In 1612 the mint (Japanese Ginza) was built here. The proximity to money attracted banks and department stores. In 1872 the district was destroyed by fire and rebuilt according to western urbanism. Ginza is the old, venerable business center of Tokyo. The large department stores are located here and almost all luxury brands in the world operate a branch around the Yon-chome intersection. The round San-ai Dream Center by Nikken Sekkei architects from 1963 is the landmark of Ginza. There is a café on the first floor overlooking the famous intersection. From here you can watch the hustle and bustle very relaxed.
The construction of the "Imperial Palace" started in 1590 by Shogun Ieyasu. The following rulers enhanced the palace complex. Many buildings have been destroyed during WW2 and were only partially rebuilt later. The Emperor still lives in the palace, you can only visit the western part of the complex from the outside. The photo shows the "Nijubashi bridge" with the palace in the background.
If you want to see what kind of sea animals inhabit the Japanese waters and if you like to eat fish, you should not miss the visit to the famous Tsukiji fish market. The Tokyo fish market has moved to the outskirts, but the Tsukiji market with many small stalls has been preserved. There are countless sushi restaurants, but other specialties are also available on the market. The Tsukiji market consists of several sales streets that subdivide a larger city block. The market is mainly for tourists, but if you are one, that's okay. There is a lot to see and try out. You shouldn't come here with a full stomach.
The "Sensoji Temple" was built in 628 and is the oldest and most sacred temple in Tokyo. The wooden buildings were destroyed during WWII, but are faithfully reconstructed. The "Sensoji" is also known as "Asakusa Kannon Temple" and it is the top attraction of Tokyo.
Shibuya is the largest entertainment district in Tokyo. Illuminated signs and giant screens make the night shine bright. In front of Shibuya station there is the famous crossroads, which is flooded by pedestrians. Shibuya is the shopping and entertainment district of the young people with countless restaurants and bars.
The "Meiji Shrine" was built by Emperor Mutsuhito in 1920 and is Tokyo's most popular Shinto temple. The Temple was destroyed in 1945 and rebuilt in 1958. The remarkable shrine is holy for rightwing nationalists and therefore controversial in the sense of political correctness.
From the observation deck of the 333 m high television tower you have a very nice view of the city and the bay of Tokyo. The red steel truss tower opened in 1958. The Tokyo Tower is a reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. There are three viewing levels, the "Special Observatory" is the highest observation deck. The Tokyo Tower is a famous landwark of the Japanese capital.
Shinjuku is the banking and administrative district of Tokyo. The city's first skyscrapers were built here. The Shinjuku district has two different faces, which are separated by the Yamanote Line. To the west of the Yamanote ring railway is the high-rise district with numerous office towers. Here you will find the Metropolitan Buildings and the Mode Gakuen Tower. In the business district it quickly becomes empty after sunset, then life shifts to East Shinjuku.
When the lights go out in the office towers of West Shinjuku, the streets of East Shinjuku fill up. There are shops and restaurants abound. Among the best known is the department store Isetan, which fills a whole block. In the basement there is a level with the finest food. A few blocks to the north is the Golden Gai. The former red light district has survived the construction boom and is one of the few quarters in which one can still discover the Tokyo of the post-war period. Six narrow streets with two-story houses, that's the Golden Gai. At the Golden Gai there are small bars, with a space of only a few square meters. In many bars only frequent customers are allowed to come in. But don't worry there are plenty of restaurants nearby. Gambling dens and dodgy nightclubs make East Shinjuku a crowded nightlife district.
At 634 m, the Skytree is the highest tower in Japan and, after the Burj Khalifa, the second tallest building in the world. The height of 634 meters has a symbolic meaning, since the number in Japanese is read Mu-Sa-Shi, it is also the name of the former province on which the Tokyo Skytree stands today. The steel tower reached its maximum height in 2011, the Skytree was opened in 2012. The Tokyo Skytree replaced the Canton Tower in Guangzhou as the tallest tower in the world, the Burj Khalifa is considered a high-rise and does not count in this cathegory. The Skytree has two viewing levels, the Tembo Deck at 350 meters and the Tembo Galleria at 450 meters. If you want to go to the top, you need the Tembo Deck + the Tembo Galleria Ticket because you have to change on the Tembo Deck. Since the queues in front of the ticket counters are often very long, there is the Fast Skytree ticket (passport required) for international visitors, which saves the waiting time and leads directly to the Tembo Deck. Depending on the ticket, the Skytree costs between 2,060-4,000 yen (2019). The view from the lower Tembo deck is often better than from the top as it is not so hazy up here. The Skytree has become one of the main attractions of Tokyo and the city's new landmark.
How do you get there?
The Skytree has two stations, the Skytree Station and the Oshiage Station. The entrance to the tower is located between these two stations.
The Mori Tower is 238 m, the tallest building in 2003 Roppongi Hills complex opened. The Roppongi district is famous for its bars and nightclubs. In addition to shops, offices and cultural facilities, such as the Mori Museum, the tower's observation deck is a worthwhile destination for visitors. Because Roppongi is located between Shinjuku and Ginza, the Mori Tower is one of the most beautiful vantage points of Tokyo.
Welcome to Tokyo
Tokyo is home to about 30 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the world. How do you find your way around such a mega-city? The Japanese characters can not be read but often there are Latin letters underneath. The metro network is well developed, you can easily get to all the important places. For tourists, the districts Shinjuku, Ginza, Asakusa and Shibuya are the best. Here are the most sights and the Latin signs are almost everywhere. To go out is also the district Roppongi.