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Japan Regional Information

Chubu    Chugoku     Hokkaido     Kanto     Kansai     Kyushu     Okinawa     Shikoku    Tohoku

Chiba     Gumma     Ibaraki     Kanagawa     Saitama     Tochigi     Tokyo

 

Tokyo

One of the most populous cities in the world - Center of economy, culture and industries in the world
Tokyo consists of the southwestern part of the Kanto Region, the Izu Islands, and the Ogasawara islands. The population is one of the largest in the world. It is the Capital of Japan where over 11 million people live. Since Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu established a government in the early 17th century, the town started to develop, spreading around his resident Edo Castle. Although most of the city was devastated by the Great Earthquake of 1923 and again by the bombing in the WWII, it achieved rapid restoration both times.

Tokyo is not only the center of politics and economy of Japan, but also developed as the center of world economy and culture, and it offers a number of must-see places. There are large scale downtown areas including the Ginza where all famous shops around the world stand side by side, Shijuku high-rise complex and its surroundings that never sleep, Asakusa with reminiscences of the traditional Edo(former name of Tokyo), and Shibuya that starts the trend for the young people as well as unique areas including the computer town Akihabara where electric shops are densely competing and attracting many shoppers from Japan and overseas and the Tsukiji open-air wholesale food market that serves all consumers in Japan.

Getting there
An hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. An hour and 15 minutes from Kansai International Airport. Two hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line. An hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station by JR Narita Express Line.
 

  • Shinjuku
    Great terminal where over 500,000 people come and go everyday - High-rise buildings, shopping and prominent entertainment district
    Shinjuku Station at the Shinjuku renewal project area in Shinjuku-ku is a great terminal where JR Chuo Line, Yamanote Line, Sobu Line, Saikyo Line, Metropolitan subways Shinjuku Line and Oedo Line, private railways Odakyu Line, Keio Line and Seibu-Shinjuku Line concentrate, and over 500,000 people use this station everyday.

    Shinjuku is roughly divided into the West Exit area which is an office town with a row of high-rise building around the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building, the South Exit area which is a new comer to Shinjuku with complex establishments for shopping and amusement, and the prominent entertainment district around Kabuki-cho, a town that never sleeps. In the East Exit area, there is a row of department stores and other large size stores. All of these are integrated and linked together.

    There is Shinjuku-gyoen Park, a nationally noted landscape style garden park created with the instructions by a French engineer in 1906, a ten-minute walk to the south from the East Exit. The European gardens consist of the French formal garden with rows of beautiful sycamore trees, rising trees, and English landscape garden with vast extending lawn, and Japanese traditional garden which iris pond and teahouse are placed, harmonize perfectly with each other. This garden park with the large area of 58.7 is embraced with greenery and serenity, completely secluded from the hustle and bustle of the Metropolitan Tokyo. It is renowned as the best sight for flowers and wild birds.

    Getting there
    1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. If you are coming from Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. Transfer to JR Chuo Line for 14 minutes from Tokyo Station to Shinjuku Station.

     

  • Shibuya
    A town where the latest trend for young people are born - Shopping streets for families and "Bit Valley" that supports the IT industry
    Located in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Shibuya has the terminal for the JR Yamanote Line, Saikyo Line, Tokyu Toyoko Line and Den'entoshi Line, Keio Inokashira Line, Subways Ginza Line and Hanzomon Line. It is a prominent downtown of Tokyo rivaling with the Ginza, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Asakusa.


    In Shibuya, there are not only the numberless movie theaters with up-to-date facilities, but also the facilities to offer high-level culture, such as Shibuya-kokaido Hall frequented by people coming for concerts, Orchard Hall specializing in concerts, operas, and ballet performances, and Bunkamura consists of a theater, an art museum and movie theaters and Denryoku-kan(museum of electricity) where people can learn about electricity with enjoyments. This is one of the features of Shibuya as a lively downtown district with full of amusements and entertainments.

    Shibuya is unique that every street and area has a different atmosphere. The Center Street is swarmed with youth fashion shops, fast food shops, game centers, etc., and it is famous as the place where a new trend for the youths are born and spread nationwide. It is always crowded with mostly teenagers day and night, and you can directly feel the today's fashion trend of the Japanese. The Koen-dori Street that extends to the Yoyogi Park is a shopping street with a row of department stores and fashionable buildings attracting families in particular.

