Visiting The Shogun's City: Tokyo
As a country, Japan has an indomitable spirit. Regardless of the horrors suffered during the WWII, Japan today has become the shiny beacon of development, prosperity, and hard work. If you don’t believe us, just take a trip to Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, and an exciting metropolis. Although, Tokyo might appear as a land of blazing neon, supersized pedestrian crossings, high-speed trains, and of course, Manga comics. However, there’s a lot more to the city than meets the eye. Tokyo dazzles everyone with its vibrant culture and innovations. Check out this post to know more.
In Tokyo, you will not find a single stretch of street that isn’t lit with neon lightings. The entire streetscape resembles a high-budget sci-fi film setup, from distant future. Since the 80s, Tokyo has been pushing the boundaries of human thinking. That’s why you can see tall skyscrapers and high-speed trains in a city which is prone to earthquakes and is one of the most densely populated ones in the world. In Tokyo, you will experience the grandeur of utopian mega-malls, stylistic designer boutiques, and award-winning architectures, including the Tokyo Sky Tree (the tallest tower in the world.) This sleek-looking, twisting spire reminds of Japan’s ancient building techniques. The best sight, however, is from atop this iconic skyscraper, overlooking the city during the night-time. It bears a striking resemblance to a futuristic, blinking control panel of an alien starship that stretches all the way to the horizon.
The Shogun’s City
You can easily experience Tokyo’s extraordinary culture through on the kabuki stage, under the cherry blossoms, and at the sumo tournaments. This modern city features anachronistic wooden quaint bars and dinghy alleys spread under the shadows of skyscrapers. The real colors of the shogun’s capital are evident in its cultural festivals and lantern-lit grilled chicken (yakitori) stands. Likewise, if you want a taste of indigenous Japanese traditions, take a stroll down the older neighborhoods. In these lanes, where once geisha trod, you can shop for handicrafts today.
Eat with Your Senses
Surprisingly, restaurants in Tokyo have more Michelin stars than those in any other city. Moreover, Japanese cuisine has now been added to the illustrious list of Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritages. But, that’s not all. You need to experience the complete gastronomic delight of dining in Tokyo yourself, to believe it. The cuisine takes inspiration from the long-standing artisan culture of the city. Therefore, you can feel the earthen roots of the indigenous recipes of sushi, ramen, and seafood. While the chefs here use the freshest, seasonal market ingredients only, it’s the sheer simplicity of the recipes that will blow your mind. Remember, these recipes have been perfected through centuries of experience and bear the exact attention to detail and care that was there years ago.
Fashion & Pop Culture
There are innumerable references to Tokyo’s pop culture in the Hollywood - whether it’s the saucer-eyed schoolgirls or the ubiquitous Hello Kitty. While the Japanese fashion and pop culture is already a craze around the world, it is in Tokyo that these trends grow legs. In Tokyo, you can easily see the latest looks and styles bubbling out of Harajuku and Shibuya. If you’re a Manga fan, be sure to check out the shelves in Akihabara that feature the newest manga and anime editions.
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)