The Oscar nominated film “Lost in Translation” starring American actors Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanssen, was filmed mostly in Tokyo, so if you’ve seen it, you’ll likely be able to envision the scenes where the city lights were simply blinding during the night shots, lighting up the sky more than the Vegas strip does in Nevada. If you haven’t seen the film, well, you should give it a try. It’s a good movie! But aside from being the backdrop to a movie, Tokyo is not a city that should be in the background of your travel plans. Consider it as one of your fore-runners for your next travel destination and explore the city behind all those brilliant lights.
Tokyo is the capital city of Japan and it certainly deserves to be with an overwhelming population of 35,623,327 in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area according to 2010 statistics. A little over 13,000,000 of that number live in the Tokyo prefecture, where Tokyo City is part of. If you research the numbers in more detail, you may come upon statistics that may show that during the daytime, the number of people increases by the millions, as people come into the city for work.
The summer season tends to be from May to October with temperatures ranging anywhere from the low 20’s to the low 30 degrees Celsius range. The cooler months can see numbers from 3 to 18 degrees, with the occasional snowfall in January and February. Generally speaking, Tokyo is in a humid subtropical climate zone so heavy rainfalls can be expected in the warmer season and the occasional typhoon can occur as well, so do check the weather when you plan your trip.
If the weather is cooperating with you on your trip, there are numerous places that you must visit to get some of the best postcard perfect photos and panoramic views. Here are five of those locations.
The Imperial Palace and Nijubashi Bridge is a significant place for a grand souvenir photo. The Imperial Palace is the main residence of the Emperor but you can look into getting a chance to stand on the Nijubashi Bridge to snap a beautiful photo of the palace sitting atop its hill guarded by the billowing tree tops.
The Imperial Palace is surrounded by a water-filled moat. Near this moat is a park called Chidori-ga-fuchi and if you are visiting Tokyo in and around the beginning of April, this is a must-see spot as you will be astounded by the joyous light pink and off-white cherry blossoms of the trees, almost forming a canopy overhead as the large overhanging branches are heavy with bloom.
In the city of Hachijo, just about an hour outside of downtown Tokyo you will find Mount Takao standing at nearly 600 metres tall. This stupendous locale is a popular hiking spot that welcomes over 2.5 million visitors each year. It is possible to see Mount Fuji from atop Mount Takao!
In the Tokyo district of Asakusa, you can make you way over to see the Asakusa Kannon Temple or as it is also known, the Sensoji. It is one of Tokyo oldest and most popular Buddhist temples, having been built in 645. A remarkably large red lantern hangs at the front gate to the Sensoji Temple and adds to the colorful display that this temple is known for.
If you want to know where the Rodeo Drive of Tokyo is, head to the Ginza 4-Chrome Intersection. Ginza is an old section in downtown Tokyo. On the main street, Ginza, running northeast to southwest, you can walk along the eight blocks to find the best shopping in town. Here you will find all the high-end, designer duds such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes brands, particularly at the centre at the fourth intersection that cuts across Ginza Street.
There is a lot in Tokyo, Japan and this is just the beginning!