    Recently, Shibuya Mark City, the biggest shopping complex in Shibuya that comprises a large-scale hotel, business floors, and fifty-five shops, and other high-rise building construction rush have started. It is now known as "Bit Valley" (named after Shibuya which literary means "Bitter valley" and the computer lingo "bit") where venture enterprises that support the IT industry are concentrated. Thus Shibuya is attracting eager eyes from all over the world not only for fashions and shopping but in the sector of the state-of-the-art industry as well.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, it takes 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. Take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. It takes 1 hour and 5 minutes. Then, take JR Yamanote Line for 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Shibuya Station.
     

  • Ikebukuro
    Westside that attracts young people and east side that emits literary flavor - The most noted town as the scenes for dramas and novels
    Ikebukuro in Toshima-ku has the terminal for JR Yamanote Line, Saikyo Line and Takasaki Line, subways Marunouchi Line and Yurakucho Line, Seibu Ikebukuro Line and Tobu Tojo Line. It is a prominent downtown rivaling with the Ginza, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Asakusa. As it has often been selected as the scene for TV dramas and novels in recent years, the young people who are keen on the trend cast eager eyes on Ikebukuro. It is divided into the west side and east side areas by JR Ikebukuro Station.

    In the eastern side, department stores and large size fashion industry buildings stand side by side. There is the Sunshine City around a super-high-rise building "Sunshine 60" to the east of the shopping street that leads to the station. Also, in the area of the Sunshine City, there are an aquarium, planetarium, hotel, shopping mall and convention center with display facilities.

    In the west side, there is the Tokyo Art Theater and some universities among department stores and shopping streets. Many university students walk around the town, and it gives off literary flavor that sets up a clear distinction from the hustle and bustle on the eastern side.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, it takes 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. Two hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line. Take JR Narita Express for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. Then, take JR Yamanote Line for 25 minutes from Tokyo Station to Ikebukuro Station.

     

  • Central Tokyo (Imperial Palace, Kasumigaseki and Marunouchi)
    Kasumigaseki, the center of national administration and politics - Marunouchi, the heart of businesses in Japan
    Kasumigaseki in Chiyoda-ku has developed as the center of the national government since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government ministries and agencies of the new Meiji Government were established here 130 years ago. The central government was restructured after the end of the WWII, and all ministries except a part of the Welfare and Labor Ministry are located in this area. In Nagata-cho to the west of Kasumigaseki, there stand the Diet Building, Prime Minister's official residence and National Diet Library. This is the core area for the administration and politics of Japan.

    Head offices of major world-famous enterprises of Japan are concentrated in the adjacent Marunouchi area near Tokyo Station. It is truly the heart of the businesses of Japan. The difference in the population between day and night is the largest in Tokyo. On weekdays, it is always crowded with office workers and cars in this area. Some brand shops have opened here in recent years, casting Marunouchi as downtown centers for both a heart of business and a center of latest fashion. To the east of the office streets of Marunouchi, the current Imperial Palace lies in a vast site where Edo Castle once stood surrounded with stone walls and moats. Entry into the palace itself is forbidden, but the Outer Garden, Eastern Imperial Garden and Kitanomaru Park are open to public, where people enjoy strolling in the richness of nature in every season, such as cherry blossoms in spring, fresh greenery in summer and coloring leaves in autumn.

    Getting there
    An hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station.

     

  • Akihabara
    The world's biggest electrical equipment town - Now the trend is shifting toward computers from home electrical appliances.
    The name Akihabara is now world-famous. More than 250 electrical appliances and electronics shops of all sizes are located in a small area around Chuo-dori Avenue, in the west of Akihabara Station. In recent years, the main trend has shifted from general home electrical appliances toward the new world of the internet. An increasing number of large shops are centered on PCs, where an experienced staff answers all sorts of questions. Many of them speak English, Chinese and Korean.

    This town began specializing in electrical equipment in the latter half of the 1940s, when people's primary source of information was radio. In the beginning, many shops dealing in radio parts gathered under the elevated railroad of JR. Later, these shops began dealing with home electrical appliances, thus developing into the world's biggest electrical equipment town.

