August 2019


Tokyo Calling!
August 2019




The twinkling lights of Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge at twilight add a magical ambience to Tokyo Bay.

Tokyo is a city that never really sleeps, but with the recovery of the Japanese economy that tempo has increased to insomnia. Crowning the new dawn, the Tokyo Skytree (at 634m) dwarfs the red and white striped former city symbol - Tokyo Tower. Towering above the city you realise how vast a metropolis it is as it merges with neighbouring conurbations such as Yokohama - Japan's second-largest city. The surprisingly low-rise sprawl seems endless.

Words: Mark Andrews.

Tokyo, in reality, is a collection of villages. Nihonbashi, literally meaning Japan Bridge, is its geographical heart. Historically, it marked the Edo (Tokyo's old name) end of the Tokaido and Nakasendo roads and now marks the point from which all distances from Tokyo are measured. Today, it is the financial district housing the stock exchange and Bank of Japan. It is also a good place for quality traditional souvenirs. Within the Coredo shopping mall, there are stores producing high-end kitchen knives since 1792. Nearby, there are producers of seaweed, which date back to 1849. To get a better idea of the historical side of the area, head to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, which contains a life size replica of the original bridge along with displays charting the rise of the city. The Tsukiji Fish Market - one of Tokyo's more bizarre tourist attractions- used to be a little over a kilometre away. The action is now at the Toyosu Market, the world's largest wholesale fish and seafood market. Tsukiji's frenetic bordering on chaotic activity swaps out for a far more sterile, at times shopping mallesque, feel. The tuna auction at Toyosu Market is on show for all to see from a second floor viewing deck. Many of the best known sushi spots moved with the market.


Akihabara is the kawaii (cute) capital. The electronics district is now also a Mecca to the embracers of Japan's otaku culture. Try one of the Maid Cafés, where the waitresses wear French maid uniforms and perform when making drinks and top coffees.

September 20, 2019 sees an exciting 12-month kick off for Tokyo. As the players from the Brave Blossoms (Japan's home team) face-off against Russia...


You are usually never far from a shrine or temple, and the larger of these offer spirituality and tranquillity. Senso-ji in the Asakusa neighbourhood is Tokyo's oldest temple, although the current structure was rebuilt after the temple burnt down in a WWII air raid. Around the temple are interesting side streets giving some idea of life in old Tokyo along with stores offering local crafts. The sprawling grounds of Meiji-jingu offer ample opportunities to escape the city. Dedicated to the Meiji Emperor, whose reign marked the beginning of modern Japan, it tops off the fashion district of Harajuku in Shibuya Ward. The wooden Shinto shrine is made in a traditional style and ensconced in a 70-hectare forest containing 120,000 trees. Adjacent Yoyogi Park increases this green space in the west side of the city. There are many world-class museums in Tokyo, such as the sumo wrestling museum and the Ghibli Museum from famed animation director, Miyazaki.


Tokyo boasts more Michelin starred restaurants than any city in the world. Dive into any restaurant and you are likely to be greeted with a friendly irasshaimase and good food - just do not be surprised if you have to order and pay using a vending machine! Then, there are images like the Shibuya crossing and the city silhouetted against Mount Fuji.


September 20, 2019 sees an exciting 12-month kick off for Tokyo. As players from the Brave Blossoms (Japan's home team) face-off against Russia at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo's Chofu suburb for the start of the Rugby World Cup, it marks the return to confidence of Japan's capital leading up to next summer's Olympics. Tokyo is a city that not only tries but scores as well.

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    Discover the history of the city through the minature models on display at Edo-Tokyo Museum.

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    Vist the Toyosu Fish Market.

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    Waitresses at Maid Cafés serve guests while dressed up as maids or anime characters. Photo credit: Mark Andrews

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    The popular Senso-ji in Asakusa is the oldest temple in Tokyo.

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    The Torii gate gives access to Meiji Shrine dedicated to the Meiji Emperor.

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    The sprawling lush green Yoyogi Park.

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    The whimsically designed Ghibli Museum showcases the work of famed animation director, Miyazaki.

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