Top 5 Things to do in Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and with a population of nearly 40 million also the largest metropolis on Earth. In the middle of the Greater Tokyo area is Tokyo Prefecture itself and at its most populated core are 23 special wards called “ku”. Here you’ll find Tokyo’s multiple downtown areas which are all connected by the JR Yamanote Line. From Tokyo station, it’s only a few hours by bullet train to several other major cities.

Despite its size or possibly because of it, Tokyo has developed into an extremely orderly city with a convenient and reliable public transportation system as well as a remarkably low crime rate. Although it has a high population density, it can feel surprisingly suburban or even rural once you venture away from the major railway stations. A friend of mine who owns a Chiropractic clinic that specializes in Shockwave Therapy in Edmonton recently traveled to Tokyo and had nothing but praise for the city and all it has to offer. Today Tokyo is one of Japan’s premier hubs for culture, cuisine, entertainment, and shopping and also has countless historic temples, gardens, parks, landmark, and museums. Here are our top five recommendations in Tokyo.

Akihabara

Also called Akiba – in the last few decades, the Akihabara district has emerged as a center for anime, manga, and video game otaku culture in Japan. It has dozens of specialty stores selling everything from figurines to collectible, trading cards to retro video games. There are also several multi-floor arcades, called game centers, as well as maid cafes and other themed restaurants. On Sunday afternoon Chuo Dori, the main street of the area is closed to car traffic so pedestrians are free to walk anywhere they like. Another nickname for the Akihabara district is “Electric Town” because of the many electronic shops here ranging from large department stores selling the latest technology to small stalls selling computer components.

Meiji Shrine and the Surrounding Areas

A few minutes’ walk from Harajuku Station is the famous Meiji Shrine and its forested grounds. Completed in 1920, the shrine itself is dedicated to the late Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken. During the Meiji period, the country transitioned from being an isolated feudal nation to becoming an industrialized world power. The shrine’s grounds are a peaceful oasis amid the densely built-up city. Together with neighboring Yoyogi Park, this forested area of Tokyo provides an excellent place to escape the busy city.

Shinjuku

Shinjuku is a lively entertainment and business district known for being one of Japan’s premier nightlife spots. During the Edo era, it used to be located outside the city center and was the first rest stop along the Koshu Kaido which was one of the five major trade highways at the time. Since then Tokyo has expanded and Shinjuku has become one of its multiple major downtown areas handling over three and a half million passengers every day – Shinjuku Station has become the busiest train station in the world.

To the west of the station is the skyscraper district where many of Tokyo’s tallest buildings are located. Among these is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building which has free observation decks on the 45th floor of each tower that provides unique views of the city. On the east side of Shinjuku Station is the nightlife district. Here you’ll find endless dining shopping and entertainment options.

Asakusa

One of the best districts to experience an old-fashioned Tokyo is historical Asakusa. Located in the center of an area traditionally known as Shitamachi, this was a part of the city generally inhabited by common townspeople during the Edo era. The main attraction in Asakuka is Sensoji Temple. Completed in the 7th century, it is one of Tokyo’s oldest and most popular Buddhist temples. Leading up to the main temple building is the iconic gate Kaminarimon and Nakamise Shopping Street which is lined with vendors selling local specialty items and souvenirs.

Crossing Nakamise Street is Denpoin Street which is designed to look like a street from the Edo era. For food, west of Sensoji Temple is Hoppy Street which is a 70 to 80 meter long street that has a nostalgic charm and is lined with Izakaya serving Japanese pub food. About 15min west of Asakusa near Ueno is Kappabashi Street. This unique street has dozens of specialty stores selling everything needed by restaurant operators except for food. From pots and pans to dishes to plastic food samples this street has it all and is an interesting place to wander. A day in Asakusa could easily be combined with a stroll along the Sumida River and a visit to nearby Tokyo Skytree, Japan tallest structure.

Food

As a city, Tokyo has received the most Michelin stars of any city in the world and offers an amazing range of dining opportunities. Of course, like every region of Japan you can find local specialty cuisine items such as nigiri-zushi, tempura, soba, chankonabe, and monjayaki to name a few. However, because people from all over Japan have been relocating to the capital for hundreds of years, it’s also possible to find authentic regional food from all across the country in Tokyo.