    With many service centers and the showrooms of major manufacturers, as well as duty-free shops and various events, the town is attractive in the eyes of visitors. Among these events, the Denki-matsuri Festival, held in summer and winter, is the biggest, a great chance for good shopping that you should never miss. Take the time to fully explore the wonderland.

    Getting there
    An hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Narita Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. By JR Narita Express, an hour 5 minute from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station. By Tokaido Shinkansen Line, 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station by JR Yamanote Line, 5 minutes from Tokyo Station to Akihabara Station.

     

  • Asakusa
    Kaminari-mon Gate with a large red lantern - Townsfolk's community with a traditional flavor
    Located in Taito-ku along the west bank of the Sumida-gawa River, Asakusa once thrived as a temple town for Senso-ji Temple, and now it is a downtown that rivals with the Ginza, Shijuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya. The history of Senso-ji Temple goes back far into the past. The legend has it that fishermen brothers discovered an image of Kan'non(the goddess of mercy) in the Sumida-gawa River around 1370 years ago and they were inspired to enshrine it. Its symbol is a large red paper lantern that bears the word "Kaminari-mon", or a thunder gate. There is a constant flow of visitors and worshippers throughout the year.

    Numerous shops along Nakamise-dori Street that runs in the approach way to Senso-ji Temple carry a variety of small articles made of the Japanese paper and other traditional flavored goods such as folding fans. It is a lovely shopping street that attracts many foreign visitors. Asakusa is also known as the site for many traditional events. Sanja-matsuri is a festival of Senso-ji Temple and is famous for the palanquin parade that conveys the "Edokko Katagi", or Edoites' spirit, which represents the traditional temperament of the townsfolk of Tokyo. Other festivals include Hozuki-ichi, or Japanese lantern plant market in summer, Tori-no-ichi, or Cock Fair at Otori-jinja Shrine in early winter and Hagoita-ichi, or ornate Japanese battledore racket market at the end of the year. The most popular event is the firework display on the Sumida-gawa River in summer. Over 1 million people throng to watch it.

    Getting there
    An hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. Then take JR Yamanote Line fir 5 minutes from Tokyo Station to Ueno Station. Transfer to the subway Ginza Line. It takes 5 minutes from Ueno Station to Asakusa Station.

     

  • Daiba
    Dotted along the new traffic system with Yurikamome Line - The newest amusement spot in Tokyo
    Daiba was born on the reclaimed land in the Tokyo Bay in the southeast of Tokyo. It is attracting mostly young people as the newest amusement spot in Tokyo. The name Daiba means a platform site. It derives from the installation of a platform for a marine cannon battery that was constructed in haste to meet the emergent need for defense of Tokyo (called Edo at that time) against the sudden appearance of black steel ships commanded by Commodore Perry from the United States in 1853.

    The center of Daiba is "Aquacity Odaiba". There is a shopping mall with a 300-meter long boutique street, a multi-flex cinema that employs the latest acoustic and screen technologies, a gourmet zone that stretches over 15,000 m2 which is obviously the largest in Japan, and Fuji TV studio where visitors can see the settings of popular TV programs.

    Major attractions of Daiba are dotted along Yurikamome Line, a new unmanned traffic system that connects Shimbashi Station through the Rainbow Bridge with Daiba. There is the Odaiba Seaside Park that overlooks the Rainbow Bridge as well as the Venus Fort, a "theme park for ladies" located in the area of the Palette Town, which accommodates over 140 shops with the interior that takes after an European city in the 18th century, and many other new facilities are jostling.

    Getting there
    An hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo. Take JR Narita Express for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. Then take JR Yamanote Line for 4 minutes from Tokyo Station to Shimbashi Station. At Shimbashi Station, take Yurikamome Line to Daiba Station for 14 minutes.

     

  • Hama-Rikyu and Shibaura
    Hama-Rikyu, the most representative garden of Tokyo - Shibaura, a gateway to Daiba
    The Hama-Rikyu Imperial Gift Garden, is a public park of Tokyo located at the mouth of the Sumida-gawa River in Chuo-ku. It is called Hama-Rikyu for short and cherished by all citizens. It is a landscape garden in the go-round style around the Shioiri-ike Pond, a pond of the tidal reach. It was remodeled as a public garden park on the site of a villa of the Shogun Tokugawa family in the 17th century. The garden has the atmosphere of utter tranquility where visitors can forget the passage of time. Visitors can also enjoy refreshment at a teashop in Nakashima located in the middle of the pond in the garden that offers tea from powdered tealeaves and Japanese sweets in a tea-ceremony style. Also a peony garden, plum tree grove and cosmos fields are available to enjoy the flowers and greenery in every season.

