Tokyo

Asakusa Temple, Tokyo
Asakusa Temple, Tokyo
Tokyo Bay Bridge
Asakusa Temple, Tokyo
Modern Tokyo
Tokyo by night

About Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan. At over 12 million people in the official metropolitan area alone, Tokyo is the core of the most populated urban area in the world, Greater Tokyo (which has a population of 35 million people).

This huge, wealthy and fascinating metropolis brings high-tech visions of the future side by side with glimpses of old Japan, and has something for everyone.

  • The Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Imperial Family
  • Meiji Shrine
  • Asakusa, the old Tokyo
  • Ueno Park and its museums
  • The Odaiba futuristic architecture on a man-made island
  • The Roppongi Hills entertainment and shopping complex
  • Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea
  • Tsukiji Fish Market
  • The Akihabara district for electronic goods
  • Shibuya district, popular among the younger generation

History

Prior to 1868, Tokyo was originally known as Edo, meaning “estuary”. Its name was changed to Tokyo (Tōkyō: tō (east) + kyō (capital)) when it became the imperial capital in 1868 with the Meiji Restoration in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word “capital” in the name of the capital city.

A small castle town in the 16th century, Edo became Japan’s political centre in 1603, when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his feudal government there. A few decades later, Edo had grown into one of the world’s most populous cities.

The centre of Japan, the centre of the shogun’s power, Tokyo is now one of the world’s financial centres and within the last two centuries has been totally demolished due to war and earthquakes. Large parts of the city were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and in the air raids of 1945.

Visiting

The city is both east and west, old and new, a mix of concrete buildings, electrical cables, traffic and people everywhere. The pulse of Tokyo is high, but if you are a fan of big city breaks then a week in one of the world’s most fascinating metropolis is a unique experience!

Tokyo is too big to explore on foot. The city’s public transportation works very smoothly and is highly recommended for getting around. Just try to avoid the rush hour!

Tokyo is not just one city: it consists of a number of areas, each with their own characteristics. In the northeast part of Tokyo you can find the cultural and popular Tokyo with a lot of museums clustered around Ueno Park. In the area north of the park close to the Yanaka cemetery you can see the genuine Tokyo, Shitamachi, with an authentic and peaceful atmosphere. To the west is Asakusa and Nakamise Street, where you can buy everything from souvenirs to genuine arts and crafts.

The streets run to the most famous of Tokyo’s temples, Asakusa Kannon with the big red rice paper lamp. South of Asakusa is the “Electric City” of Akihabara which is a mass of shops selling the latest electronics. In the heart of Tokyo is the Imperial Palace with its extensive park. Not far from the park is Ginza with the most expensive land prices in the world. This area also contains more exclusive boutiques and brands than any were else in the world.
In the centre of Tokyo is Roppongi, an entertainment area with restaurants, bars, discos, clubs and nightlife second to none.

In the western part of Tokyo is Shinjuku: more than 3 million people pass through its train station every day. This is a modern centre with numerous skyscrapers on the western side of the station and big shopping malls and fashion boutiques on the eastern side. Just south of the station is the smart and trendy part of Tokyo: Shibuya.

While Aoyama is still sophisticated and cosmopolitan, Shibuya is a shopping mecca for the younger generation. And here you also find Harajuku, the world’s centre for avant-garde fashion, where young people gather and dress up on Sundays. And like an oasis in the middle of all this modern and futuristic townscape is the Meiji temple with the gigantic Torii (entrance portal).

Practical information:

  • From Osaka Itami Airport to Haneda Airport (1h) or from Kansai International Airport to Haneda Airport (1h10min) or from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen trains (2h30min)


A useful Google map of Tokyo

Our packages includes Tokyo

Nakasendo Trail

The Nakasendo Trail

The Nakasendo way linked Kyoto to Tokyo during Japan’s feudal period. It was the ‘road through the mountains’ travelled by feudal lords and their retinues, samurai, merchants and travellers. From Tokyo, spend four days walking along the Nakasendo. By day travel along the ancient route as it passes through beautifully-preserved villages along an easy path, […]

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PILGRIMS’ PATH – THE KUMANO KODO

Experience the tradition of the Kumano Kodo – the pilgrims’ path to the Kumano Shrine through the woods and hills of the Kii Peninsula, south of Kyoto.
For over 1,000 years, people from all levels of society, including retired emperors and aristocrats, have made the arduous pilgrimage to Kumano. These pilgrims used a network of […]

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11-DAY PACKAGE INCLUDING SKI IN HAKUBA

Hakuba is in Nagano Prefecture, in the Japan Alps on mainland Tokyo within relatively easy reach of Tokyo. The JR Hokuriku Shinkansen (Bullet train) takes just 1hr 40mins from Tokyo to Nagano, connecting with a 1-hour bus service to Hakuba. The town hosted several competitions during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics – and in addition […]

Asakusa Temple, Tokyo

Budget Japan Tour 13 days

Discover the essentials of Japan on this Group tour from £ 1,499!
Enjoy Tokyo, Kamakura, Hakone, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka in the company of like-minded budget travellers and an experienced Adventure Leader. This is a GROUP tour starting and ending in Tokyo, with departures throughout 2017-2018.

The torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima

Wonders of Japan 12/16 days

See Japan by coach! This 12-day tour visits the highlights of Japan on a guided coach tour – a unique and exciting new concept. See Tokyo, Kawaguchiko, Himeji, Inbe, Hiroshima and Matsuyama, ending in Osaka. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2018. An extended version of this tour also visits Mt.Koya, […]

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Essential Japan and Korea 13 days

This guided coach trip travels westwards through Japan, then takes the short sea crossing, to take in the highlights of Japan’s closest neighbour, Korea. The tour visits Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Himeji, Hiroshima, Busan, Daegu and Seoul. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2018.

Inari Shrine, Kyoto

Japanese Capitals 12 days

See Japan by coach! This tour visits the highlights of Japan on a guided coach tour – a unique and exciting new concept. See Tokyo, Hiroshima, Matsuyama and Tokushima, Mt Koya and Kyoto. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2018.

Chandeokgung Palace, Seoul, Korea

Classic Korea and Japan 13 days

See Japan and Korea by coach! This 13-day tour visits the the major historic sites of Korea and Japan on a guided coach tour. See Seoul, Jeonju, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Mt.Koya, Kyoto and Tokyo. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2018.

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Tokyo Discovery Tour

Discover the paths less trodden in Tokyo with this full day tour which takes you to a mixture of well-known sites and hidden-gems.
With your designated English-speaking guide, visit Nihon Minka-en, the Japan Open-Air Museum, where you can explore its traditional Japanese-style gassho-zukuri houses, like those in Toyama prefecture.
Soak in the atmosphere of the hustle and bustle […]

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Mt Fuji Golden Tour

Visit the hidden treasures of the Mt Fuji World Heritage area.

This special tour will take you to many of the sights that are missed by most visitors. Travel to Mt Fuji’s 5th station with an English-speaking guide by bus to enjoy the magnificent view from 2,300 meters above sea level.

Afterwards, journey to Oshino Hakkai, a […]

Tokyo Bay Bridge

Discover Japan 13 days

This fully-escorted tour takes you to some of the major sightseeing spots in Japan. Discover an amazing variety of places from the modern cities of Tokyo and Osaka to the peaceful countryside of Takayama. This is a GROUP tour with departure dates in Oct/Nov in 2017 and Mar/Apr/May 2018.

shinkansen

Explore Japan by Rail 21 days

Explore Japan in depth on this fully-escorted tour, from the southern island of Kyushu to Sapporo in the north, taking in many fascinating towns and cities on the way. Travel by train including the world-famous Bullet train with your Japan Rail Pass. This is a GROUP tour with departure dates in Sep/Oct/Nov 2017 & Mar/Apr/May […]

See anime and manga in Japan

TOKYO DREAM 7 DAYS

See Japan now with our Tokyo Dream 7 day package! Experience an authentic Japanese maid café, explore the Studio Ghibli Museum, and pick up some anime and manga merchandise. Discover and immerse yourself in the vibrant night colours of Tokyo’s entertainment districts, and spend your last night in one of Japan’s unique capsule hotels!
Japan […]

Tokyo Sky Tree

SCHOOL TRIPS TO JAPAN

JAPAN HAS SO MUCH TO OFFER SCHOOL AND STUDENT TRIPS
And JTB, as Japan’s largest and longest-established travel organisation, has the experience and reliable operations to make school trips to Japan a success.
Why Japan?

A culture very different from Europe, influential worldwide
A unique culture, embracing tradition and modernity
A safe and friendly environment
A reliable and comprehensive public transportation […]

Anime and Manga in Tokyo

ANIME AND MANGA WORLD

See the places which inspired anime film director Hayao Miyazaki to create his stunning artwork and scenery for the Studio Ghibli anime productions such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. On this self-guided tour, explore the world of Studio Ghibli, and take time in Tokyo to explore and visit the specialist shops for anime-related merchandise. […]

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WILDERNESS OF SOUTHERN KYUSHU

Appreciate the natural beauty of southern Kyushu, including the World Heritage site of Yakushima Island.
About 2.5 hrs by high-speed hydrofoil from mainland Kyushu, Yakushima is an island wilderness where the unique woodland environment remains unspoilt. One of Japan’s World Heritage sites, the island is covered with lush green forests, which includes many Yaku cedars […]

ghibli

TOKYO SPECIAL GHIBLI PACKAGE

Return flights to Tokyo, 3 nights accommodation and a ticket for the Studio Ghibli Museum is a great way to start discovering Japan!
There are many family-friendly attractions in Japan, and the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo is one of the best, transporting you into the world of animated film maker Hayao Miyazaki.
Rooms on several floors […]

Tokyo by night

EXPLORE HONSHU WITH THE JAPAN RAIL PASS

Honshu is the largest island of Japan, and the country-wide Japan Rail Pass allows you to explore all the cities and regions at your own pace.
Our itinerary suggestion includes travelling down from Tokyo using the newly-opened HOKURIKU SHINKANSEN line to Kanazawa and on to the historic city of Kyoto. The package includes the 7-day […]

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THE ONSEN EXPERIENCE

Relaxing in a bath of natural hot spring water is part of the Japanese way of relaxation and health. See bustling Tokyo and the quieter, country spa resorts of Hakone and Kinosaki, and experience this essential part of Japanese culture.
Highlights of this tour suggestion include:
Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Located in the Odaiba district of Tokyo, this hot […]

Mt Fuji in summer

Mt. Fuji Climbing Tour 2017

Mount Fuji is an iconic symbol of Japan. The perfectly-formed volcanic cone 3,775 metres high has been an object of veneration among the Japanese for centuries. The upper slopes of the mountain are covered with snow for most of the year, but during July-September the top is free of snow and climbing is permitted.

