Tokyo is a city of dizzying contrasts: ancient heritage sites intermingle with a futuristic skyline and swarming crowds give way to peaceful backstreets. From the upper level of Shibuya Station, enjoy an aerial view of the frenetic city’s throbbing heart – its giddying five-way intersection, which appeared in Lost in Translation – before exploring Ueno Park’s tranquil gardens and incense-scented shrines. Unwind further in a traditional bathhouse, where soothing baths are fed by underground natural springs.
Visit Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest free-standing broadcast tower, ascending over 2,000ft for incredible views. Peruse contemporary exhibitions at fashion designer Issey Miyake’s 21_21 Design Sight museum before uncovering the city’s fascinating past at Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, and Tokyo National Museum with its samurai swords and ancient Buddhas.
From the fashionable to the futuristic, shopping in Tokyo is a real adventure. You’ll find chic boutiques and upmarket department stores in affluent shopping district Ginza, while techno-geeks can peruse gadgets galore in Akihabara’s electronic stores. Bohemian Naka-Meguro is great for vintage finds and Kagurazaka’s craft shops are awash with traditional wooden sandals and handmade accessories. For an authentic market experience, stroll around Tsukiji’s backstreet fishmonger stalls and hole-in-the-wall sushi bars.
A haven for foodies, Tokyo is home to the world’s highest volume of Michelin restaurants in one city. From super-sleek sushi bars to authentic Japanese-style pubs, the metropolis is packed with outstanding eateries serving an array of local cuisine. For a truly unforgettable culinary sensation, book months in advance at Kanda, a three-Michelin-starred enclave with just eight seats. Meat-lovers should head to New York Grill for melt-in-the-mouth beef cuts from Hokkaido Ribeye to Kobe; while sushi fans must try Ginza Kyubey, where fish is freshly-sliced in front of diners.
Tokyo’s famous skyline is dotted with skyscraper hotels from the most prestigious names in luxury travel, all offering exceptional service and cutting-edge design. The glossy Mandarin Oriental has several acclaimed restaurants, while the Aman offers a world-class spa spanning two floors. Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Conrad, Shangri-La and Peninsula also boast ultra-luxurious offerings in the city.
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