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INFO on Japan

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is one of the largest cities of the world with a population of 12.29-million and the biggest of the 47 prefectures throughout Japan. Its long history of prosperity started with the establishment of the shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603. At that time, Tokyo was called Edo, which by the 18th century had grown to a huge city of over a million people. It is now Japan's center for political, economic, cultural, and various other activities as well as the origin for the dissemination of information.
Located geographically at about the center of the Japanese archipelago and in the southern part of the Kanto area, Tokyo shares borders with Chiba prefecture to the east along the Edogawa River, Yamanashi to the west along a mountain range, Kanagawa in the south along the Tamagawa River, and Saitama in the north. Being 2187 km in area, the metropolis occupies only 0.6% of the national land, the third smallest of the 47 administrative divisions of the country.


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Climate

Tokyo, being in a temperate zone, has a comparatively moderate and comfortable climate throughout the year. In summer it is hot, humid, and is often hit by typhoons, while long dry spells of fine weather continue in winter. The rainy season lasts from late June until mid-July. During the season, it rains almost everyday and the humidity gets very high. When the rainy season is over, the real summer comes. Ogasawara Islands, in particular, being 1000 km away from Tokyo and belonging to a semitropical zone, are an area of the eternal summer throughout the year.
Spring is from March to May. In early spring, there are still cold days when a heavy coat is needed, but in May it gets warm enough during the day that only a short-sleeved shirt is needed.
From June to August is the hottest season of the year.Especially after the rainy season, there are many days in July and August when the temperature exceeds 30 C and the humidity is high.
In September, there are still hot days when the temperature rises above 30 C in the daytime. Sometimes typhoons hit Tokyo in October.
Winter lasts from December to February, with many days of low temperature. Even in the central part of the city, it sometimes snows, although the snow seldom piles up.


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Attractives

  • Amusement Parks
    • Hanayashiki
    • Tokyo Disney Sea Park
    • Tokyo Disneyland Resort
    • Toshimaen/Hydro Polis
  • Aquariums
    • Shinagawa Aquarium
    • Sunshine International Aquarium
  • Baseball
  • Business & Commerce
  • Gardens
    • East Garden
    • Hama Rikyu Garden
    • Shinjuku Garden
  • Ikebana
  • Martial Arts
  • Massage
  • Museums
    • Beer Museum Yebisu
    • Bridgestone Museum of Art
    • Drum Museum
    • Edo Tokyo Museum
    • Fukagawa Edo Museum
    • Goto Museum of Art
    • Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
    • Japan Folk Crafts Museum
    • Kite Museum
    • Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
    • National Museum of Modern Art
    • National Museum of Western Art
    • National Science Museum
    • Nezu Art Museum
    • Ome Kimono Museum
    • Ota Memorial Museum of Art
    • Shitamachi Museum
    • Sugino Costume Museum
    • Sumo Museum
    • Suntory Museum of Art
    • Sword Museum
    • Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
    • Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
    • Tokyo National Museum
  • Nightlife
    • Velfarre
  • Observatory
  • Palace
    • Imperial Palace
  • Parks
  • Playspace
  • River Cruise
  • Sento
  • Shopping
  • Sumo
    • Kokugikan Stadium
  • Tea Ceremony
    • Chosho-an
    • Seisei-an
    • Toko-an
  • Temples
    • Ekoin Temple
    • Meiji Jingu Shrine
    • Sensoji Temple
  • Zoo

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Transportation

the Airport
Narita International Airport, a representative gateway to Japan, is located some 60km from the heart of Tokyo. It is convenient for those who will go directly to Haneda Airport to take the direct limousine bus service (one hour and 15 minutes) or the Keisei Railways' Airport Limited Express (one hour and 45 minutes)
the Train
Train tickets for destinations in Tokyo and its suburbs can be bought at ticket machines installed near wickets of each station.
the Bus
There are two types of buses: one type lets passengers board at the front; the other lets them board in the rear door. You need to check in advance which route you should take to go to your destination, since the routes of bus services are complicated.


Food

* Bento
Bento are box lunches. Fast, easy and cheap. What more could you ask for after wandering the streets of Tokyo? The ingredients in bento vary...
* Curry
Curry took a roundabout route to Japan, traveling from India to Britain back to Japan. Beef, chicken, and vegetable curries now comprise a staple part...
* Fugu
Often served as sashimi, fugu is possibly the most exotic and dangerous food known to the world. If not properly prepared, it really can cause...
* Kaiseki
This expensive cuisine appeals to highly aesthetic diner. Meals are modelled on the four seasons, and the consumer is treated to many small dishes, each...
* Nabemono
Nabe is old-style cooking consisting of a stew served in its pot. In restaurants, nabemono is generally prepared on the spot, with diners adding ingredients...
* Noodles
You can buy noodles on just about every street corner in Tokyo. Shops serve a variety, including soba (buckwheat noodles served hot or cold), udon...
* Oden
The return of oden stalls is the hallmark of the Fall season. These outdoor restaurants feature fish cakes and other ingredients such as tofu. Often...
* Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki are savory pancakes filled with meat, fish, and vegetables (not always at the same time. Diners choose their ingredients much in the way toppings..
. * Rice
The staple of Japanese cuisine, rice is generally eaten with every meal. It is prepared in a manner that makes it sticky enough to be...
* Sake, Beer, and Other Drinks
Alcohol is part of the Japanese culture, so much so that you can buy whiskey from vending machines. Though sake (which is also the generic...
* Shabu-Shabu
Shabu-shabu is familiar to Western diners, though it is part of the nabemono-style of cooking. As with other nabe meals, the shabu-shabu experience is characterized...
* Soups
From the invigorating miso soup to the various broths, soups comprise a major component of the Japanese diets. Soups are served in small covered bowls....
* Sukiyaki
Sukiyaki is imilar to shabu-shabu, except the broth is made of soy sauce and sake. This noodle-based dish is popular in Japan and the United...
* Sushi and Sashimi
Sushi and its kissing cousin, sashimi, are the most well-known of Japanese foods. While many people feel uncomfortable with the idea of eating raw fish,...
* Tempura
Tempura are foods that have been deep fried after being dipped in a batter. The result is light and delicate (and incredibly hot -- be...
* Teppanyaki
Essentially, a teppanyaki restaurant is a Japanese steakhouse with American roots. While you don't always get the Westernized showmanship of a Benihana's, this type of...
* Tonkatsu
Tonkatsu is a breaded and fried pork cutlet, generally no more than two centimeters thick. It is served with a sauce reminiscent of Worcestershire sauce...
* Unagi
Unagi is eel, and can be had as sushi, grilled, or broiled. Unagi is considered by many Japanese to be health food. Grilled unagi is...
* Western Dining
You've traveled halfway around the world, you're cranky and tired, you need something comforting. Lo and behold, there it is: the Golden Arches. Yes, they...
* Yakitori
Yakitori, chicken grilled on skewers (the less adventurous type should take care in ordering -- yakitori chefs pride themselves on using every available part of...


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