    Shibaura and Hamamatsu-cho area in Minato-ku, with Hinode Pier and Takeshiba Pier are thriving as the hub of the transportation in the Metropolitan Tokyo. There are piers for ferryboats to the Izu-Shichito Islands, sea buses to cruise around Tokyo Bay or cruise through Sumidagawa River to Asakusa, a waterway to Harumi-futo Pier and Daiba. Also the Hamamatsu-cho has the terminal for monorail to the Haneda Airport.

    Since the Rainbow Bridge was constructed, it is now a new attraction in Tokyo. The night view from the view spot in the 21-story New Pier Takeshiba building in front of Takeshiba Station of Yurikamome Line is breathtakingly beautiful, definitely one of the best sights in Tokyo. There is Zojo-ji Temple, the headquarters of a Buddhist sect built in 1393 near Shibaura. It is famous for the graves of the successive Shoguns of the Tokugawa family. The Tokyo Tower that boasts the height of 333 m and its splendid night view from the observing deck, is literary a symbol of sightseeing in Tokyo.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, it is 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. It is 5 minutes from Tokyo Station to Hamamatsucho Station by JR Yamanote Line.

     

  • Ginza and Nihonbashi
    Ginza, the downtown that represents Japan - Nihonbashi, dotted with stores of long standing
    The Ginza is one of the most famous downtowns of Japan located in Chuo-ku. Ginza means a silver mint, and its name derives from establishment of the silver coin mint in the 1600s. On the main street Chuo-dori Avenue that extend southwest from 1-chome(a block) to 8-chome, also known as Ginza-dori Avenue, there are large department stores such as Mitsukoshi, Matsuzakaya and Matsuya and many large-size store buildings dotted around 4-chome in particular, where the street meets the intersection of Harumi-dori Avenue. There is a clock tower cherished by people as the symbol of Ginza placed on the Wako Building built of stone. In the whole area of Ginza, there are more than 400 art galleries, innumberable restaurants and boutiques all competing each other of their styles, and every store boasts the tradition and the its culture unique to Ginza.

    The Kabuki-za Theater where the Japanese traditional theatrical art kabuki is played is located to the west of the intersection at 4-chome toward Tsukiji. Recently, many of world famous brand boutiques have opened in Ginza which cast the town as an internationally noted area of top-fashion trend.

    Nihonbashi is a bridge over the Nihonbashi-gawa River at the north of Chuo-ku. This bridge was the origin point of the five major streets built and prospered in the Edo Period in the 17th century. It still bears the bronze signpost that bears the words "Origin of Roads in Japan", and it is the reference point for all roads in Japan. For that reason, Nihonbashi prospered as the town of merchants where kimono cloth mercers purveyer to Edo Castle and many merchant families were gathered. Even today, the Nihonbashi area which is adjacent to Ginza, and it is dotted with major department stores and stores with long standing whose history goes well back into the Edo Period.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, it is 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. It is 2 minutes from Tokyo Station to Yurakucho Station by JR Yamanote Line, and 10 minutes walk from Tokyo Station to Nihonbashi.

     

  • Harajuku
    Harajuku where young people's culture blossoms - Omotesando and Aoyama that resemble streets in Europe
    Harajuku is a collective term for the area that stretches from the south of Sendagaya to Jingumae-machi. On the west side of JR Harajuku Station, there is a wood of the Meiji Shrine that is famous for a Japanese iris field where irises bloom in profusion in the rainy season and a treasury that stores the articles Emperor Meiji cherished in the late 19th century. Nearby Meiji Shrine, there is NHK Broadcasting Center, where visitors can tour through the TV program studios and other exhibits.

    The east side of the station is known nationwide as the young people's town in recent years. On Takeshita-dori Street, in particular, since there are a number of shops and some shops are owned by popular personalities, this narrow street is completely packed in weekends with mostly teenagers who want their idol's goods and it is literary impossible to move.

