Culture strongly embraces both the East and the West. Shrines are scattered among towering skyscrapers. Centuries’-old customs vie for attention with technological innovations. The streets swarm with crowds, but feel strangely quiet.
Tokyo’s age-old history is best explored through a number of buildings of cultural significance. Structures like Sensoji Temple and Meiji Shrine showcase the city’s revered beliefs in Buddhism and Shinto spirituality (respectively). Located in the centre of city, surrounded by impressive moats and stone walls, the Imperial Palace highlights Tokyo’s importance as a political hub, housing Japan’s Emperor and Empress.
Easily identified by their tall chimneys, sentos facilitate the important local social ritual of public bathing. Halls and stadiums, particularly in the Ryogoku district, provide settings for epic showcases of the nation’s sport, sumo wrestling – a sport that originated in ancient times to entertain the gods. While theatres in the vibrant Ginza neighbourhood highlight an age-old form of entertainment and ritual, the classical Japanese dance-drama, Kabuki.
Proudly embracing its long history, today Tokyo also welcomes and exists at the forefront of modern advancement and progression. The city carries a reputation as an innovator and global trendsetter; a nature which is best explored through a myriad of thriving commercial hubs.
Shinjuku is a cosmopolitan hotspot, abuzz with huge department stores, the world's busiest railway station and many of Tokyo's tallest buildings. The city’s most famous ward, Shibuya is home to one of the world’s busiest intersection crossing, and is jam-packed with shops, restaurants, nightclubs and trendsetting youths.
Harajuku holds claims as a global epicentre for counter culture. While Akihabara (also known as Akihabara Electric Town) is almost entirely dedicated to technology, and is a go-to for discovering the latest and greatest in electronics.
Plan Your Tokyo Holiday
- Flights to Tokyo: Togther with partner airline Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia operates flights to Tokyo via Singapore.