Spotlight on Tokyo
A city of serene parklands and monstrous skyscrapers, busy pedestrian crossings and quaint alleyways, neon lights and ancient temples; a city where postmodern chic and ancient traditions are equally en vogue - Tokyo is a city of extreme contrasts and the ideal cruise ship destination.
Standing 634m tall, the iconic Tokyo Skytree is a great place to start your tour of Tokyo. Offering unrivalled views across the city, the Skytree boats two observation decks providing visitors with a sense of Tokyo’s sheer size and fast-paced way of life.
The Mad Scramble Begins
For a further illustration of Tokyo’s manic energy, get back down to ground level and immerse yourself in the crowd at the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. You’ve probably seen images, videos or articles relating to this world-famous spot but nothing beats experiencing it in person. Located in front of Shibuya Station, the Scramble Crossing is a fitting introduction to one of Tokyo’s liveliest and most popular districts.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a relaxing afternoon in one of Tokyo’s pristine green spaces. The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a shining example of this, with 58 hectares of unspoilt parklands and thousands of trees forming a tranquil oasis within one of the world’s largest and busiest cities. Yoyogi Park and the Imperial Palace are two other green spaces that are definitely worth a visit, so get your walking shoes on pronto.
Refuel and Recharge
You wouldn’t normally associate a train station with five-star cuisine but Tokyo is far from your run-of-the-mill travel destination. For the best ramen in the city, explore the massive Tokyo Station and take your pick from one of the many phenomenal restaurants.
Looking for the freshest fish and sashimi in Tokyo? Pop into the Tsukiji Fish Market. You’ll have to line up early to beat the crowds but you’ll soon discover why it’s worth the extra effort.
If you’re after more economical eats, you’re in luck. Besides being home to more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world, Tokyo’s street food options are also top notch, with skewered meat, gyoza and okonomiyaki (Japanese cabbage pancakes) popular with tourists and locals alike. You’ll even find vending machines with icy cold Asahi and Sapporo if you’re feeling thirsty.
Pull Up a Bar Stool
Whiskey fans will enjoy the range of local and imported drams on offer in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai district. Some of the rustic bars here have space for only three or four people, so expect an up close and personal experience that you’ll remember fondly for years to come. Oh, and what would a trip to Tokyo be without a little sake? Rub shoulders with tourists, expats and local businesspeople as you toast the Tokyo nightlife.
Tokyo is a city that never stops moving. Food, drink, shopping, entertainment - whatever time of the day, you’ll never go without in this fascinating capital. For more information on itineraries that feature Tokyo, contact one of our Cruiseabout consultants today on 1300 954 661.
Images courtesy of Getty.