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The Best Hotels in Tokyo

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Best Hotels in Tokyo

Tokyo Hotels

The neon-drenched streets of Tokyo can be daunting for first time visitors, with giant skyscrapers and crosswalks crowded with locals and tourists walking quickly through the city streets. However, it's a friendly city where westerners are given a warm welcome, and you'll soon adjust to the amiable yet reserved Japanese people, with many of their subcultures on display from brightly dressed Harajuku girls to the serious salarymen who work in the shiny high rise office blocks. The city is at its brightest at night, with huge billboards and shop signs lit up to grab your attention, and you can join the ultra-stylish locals in underground bars and clubs with their pounding basslines.

Things to see

Nippon Budokan has a classic Japanese facade, yet this impressive arena has been the site of many memorable rock concerts, some of them committed to famous live albums. From Bob Dylan to Blur, many rock and pop acts have performed here at the height of their fame, and if you book a ticket to a show here you can join 20,000 other screaming fans for a transcendent rock experience. If you want to learn a little more about Japanese culture then the peaceful woods surrounding the Meiji Jingu Shrine are a great place for a stroll, and you will be able to learn the grand history of emperors and deities that make up the Shinto culture, with a small museum and a picture gallery amongst the buildings on the complex. By contrast, the Tokyo Sky Tree shows the modern vision of Japan, standing proudly above the skyline and lit in bright colors at night. This tower ranks amongst the tallest structures in the world, and the high speed elevators can zip you to the 450th floor for spectacular views around the city, or you can enjoy the restaurants and cafés on the 350th floor.

Hotels in Tokyo

If you are planning to travel in Tokyo for leisure or business you'll be pleased to find a wide choice of hotels and accommodation options. The closer you get to the city center and business districts, the more luxurious the hotels tend to become, with glittering high-rise buildings that make the most of their city views with multiple restaurants, bars, and even nightclubs on the highest floors. Many larger hotels have pools and spas, as well as fitness centers, and you can enjoy beauty treatments in the comfort of your room. There's a wide choice of guestrooms available, with suites and deluxe upgrades to give you more space, and you can enjoy electric control panels with mood lighting options, satellite television channels, and telephones with Skype so you can enjoy a futuristic atmosphere.

Where to stay

At the junction of several major shopping and entertainment streets is the infamous Shibuya Crossing. When there's a break in the traffic you'll see people frantically running in different directions to quickly cross the road, and this intersection becomes especially busy on weekends with shoppers and tourists trying to negotiate a space for themselves and their many shopping bags. Shinjuku is also a busy area, although the foot traffic is often composed of commuters rushing to and from the train station, and amongst the gleaming skyscrapers you'll find important government buildings, as well as the headquarters of many electronics corporations and media companies.

How to get to Tokyo

Tokyo's sprawling Narita International Airport is a major source of air traffic for the city, with flights landing here from large cities across the world. The airport is well connected by rail, and services such as the Narita Express offer comfortable connections to Tokyo Station in just under an hour. Haneda Airport is also a popular arrival point, handling many domestic flights and arrivals from across Asia. It has the advantage of being on the Tokyo Monorail system, with services to the centrally located Hamamatsucho Station taking about 25 minutes.

When are the best times to travel to Tokyo?

Japan’s futuristic mega-city is equally exciting at any time of year, whether you come to lap up the golden-brown autumnal beauty that comes between September and November, or throw yourself into the dazzle of summer in the big city. Those in seek of natural grandeur should time their visit to coincide with the cherry blossom season in March and April, when areas like Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen are swathed in ethereal pinks and purples.

What are the top must-see attractions in Tokyo?

For a taste of Japanese history, make a pilgrimage to the Meiji Shrine. Created to honour the 19th-century emperor who transformed the country into a world power, it’s Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine, surrounded by sweeping, cypress-filled parklands. A very contemporary contrast is the Tokyo Tower, which has an Eiffel Tower-like lattice structure, yet is actually taller than the famous Paris landmark. For spectacular views of Tokyo, take a walk along the Rainbow Bridge, which earns its name at nightfall when it’s drenched in colourful lights.

What are the best types of food and restaurants in Tokyo?

In terms of sheer artistry, Tokyo is the culinary capital of the world, boasting more 3-star Michelin restaurants than you might think possible. Yet it’s not just about fine dining in sleek surroundings – your Tokyo hotel will also put you close to street food spots serving battered octopus balls, yakitori meat skewers and crispy fish-shaped waffles. A foodie quarter popular with the locals is Yurakucho, where no-frills eateries are tucked beneath the elevated tracks of the Yamanote Line, forming an atmospheric and buzzing warren of tempting treats.

What are the top things to do in Tokyo?

It might sound unlikely, but one of the major cultural draws in Japan’s capital is an exhibition space devoted to masterpieces from the other side of the world. The National Museum of Western Art is a treasure trove of works by the likes of Rubens, Monet and Pollock, housed in a Brutalist building designed by the great Le Corbusier. Meanwhile, the neon-lit nightlife quarter of Kabukicho makes for a decadent night time adventure, while families should flock to the thunderous rides and fairy tale carousels of Tokyo Disneyland.

What are some fun facts about Tokyo?

It may come as a surprise to learn that Tokyo only became the capital of Japan as relatively recently as the 19th century. Before that, Kyoto had been the capital for a 1,000 years. These days, Tokyo is famed for its epic architecture, including the Tokyo Skytree, which, excluding skyscrapers, is actually the tallest tower in the world. The city has been the birthplace of many famous people over the past century, including singer Yoko Ono, filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, and Gone with the Wind star Olivia de Havilland.

What kinds of public transport are there in Tokyo?

To travel in Tokyo, you’ll almost certainly make use of the famous subway network, which is an invaluable service for exploring this intricate metropolis. Yet the most iconic piece of public transport is actually above ground – this is the JR Yamanote Line, which forms a loop around the heart of the city, defining the centre of Tokyo. Most visitors will only need to make use of the Yamanote and subway lines to make the most of their time here.

Destination guides for Tokyo

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