Tokyo

Walking tours in Tokyo

A range of walking tours in Tokyo, enabling you to explore interesting parts of this fascinating city at walking pace, in the company of a local expert.
Take the Tokyo metro to Harajuku, and see the trendy shops in Takeshita Dori, the Laforet store, one of Tokyo’s best “100 Yen” shops, and stop by a creperie.
or:
Go […]

Miyajima

HISTORIC JAPAN (10 DAYS)

Take in the major historic sites of Japan on this semi-escorted tour. After a stay in Tokyo, with a guided tour of the city, a full day excursion is included to see the Great Buddha at Kamakura, a marvel of bronze casting which now stands in the open after a tidal wave swept away the […]

Asakusa Temple, Tokyo

Tokyo Morning Tour

Ideal to orient yourself in Tokyo and take in some of the city’s main sights on this morning tour with pickup service from major hotels.
Join this half-day morning tour to see Tokyo old and new.
Includes the Tokyo Tower for a panoramic view of the city; the Imperial Palace Plaza, site of the original Edo Castle; […]

Tokyo Sky Tree

Dynamic Tokyo

This full day tour begins with the ascent of Tokyo Tower, modelled on the Eiffel Tower in Paris and offering panoramic views of the city. Then on to a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, with green tea and traditional sweets. After Japanese lunch, admire the view of Nijubashi Bridge and the surrounding scenery at this National […]

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Tsukiji Outer Fish Market and Sushi Workshop

Visit the Outer market of Tokyo’s world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market: the largest marketplace in Japan, Tsukiji is busy and bustling even before the sun comes up. The small restaurants and eateries lining the outer market are all busy preparing fresh ingredients for the menus of the day. This area has many dedicated shops selling seafood […]

sumo

Tokyo Sumo Tournament

Three times every year, Japan’s national Sumo tournament takes place in Tokyo. This excursion allows you to see Sumo, a 1,500 year old Japanese cultural tradition. Watch the live action for 2 hours from reserved seats in the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan hall. Afterwards, sample the traditional food of Sumo wrestlers – Chanko stew.

Mt.Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi

Mt.Fuji – Hakone 1-day tour

The classic volcano shape of Mt.Fuji dominates the landscape for miles around; revered by the Japanese as their most holy mountain, it is an iconic symbol of Japan recognised worldwide. This guided tour takes you to the Mt.Fuji’s 5th station to enjoy the view from 2,300 metres above sea level. Afterwards, take in Hakone’s beautiful […]

Gassho-zukuri farmhouses, Shirakawa-go

WORLD HERITAGE SPECIAL (11 DAYS)

Tour Japan taking in one of the country’s most important World Heritage Sites. Nikko, around 95 miles north of Tokyo, is one of Japan’s most beautiful shrines. Now protected in a National Park, Nikko is one of Japan’s most important UNESCO World Heritage sites. Takayama’s streets of old wooden houses offer a glimpse of life […]

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SPIRITUAL JOURNEY (11 DAYS)

This tour visits Mt.Koya, where some of the most historic Buddhist temples in the country nestle in peaceful hillside and forest.
Flying into Osaka(KIX) airport makes it a convenient and cost-effective way of combining the highlights of this tour. After a stay in Kyoto, including guided sightseeing and time to relax and explore this fascinating city, […]

Mt.Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi

JAPAN’S GOLDEN ROUTE (7 DAYS)

An ideal tour for the first-time visitor to Japan, this trip includes Tokyo, Mt.Fuji, Hakone and a ride on the famous “Bullet train” to the historic city of Kyoto.
Tokyo is where modern and traditional live side by side: the famous sights of contemporary Japan like Akihabara with its electronics shops and the scintillating nightlife of […]

sumo

TOKYO SPECIAL SUMO PACKAGE

Return flights to Tokyo, 3 nights accommodation and an excursion to a Sumo tournament in Tokyo is a great way of starting to discover Japan! The Sumo tournament takes place three times a year in Tokyo: time your departure to coincide with these periods.

Use this “starter pack” to create your own Japan experience by adding […]

Tokyo by night

PRE- OR POST- CRUISE PACKAGES

Joining or leaving a cruise in Japan? Many cruises start or end at the major ports of Yokohama, Tokyo, or Kobe. We can provide anything from a few nights in Tokyo before your cruise and a transfer to the main port of Yokohama, to a longer tour in Japan after your cruise has finished.

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