JAPAN TRAVEL: Exploring Tokyo via the New Golden Route
What hasn’t been said about Tokyo?
The capital of Japan has a long history of ups and downs, of turmoil and success. It’s hard to find one thing that people don’t know about Tokyo since it is often the most dissected destination in all of Japan. From its towering office buildings to its efficient public transport system, Tokyo is a dream that many countries, including the West, would like to emulate.
It’s a melting pot of everything you want to see in Japan: high-end fashion in Ginza, the many entertainment options in Shinjuku, the geek paradise that is Akihabara, the multitude of romantic spots in Odaiba, or the ever-bustling Shibuya with its many shopping options and the busiest of busy streets.
You would be hard-pressed to try and explore the entirety of Tokyo in one day, which is why we made a guide for you in our previous issues. This time, we look at one of Tokyo’s lesser-known spots, the Edo-Tokyo Museum, and the latest addition to the Tokyo skyline, the Tokyo Skytree.
Known as the world’s tallest free-standing communications tower, TOKYO SKYTREE towers over the city of Tokyo at a staggering 634 meters. The tower is split into three sections, each symbolizing a certain time period in Tokyo’s history.
The first floor exhibits facts about the tower, including the Sumidagawa Digital Picture Scroll, a 45-meter-long wall display that introduces the many towers TOKYO SKYTREE has surpassed. The Tembo Shuttle elevator from the 4th floor will take you through most of the tower’s impressive structure and up to the 350th floor, the uppermost level of the Tembo Deck. It houses the Edo Hitomezu Byobu, a special panorama screen that showcases how the capital has changed over the years. On floor 445, the Tembo Galleria will lead you to a passageway to the topmost observation deck, known as the Sorakara Point which also offers panoramic views of Tokyo.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum chronicles the capital’s 400-year history, starting from when it was still called Edo and acted as the political center of Japan. Modeled after a raised-floor-style warehouse used in the old days, its vast permanent exhibition covers everything that happened in Japan from the time a shogun (military commander) was still in charge up until after the World War II.
The museum is split into two areas: the Edo Zone, which houses dioramas and miniatures from the Edo period; and the Tokyo Zone, which details the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, beginning with the Meiji Restoration in 1868. These areas are split by a full-scale model of the northern half of the Nihonbashi Bridge. The actual bridge stands to this day and can be found in Chuo, though it has since been reconstructed into a stone bridge from the original Japanese cypress wood.
Read more: Edo-Tokyo Museum in Tokyo
Tokyo City is a primary station of the New Golden Route via Hokuriku Shinkansen, which lets you travel from the capital city to the many wonderful prefectures of the Hokuriku region with the Hokuriku Arch Pass.
Also read: All About the Hokuriku Arch Pass
Official Tokyo Guide website: www.gotokyo.org/en/
Written by Andronico Del Rosario
Supported by GCP
This first appeared in Philippine Primer English magazine’s Vol. 33 – December issue.