The city is massive: with high-rise buildings on every side, neon signs and millions of commuters on the move, first impressions can be overwhelming.
However, there is an underlying calm and sense of safety which is reassuring. The Japanese are polite and kind to foreign visitors, and most aspects of life are highly organised and well structured. Life in the modern city is one aspect of the Japanese experience.
A few hours ride in the high-speed “Shinkansen” or Bullet train from Tokyo, through landscapes of rice plantations, tea fields and spectacular mountains, you will find Kyoto, considered by many to be the heart of Japan.
Here it is not uncommon to see women in kimonos walking down the narrow streets of the traditional quarters; amazing temple grounds with the most beautiful and peaceful Japanese gardens and a great number of small traditional Japanese restaurants. All of it will stimulate and challenge your senses.
About the same distance from the metropolis of Tokyo in the other direction, you will find mountain villages with small street markets, traditional Japanese guesthouses serving traditional food, and offering onsen (natural hot spring) baths - a treat for body and soul. In these countryside areas, it feels as if time is standing still.
Japan is a country in constant change but also one which maintains its traditions with pride. One of the most developing countries in the world, it retains and nurtures its thousand-year-old culture and values.