The city of Tokyo is a fascinating destination. Upon arrival, you are swiftly immersed into the city's rich cultural traditions, which have been undisturbed and steadfast for centuries. The fine art of sushi was perfected here, with local delicacies to be devoured on every street, including a myriad of unconventional specialties. Engage in the region's numerous cultural customs, from proper dining etiquette and dressing in a traditional kimono to properly trading one's business card.
Seek out the city's age-old wisdom within numerous temples, shrines, and winding gardens. It is here that you'll find peace and tranquility in a city with so much to see and do at all hours of the day. For vibrant moments in Tokyo, enjoy a jazz performance, a traditional tea service, or a soothing hot spring spa with ryokan baths. Tokyo offers an eclectic personality that cannot be emulated anywhere else, with distinctive destinations that welcome travelers near and far to delight in its offerings.
For an authentic Japanese musical experience, spend an evening at Oiwake, one of the city’s premier traditional music venues. Take a seat upon tatami mats and enjoy Tsugaru shamisen music, with origins in northern Japan. It was here that many of Japan’s notable traditional groups launched their careers.
An Insider's View of Tokyo
If you’re looking for an insider’s view of Tokyo, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) features a Volunteer Guide program, allowing you to travel around the city with the guidance of a local volunteer. Travelers merely create their itinerary with their guide and foot the bill for any travel costs, admission fees, and meals shared, allowing for a great cultural experience while exploring the city with a Tokyo native.
Business Customs for Utmost Respect
Business customs in Tokyo are very formal, with each interaction allowing individuals to demonstrate their respect for one another. For example, many Westerners make the mistake of handing over their business card with one hand upon a first greeting. In Tokyo, you must accept and give a business card with two hands, making sure to read the card before tucking it away.
Traveling by Train
Traversing Tokyo can be slightly confusing due to multiple train lines operated by Tokyo Metro and Toei, which each charge separate fares. When traveling to Tokyo’s top destinations, utilize the Ginza, Oedo, and Marunouchi lines, which move throughout the city center and beyond.
Adventures on the Islands
The islands of Japan are beautiful and numerous, with various storied sights to explore. Travel to each via the ferry, a cost-saving way to get around, allowing you to meander peacefully from sight to sight, slow down, and unwind.