    In Omotesando and its adjacent Aoyama, fashion designers began to set up their offices and studios after the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Since then, more and more fashion stores for adults and fashionable coffee shops and restaurants have been built in this area. Aoyama with its zelkova tree lined avenue has the atmosphere that resemble those in European streets.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express Train for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. It takes 25 minutes from Tokyo Station to Harajuku Station by JR Yamanote Line.

     

  • Akasaka and Roppongi
    Akasaka, a town with a high-class taste - Roppongi, a prominent entertainment nightspot with international atmosphere
    Akasaka is located in a southern part of Tokyo. It is where the guesthouses and foreign embassies gather. It serves as a center for the international exchange where top-class hotels stand side by side, a political center adjacent to the Diet Building, Prime Minister's official residence and Nagata-cho, and an office town with TBS Broadcasting Center. High-class Japanese restaurants and night clubs bring people on the street for not only daytime but also nighttime. Also there are many spots to enjoy walking in the greenery, such as Hie Shrine, Toyokawa-inari Shrine and Hikawa Shrine.

    Roppongi lies next to Akasaka and is where you see more foreigners than Japanese. Because of that, many places have international characters. Roppongi is also known for the prominent entertainment nightspot with markedly international atmosphere. The "Velfarre", which has the largest dance floor of all the clubs and discos in the country and popular "Hard Rock Cafe", are also in the area.

    Getting there
    By JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. By Subway Marunouchi Line for 7 minutes from Tokyo Station to Akasaka-mitsuke Station, change to the subway Hibiya Line and it takes 15 minutes to Roppongi Station.

     

  • Ueno
    A terminal called gateway to the north - Concentrated cultural establishments in a vast park
    Ueno Station in Taito-ku is called a gateway to the north because it is the starting station for the railways bound for the Tohoku region(the northeast region) from Tokyo. The terminal accommodates 6 railways including JR Shinkansen Lines. It is a prominent downtown rivaling with the Ginza, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya.

    In the Tokyo Ueno-onshi-koen Park, the Tokyo Metropolitan Imperial Gift Park that boasts a vast area in the west of Ueno Station, there is a concentration of cultural institutions such as the first zoo in Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Imperial Gift Ueno Zoo, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Cultural Hall, National Western Art Museum, National Science Museum and Tokyo National Museum, all offering recreation and relaxation for the citizens.

    There is Ameya-yokocho Market called Ameyoko for short in the area under the elevated railway from Ueno Station to Okachimachi Station. This area used to be a thriving flea market immediately after the end of the WWII. There are over 500 shops that sell everything from basic foods to high-class imported goods at reasonable prices, and thus it is always crowded with shoppers. The year-end special bargain sales, in particular, have become one of the scenes that add poetic charm to the season that reflect the lives of the common people of Tokyo.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, it takes 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express Train for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. It takes 5 minutes from Tokyo Station to Ueno Station by JR Yamanote Line.

     

  • Ebisu and Daikanyama
    Ebisu Garden Place, a fashionable town - Daikanyama, a place to get tasteful daily needs
    The area around Ebisu Station in Shibuya-ku has developed rapidly since Ebisu Garden Place was constructed in 1994 at the site where a beer brewery used to stand. With many restaurants and fashionable shops that opened here, this area has won a solid reputation as the most talked-about spot in Tokyo.

    On the other side of the station, the Ebisu Market near the west exit and other traditional, unique local shops are still prospering, exhibiting a good contrast against the new shopping spot on the east side. Famous shops for ramen, the noodles loved dearly by almost all Japanese, thrive around the west exit of Ebisu Station, and this area is known as the severest battleground for ramen shops. The Daikanyama district adjacent to Ebisu is the place to get tasteful basic articles, and is especially popular among young women. There once stood a western style apartment building that was the first of its kind in Japan. It was the symbol of the town, but when it was pulled down, a 36-story multi-purpose shopping mall was built on the site. The town is in rapid progress for development around this shopping mall.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express Train for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. It takes 20 minutes to Ebisu Station and 15 minutes to Shibuya Station from Tokyo Station by JR Yamanote Line. It takes 2 minutes from Shibuya Station to Daikanyama Station by Tokyu Toyoko Line.

