Dating back to the 16th century, Tokyo was once a small castle town known as Edo. Edo became Japan’s political capital, and within several decades it had grown into one of the world’s most populous cities. In 1868, Edo was renamed Tokyo, and these days it is the largest metropolis in the world.
Tokyo is now known for its thriving shopping and entertainment scene, its juxtaposition of modern technology and traditional culture, and its historic temples and gardens.
Known as The Gateway to the World, the Port of Tokyo is one of the largest seaports in Japan, hosting more than 32,000 ships every year. The majority of ships pass through the Rainbow Bridge and dock at the Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal on Harumi Island, while very large ships use the Oi Terminal. The Harumi Terminal is well serviced by nearby eateries, shops and transport.
- third-floor observation deck with views across Tokyo Port and the Rainbow Bridge
- comfortable lounges and café serving light refreshments
- easy access to the bus terminal (Harumi Futo)
- shuttle service connecting the port to downtown Tokyo
- parking for 85 cars and 15 buses.
How to Get Around
The nearest metro station is Kachidoki Station on the Toei Oedo subway line, about 20 minutes’ walk or 5 minutes by bus or taxi. Alternatively, Toei buses 3 and 5 will take you to Ginza Station for about ¥200. The bus terminus, Harumi Futo, is located just outside the Harumi Terminal.
Tokyo’s metro system is very extensive. Stations are assigned letters and numbers and lines are colour coded. There are 2 main metro systems (Tokyo Metro and Toei) along with the JR Rail Network. Combined tickets for both metro systems are available for around ¥1,000, and tickets valid on all 3 rail systems and buses are around ¥1,580.
Prepaid cards (¥2,000 Suica card and ¥1,000 Pasmo card) are valid on buses, JR Rail and both subway systems. They’re also accepted by many vending machines, convenience stores and taxis – a good option if you’re staying in Tokyo for a few days.
- Currency - the currency in Japan is the yen. Japanese notes come in ¥10,000, ¥5,000 and ¥1,000 note denominations, and its coins in ¥500, ¥100, ¥50, ¥10, ¥5 and ¥1 denominations. Tipping is not customary.
- Time Zone - Tokyo operates on Japan Standard Time (JST), which is 9 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). There is no Daylight Saving Time.
- Weather - average temperatures in Tokyo range from 6° Celsius in January to 25° Celsius in July. Winter is the driest season with an average rainfall of 48mm.
- Mount Fuji - standing 3,776 metres tall, Mount Fuji is Japan's highest mountain. This active volcano, which most recently erupted in 1708, can be seen from Tokyo on clear days. Get closer with a day trip, and be sure to visit the hot spring village of Hakone while you’re there. Mount Fuji is open for climbing in July and August.
- Tokyo Disney - spread across 7 themed ‘lands’, Tokyo Disney is one of the city’s most popular attractions. In 2013, it hosted 17.21 million visitors, making it the world’s second most visited theme park after the Magic Kingdom in Florida, US.
- Tokyo Tower - at 333 metres high, Tokyo Tower is 13 metres taller than the structure it was modelled on – the Eiffel Tower. Completed in 1958, these days it serves as a broadcast antenna and tourist attraction. The main observatory at 150 metres and the special observatory at 250 metres offer amazing views over Tokyo.
- Shibuya Crossing - Shibuya Crossing is known for its throngs of people, neon lights and enormous video screens, reminiscent of Times Square. Adjacent to Hachikō Plaza and just outside Shibuya Station, this giant pedestrian crossing is a picture of organised chaos and a sight to behold.