia and reflects where Seoul and Shanghai will find themselves in 20 years' time.

National Diet Building, home to Japan's parliament
National Diet Building, home to Japan's parliament
Tokyo is so vast that if you're only staying for a short while, it is almost worth more to thoroughly get to know your own neighborhood than to expend the time and effort commuting to the major tourist spots. The JR trains and subway are both easy to figure out, although some of the smaller stations don't have signs in romaji (Roman characters). I went in February and the temperature was 50 degrees F -- warm enough to wear short sleeves, although such casual attire is apparently frowned upon by Tokyoites. Never have I seen so many people dressed so stylishly; it is almost like a feast for the eyes.

Favourite spots:
Roppongi Hills is an enormous shopping and entertainment complex that opened a few years ago in Roppongi Ward. It centers around Mori Tower, home to the cutting-edge Mori Art Museum and to one of the best night-time views of Tokyo. Another neighborhood that cannot be missed is Shibuya, home to a veritable blizzard of bright lights, cool people, and to one of the most famous intersections in the world.

What's really great:
1.) Learning the language. Japanese is a fun language to hear and practice, in part because of all the English words and phrases that have entered it in recent years. Examples include basude keki (birthday cake), pati (party), konpyuta purogurama (computer programmer), and sarada (salad). Spoken Japanese has a few basic vowels and doesn't require one to learn different tones, like Chinese does. So if you find yourself lost in Tokyo, go to the nearest train station, introduce yourself with "Hajimemashite, yoroshiku onegaishimasu" (Hello, pleased to meet you) and there'll be no shortage of people willing to help you.
2.) The number of automatic, sliding glass doors in Japan is mind-boggling. It seems like every restaurant, hotel, bank, and office building has one. Even "traditional"-looking Japanese restaurants and stores wouldn't be complete without one. I guess that it allows one to worry less about hitting people when entering or exiting a building.

Shinjuku Park Tower, home of the Park Hyatt Hotel
Shinjuku Park Tower, home of the Park Hyatt Hotel
1.) Roppongi Hills
2.) Edo-Tokyo Museum
3.) Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices (TMGO) -- Located a few blocks from Shinjuku Station, the largest and busiest train station in the world. The TMGO building is supposedly modeled on Notre Dame in Paris, but any resemblance is strictly conceptual. Take the elevator to the top for excellent views of Tokyo, its surrounding suburbs, and Mount Fuji.
4.) Shinjuku Park Tower -- Home to the Park Hyatt Hotel, made famous in the film "Lost in Translation."

Zozo-ji Temple
Zozo-ji Temple
Dai-Ichi Hotel Tokyo in Shimbashi -- affordable four-star luxury that is a hit with American tourists. I stayed here for 4 days, and based on my limited experience, it would be hard to find a better value for a Western-style hotel in Tokyo.

There are several small, cozy sushi bars that surround Tsukiji Fish Market. Not only will they prepare the fish, but they will also grate the wasabi while you wait.

Other recommendations:
Head to one of the numerous ramen shops for a quick lunch; the experience, which is an exercise in pure functionality, is almost as memorable as the food.

Published on Sunday April 16th, 2006

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Mon, Apr 24 2006 - 07:08 PM rating by eirekay

Chin, I can't wait to hear more. I hope you have the opportunity to fill in this report - you have a nice start!!

Mon, Apr 17 2006 - 07:08 AM rating by bear495

There was a nice beginning to this report, but then it faded. You might consider making all sections of approximately equal length and depth.

Mon, Apr 17 2006 - 04:05 AM rating by davidx

Promising first report.

Mon, Apr 17 2006 - 03:38 AM rating by rangutan

Nice but very short report on such a BIG city. The title should be in both UPPER and lower case and much more expanded-on in the report, perhaps adding a few pictures of the fashion? The pictures seem to be taken with a cellphone, thats OK for reports. As a first report, good and well done.

Mon, Apr 17 2006 - 01:22 AM rating by marianne

The first two section are very well written and entertaining. A good mix of personal experience and information. However, it seems that you ran out of time or inspiration. Maybe you could add what the sight were like e.g why do you recommend Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices. What can we see there?
You need not write reports in one session. As long as you haven't clicked on: publish this report, your report it saved and you you can go back and add things.
I look forward to reading an extended version.

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