     

  • Izu Shichito Islands
    Islands with moderate climate set in the Pacific Ocean - Marine sports in the beautiful ocean
    The Izu Shichito Islands are a group of volcanic islands in the Fuji Volcanic Belt that stretches from north to south for 540 km. It consists of Oshima, Toshima, Niijima, Kozushima, Miyakejima, Mikurajima and Hachijojima Islands, and is a part of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. It is called the Izu Islands when Aogashima and other small islands are included, and it is administratively a part of Tokyo.

    Oshima Island, the largest island, is famous for camellias and azaleas flora. It is a popular resort with its moderate climate, fantastic view of Mt. Mihara-yama, and "anko", young women in the local costume. In Toshima Island, brown boobies live in flocks. Niijima Island is famous for the scenery of Hanebushi-ura Inlet at the east coast. Kozushima Island's geographical feature is intricate and there are historical ruins of temples and shrines. Miyakejima Island is famous for camellias and hydrangeas. The entire Mikurajima Island is a virgin forest of box trees and chinquapins. Hachijojima Island has wonderful semitropical scenery. Each island welcomes many visitors every year.

    All islands are surrounded with the beautiful ocean and visitors can enjoy fishing, surfing, diving and all sorts of marine sports. Dolphin watching is becoming more and more popular in recent years. As they are volcanic, there are plenty of hot springs as well.

    Getting there
    Forty minutes to Oshima Airport, 50 minutes to Miyakejima Airport, 45 minutes to Hachijojima Airport from Tokyo Haneda Airport. Nine hours and 10 minutes to Toshima Island, 10 hours and 10 minutes to Niijima Island, 11 hours and 20 minutes to Kozushima Island and 8 hours to Mikurajima Island from Tokyo Takeshiba port by ferry.

     

  • Lake Okutama-ko
    Harmony of natural beauty and man-made structures - National Park closest from Metropolitan Tokyo
    Lake Okutama-ko is an artificial lake formed by Ogouchi Dam that blocks the upstream of the Tama-gawa River. It is located in Chichibu Tama National Park, the closest national park from the metropolitan Tokyo. The lake offers a nice harmony of natural beauty and man-made structures. You can enjoy cherry blossoms in spring, fresh greenery in summer, coloring leaves in autumn and snowscape in winter from a most thrilling floating bridge made of drum cans.

    There is the Ogouchi Shrine that jointly enshrines the 9 shrines and 11 deities that were submerged in the lake at the tip of the point that juts out into the lake. Kajima-odori dance and traditional Japanese performance Shishimai, a lion dance, are dedicated to the shrine every autumn. Those performances are designated as intangible cultural property of Tokyo.

    Chichibu-Tama National Park covers a vast area that stretches over Tokyo, Saitama, Yamanashi and Nagano, 67 km from east to west and 40 km from north to south. It has high mountains and deep valleys, and the mountain forest along the Tama-gawa River is preserved as the water source forest. The park is dotted with natural scenic spots, such as Hatonosu Valley with the most beautiful gorge in Okutama and the 800-meter long Hibara limestone cavern, the largest in the Kanto Region.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, it takes 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express Train for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. It takes 2 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Okutama Station by JR Chuo Line and Oume Line.

     

  • Mt. Mitake-san
    A mountain in the upstream of the Tama-gawa River, Paradise for more than 100 kinds of birds
    Mt. Mitake-san is located in the upstream of the Tama-gawa River that flows in the western Tokyo, and is a part of Chichibu-Tama National Park. The area around Mt. Mitake-san is the most popular sightseeing spot in the Okutama area. It is a natural treasury where you can see about 100 kinds of wild birds, about 1,000 kinds of plants and even some wild animals. It is attracting hikers and campers throughout the year.

    There is a cable car from the foot of Mt. Mitake-san. Visitors can enjoy camellias and Japanese rose in spring and wonderful coloring leaves in autumn from the cable car window. The scenic view is also marvelous. You can see the high-rise buildings in the Shinjuku renewal project area and Mt. Tsukuba-san in Ibaraki on fine days from the view spot called Mitake-daira in front of the terminal of the cable car, Mitake Station.

