Start your cultural tour of Tokyo at Senso-ji, a bright red Buddhist temple in Asakusa dedicated to Kannon, the deity of compassion. Across the River Sumida, explore Tokyo’s history from foundation to present day at the Edo-Tokyo Museum, featuring life-size models of the city’s old buildings. See Tokyo’s youth in full costume on Jingu Bridge outside Yoyogi Park on Sunday afternoons; from here, walk to the imposing Meiji Shrine. At Hotel Okura Tokyo, one of Tokyo’s stalwart hotels, watch the elegant ritual of a tea ceremony. Cool contemporary art is on display at the nearby Mori Art Museum.
A Tokyo city break will leave you spoilt for shopping choices. Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya are Tokyo’s oldest department stores; visit their stately Nihonbashi locations for designer fashions and kimonos. Head to Isetan department store in Shinjuku for trendy clothing, or to the streets of Daikanyama for up-and-coming designers. Tech lovers should visit sci-fi Akihabara district for a world of electronic goods. Head to Tokyu Hands in Shibuya for clever knick-knacks and gadgets.
A walk along Ginza’s streets reveals tiny sushi bars serving jet-fresh fish. For a fun evening of izakaya-style (pub-style) food and theatrics, dine at Gonpachi in Nishi-Azabu, decorated in old inn style, or savour Japanese barbecue served on wooden paddles at high-end Inakaya in Roppongi. North-west in Shinjuku, cosy yakitori restaurants serve inexpensive skewers of tasty chicken, meat and vegetables
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