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Tokyo Next

Japan's capital city is a powerhouse of creative energy, global influence and wealth. Fast-paced, energetic, and busy, the city rarely seems to sleep, and this is especially true of Tokyo's many centers. Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, and Ueno, just to name a few, are unique areas that have their own special flavor and its enthusiastic adherents. There are shopping malls and areas for all types of shoppers, museums and art galleries for the serious and not so serious art lover, concert halls for music lovers, and traditional temples versus sophisticated buildings. Tokyo has it all.

Tokyo is a city that has risen (literally) from the ashes to become one of the world's leading economic centers. Previously known as Edo (gate of the river), the city became historically significant in 1603 when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his military government or shogunate there. Edo grew into a city from which the whole of Japan was governed by the Tokugawa clan. The city became known as Tokyo when the Tokugawa clan fell in 1868, and when the emperor and capital were moved to Kyoto. Tokyo then set about transforming itself into a modern metropolis.

Not much of the old Japan is left in Tokyo. With earthquakes, fires, and the destruction brought about by war, it is a wonder if anything had been left from the past. Visitors will find Tokyo a uniquely 21st Century modern city.

Getting Around

By Train/Subway : The best way to get around is through trains and subways. There is a vast interlocking network that covers most of the city. They are fast, efficient, safe, clean, and they run from early morning to midnight. Train exits are indicated by direction: East, West, North, South, and Central. The multiple subway, on the other hand, are letter or number marked.

By Taxis : Taxis are plentiful in Tokyo. It is usually possible to hail one by raising an arm and flagging it down. It is best to have a map or the address of your destination in Japanese, as most drivers do not understand English. A surcharge of 30% is added between 11 p.m. to 5 a.m

By Bus : Bus routes are complicated. It is also difficult for the non-Japanese speaking visitor as stops and destinations are written in Japanese only.

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