    As you climb to the top through a well-maintained, easy-to-walk path, you will see the main shrine, pilgrim guides' homes and pilgrims' lodges in the Musashi-Mitake Shrine. This shrine is widely worshiped as the symbol of the sacred place for mountain worship. Its foundation is believed to be in 90 BC, which makes this shrine one of the oldest in Japan. There is a treasury that stores a national treasure Akaito-odoshi-no-yoroi, a scarlet-braided large armor, and other pieces of armory.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, it takes 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express Train for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. It takes 2 hours and 15 minutes from Tokyo Station to Mitake Station by JR Chuo and Oume Lines.

     

  • Mt. Takao-san
    Sacred mountain that represents the Tama area - Full of amusement at museums, zoo and botanical garden as well as hiking in the mountains
    Mt. Takao-san, located in the western Tokyo and at the eastern edge of the Kanto Mountain Range, is a sacred mountain that represents the Tama area. It is designated as the Meiji-no-mori Takao National Park. Emperor Shomu ordered to build Yakuoin Temple halfway up this mountain in 744. The people have worshiped this temple for more than 1,200 years, and over 3 million worshipers visit here every year even today.

    There is a statue of a tengu, a long nosed mythical figure, which is believed to be a deified image of a man who mastered rigorous ascetic disciplinary practice in the mountains and acquired magical power and spiritual power. This statue is a symbol of Mt. Takao-san in the traditional Japanese practice of mountain worship. You may see ascetic devotees in religious practice of standing under a waterfall between April and October at the Biwa-daki Falls and Hebi-daki Falls.

    There are six well-maintained courses with different themes from the foot of Mt. Takao-san to the 600 meter-high mountaintop called Takao-san Natural Research Routes. You can enjoy watching over 500 kinds of plants along the path. You can also climb halfway to the top by cable car or lift, so climbing to the top is not difficult. There is Takao-san Natural Zoo and Botanical Garden near the terminal of the cable car, where you will be greeted by monkeys ranging freely.

    Getting there
    From Osaka, it takes 1 hour from Osaka Itami Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport. From Osaka, take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station. Take JR Narita Express Train for 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport Station to Tokyo Station. It takes 1 hour and 10 minutes from Tokyo Station to Takao Station by JR Chuo Line, and 5 minutes from Takao Station to Takaosan-guchi Station by Keio Line.

     

  • Ogasawara Islands
    Clear sea abundant in coral reefs and tropical fishes - Islands with 140 kinds of native plants and animals
    Ogasawara Islands is the general term for 30 islands of various sizes scattered over the Pacific Ocean. Located to the south of Izu Islands, they are made up of three blocks. The first block is the Ogasasawara Archipelago consisting of Muko-jima Island, Chichi-jima Island and Haha-jima Islands. The second block is made up of Io Islands. The three more islands - Nishi-no-shima Island, Minani-tori-shima Island, and Oki-no-shima Island belong to the last block. The whole area forms a part of the Ogasawara National Park.

    The islands are formed by protrusions of an ancient submarine volcano and so flatlands are rare and there are many sheer cliffs on the coast. Since the climate is oceanic and subtropical, the change of temperature is little and so it hardly snow or have frost. As Ogasawara Islands have always been remote, never being adjacent to a continent since they are formed, animals and plants evolved in their own way. There are over 140 kinds of indigenous plants and more than 10 kinds of animals native to the islands such as the Ogasawara damselfly, and they are designated as natural monuments.

    The Main island, also the entrance for Tokyo, Chichi-jima Island is 1000 km away to the south from the downtown Tokyo on the Pacific and it extends about 24 kmē. The water-eroded high cliffs surround the island making the scene of the island even more magnificent. The seawater around Hyotan-jima Island, Minami-jima Island and Hira-shima Island all belonging to the Ogasawara Archipelago, has high clarity and the sea is full of coral reefs and tropical fishes, which forms a part of Ogasawara Sea Park.

    Getting there
    By JR Yamanote Line for 9 minutes from Tokyo Station to Hamamatsu-cho Station. From there to the Tokyo-Takeshiba Port is 10 minutes on foot. By Ogasawara Kaiun Ship for 25 hours and 30 minutes from Tokyo-Takeshiba Port to Futami Port on Chichi-jima Island.

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  Information provided by Japan National Tourist Organization.

 

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