Similarly, the city has become the home of a wide variety of international communities which have brought their local cuisine with them. As a result, Tokyo has become an excellent destination for finding a broad range of high-quality international food. There are even several districts with concentrated ethnic specialties such as Koreatown in Shin-Okubo, Little France in Kagurazaka, and Chinatown in Ikebukuro to name a few. It’s safe to say there are dining establishments to accommodate all tastes and budgets in Tokyo.

You could easily spend several weeks exploring Tokyo and not experience everything but we hope this top 5 list gives you a good place to start.

The Importance of Having a Good Travel Insurance

Are you excited about that trip that you are going to be taking in just a few days with a group of your friends? We can safely assume that you are, because why wouldn’t you be, right? While it is true that going on a road trip is never as big of an investment as your home is, it can still be a pretty expensive thing sometimes. One of the main reasons why travel is such an expensive thing sometimes is because you have to pay for pretty much everything that is involved in the trip. This includes things like transportation and accommodation, as well as any fun activities that you want to participate in. It is very important to note that all of these things can be pretty expensive sometimes, and sometimes they even require to be paid in advance. As you may already know, that can be pretty troublesome for some people out there.

And when you really think about all of this, all that hard-earned money of yours is worth insuring, isn’t it? Also, having some sort of a backup plan is very important as well – just in case something goes wrong during the trip. Better safe than sorry, right? And that’s where travel insurance comes in! We can’t stress enough just how important having a good travel insurance really is. The main reason why travel insurance is such an important thing to have is because it can get you out of so many different situations. And now, here are some reasons why having a good travel insurance is so important!

Cutting Your Trip Short
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to cut your trip short for whatever reason, but things didn’t really work out the way you expected them to? Well, that is probably because you didn’t have a good travel insurance on you. That being said, the next time you want to travel, make sure to get yourself a good travel insurance before you actually hit the road.

Does Your Company Need You?
You are enjoying a nice vacation, when suddenly you get a phone call from your boss. He tells you that you need to return to the company as soon as possible. What do you do? This is something that your travel insurance can help you with. Just contact them and they will tell you what you need to do next.

Lost Luggage
When you are a traveler, losing your luggage is one of the most uncomfortable things that could ever happen to you. And we all know that getting new stuff can be pretty expensive sometimes, right? Did you know that your travel insurance company can actually help you cover some of the costs? Well, now you do!

Three Things That You Need To Do When Traveling Alone

When it comes to solo travel, it is one of the most fun and unique, as well as one of the most exciting things in the world. That being said, if you have never tried solo travel before, now is the time to do it – you will not regret it. One of the main reasons why you need to go on a solo trip is because solo travel gives you an opportunity to take in your surroundings in a way that no other type of travel would allow. What this means is that solo travel gives you an opportunity to experience a trip in a very special and unique way. Just remember that in order to make it as a solo traveler, all you need to have is a healthy dose of common sense, but a little bit of preparation wouldn’t hurt you either.

There are many different reasons why so many people choose to travel alone. You see, when you are traveling alone, you can take a break whenever you feel like it, and there is no one to force you to push forward when you don’t feel like pushing forward. With that said, when it comes to traveling alone, you get to set up your own travel schedule, which is always a good thing. You can also change your travel plans on the fly. What’s there not to love about solo travel? And now, here are three things that you need to do when traveling alone!

 

Meet New People

Talking to strangers is one of those things that can seem very intimidating when you are traveling alone. However, it is actually much more effortless, as well as much more rewarding than you think. And how knows – you might end up meeting with an old friend of yours or a distant family member that has a lot of memories to share!

Take Yourself Out On a Dinner

Taking yourself out on a dinner is not as bad as you may think. It is actually one of the most interesting things that you can do when you are traveling alone. You might end up meeting someone new along the way. You never know, right?

 

The Art of People-Watching

Have you ever heard of people-watching? You probably have, haven’t you? Well, that is something that you can easily do when you are traveling alone. People-watching can help you learn more about the locals and their way of life.