Hyper-technological, chaotic but organised: Tokyo, the city where tall skyscrapers and futuristic neon signs coexist with temples, shrines, imperial palaces, traditional ryokan hotels with tatami floors and fantastic Onsen thermal baths. Where young people with extravagant clothes and hair modelled on the look of manga comic characters mix with briefcase-carrying businessmen.
Book a flight to Tokyo to discover a city of many different spirits: sacred and profane, crazy and calm, stern and vibrant. Each district shows a different side of this immense and multifaceted metropolis that winds along a dense railway network: from the chaotic and modern Shinjuku to the traditional and relaxing Asakusa with its Sensō-ji Temple, from the lively, young and colourful Shibuya to the Ginza fashion district or the kingdom of electronics in Akihabara. Here are a few of the things that you can do and see during a trip to Tokyo.
TSUKIJI FISH MARKET
The most famous fish market in the world and also the largest. Chaotic and frenetic, it is divided into an area reserved for wholesalers, where fish is sold at auction, and one for simple buyers, with processing and retail sales. It is one of city's main tourist attractions for its unique atmosphere, especially in the wholesalers’ area where tuna auctions are held in the early morning. The area is also the best place to try real Japanese sushi, given that it contains the finest restaurants in Tokyo.
SENSO-JI TEMPLE AND THE ASAKUSA NEIGHBOURHOOD
The most important Buddhist temple in the city. To access it you have to go through two doors: the first is the Door of Thunder. Passing through you will find yourself in the Nakamise Doori, a street full of shops, while the second is the Hozomon, which leads directly to the temple. It is located in the Asakusa district, where you can still breathe the atmosphere of the beginning of the 20th century, surrounded by girls in kimonos and tourist rickshaws on the streets. An oasis of peace and meditation far from the hectic chaos of the city.
MEIJI SHRINE AND YOYOGI PARK
From the largest Buddhist temple to the largest Shinto shrine, built in honour of Emperor Meiji and his wife Shōken. An oasis of peace that is enhanced by the incredible park that surrounds it, where about 400 different types of trees have been planted. This is Yoyogi Park, which at the weekend sees the bright colours of many cosplayer youngsters dressed in the fashions of the 1950s.
The official residence of the emperor and his family, it can only be visited twice a year: on 2 January and 23 December, the emperor's birthday. The palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens where in spring you can admire the 'hanami', or cherry blossom.
Big screens, skyscrapers, shopping malls, colourful clubs and millions of people making their way to one of the most crowded train stations in the world: this is Shinjuku, the most famous district in Tokyo. The city's city hall is also located here, within the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Do not miss a visit to the panoramic terraces, where you can enjoy a splendid view of the city from above. With a little luck and a clear sky, you can also admire the summit of Mount Fuji.
Shibuya is another very famous Tokyo neighbourhood. It owes its fame to the countless young people who crowd it and show off their colourful cosplayer costumes while crossing streets illuminated by huge mega-screens, restaurants and love hotels, but also from an intersection: the Shibuya Crossing. This huge crossroads is in fact another Tokyo icon for the incessant flow of pedestrians who cross it in a regular and organized way, a postcard classic often immortalised from above.
The most high-tech part of Tokyo is found in this neighbourhood, which is essentially a huge electronics supermarket. In Akihabara you can find everything: from the latest gadget to the most incredible vintage objects, such as the first PCs or mechanical robots from the 1980s. Taking a walk here is a must if you want to take home a unique souvenir.
You can book your flight to Tokyo at any time of the year, thanks to its mild climate even in winter. The best season to visit the city is definitely spring, a period in which you can also admire the famous and splendid cherry blossom, the 'hanami': an ancient and long-awaited tradition for the inhabitants. The best places to observe it are the Ueno Onshi park, which also organises theme parties during the period, and the Shijuko-Gyoen National Garden.
Don't hesitate, book your Alitalia trip to Tokyo now!