10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT TOKYO WONDERLAND BEFORE OLYMPICS/PARALYMPICS 2020!

TOKYO THE WONDERLAND, the capital of Japan is a fascinating city! Ever since I have set my eyes on international travels, Japan has fascinated me as a destination. From what I have read on Japan, the quirks, the food, the advanced technology and the constant narrative of modernity blending seamlessly with tradition appeals to me the most. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government promotes Tokyo as ‘“a place that promises all kinds of fun by constantly generating new styles while bringing tradition and innovation together.”

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Aerial view of Skytree, Tokyo, Japan.

 

HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD DISCOVER TOKYO WONDERLAND BEFORE THE WORLD RE DISCOVERS IT IN OLYMPICS/PARALYMPICS 2020

  • EXCELLENT DINING IN TOKYO: Being a vegetarian, I was delighted to know that one can find many varieties of vegan food in Japan. I am keen to try Soba, buckwheat noodles (served with hot soup or cold with dipping sauce), Tempura (Much like Indian Pakoras but with a Japanese twist), Vegetarian sushi (Order Vegetarian Sushi in Delhi and Gurgaon here) and Ramen, Izakaya (Home style cooking available in Taverns). And who wouldn’t want to try Bar Hopping at traditional Nomiya gai, the drinking streets in Japan?
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I saw live Tezuma performance by Taiju Fujiyama at Le Meridien, New Delhi
  • UNIQUE CULTURE OF TOKYO: Heard of Kosupure? The chances are high that you will bump into a local dressed up as fictional character, especially from science fiction, fantasy or anime. The sumo wrestlers, Geishas and Kabuki dance drama theatres from past still fascinates people from across the globe. Not to be missed is the Tezuma Tezuma is a traditional Japanese magic art form. It is appointed as a Japanese intangible cultural property in 1997. I was fortunate to catch live performance by Taiju Fujiyama, a young and famous magician at the Tokyo Wonderland seminar at Le Meridien, New Delhi. I can’t wait to have an immersive cultural experience in Japan.
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Eidabashi Suijob, Tokyo, Japan
  • EXCITING SHOPPING IN TOKYO: Nakamise Shopping Street is lined with 90 stores from the Edo Era. Kappabashi Dogugai Street, with a history of over 100 years sells Japanese, Western and Chinese Tableware, Raw food ingredients, food samples, kitchenwares, the works! Denbouin Street is great for picking souvenirs such as Japanese accessories, sweet amanatto beans, crafts, chopsticks, food etc. Don’t miss the statue of a famous thief on the roof of a garment shop, the eight faces of Edo drawn on the shutters and the colorful roof tiles. I am a non shopper, but I think Tokyo will convert me into one.
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The natural splendours of Okutama, Tokyo, Japan
  • DELIGHTFUL STAY OPTIONS IN TOKYO: As per 2015 records Tokyo has 675 hotels (98,644 rooms), 1194 Japanese style inns (45,204 rooms) Hostel bed starts at 2000 yen. Approximate Charges for rooms are (Twin Bed rooms): Economy hotel (7,000 yen), First Class Hotel (30,000 yen), Luxury Hotel (40,000 yen). Oh, and did you just ask me the price of a capsule hotel and a love hotel?
  • COMFORTABLE NATURE IN TOKYO: Who has not heard of the cherry blossom flowers that blanket Japan in during spring season? During the autumn, the brilliant colors of leaves lend a different took to the city. Tokyo has numerous manicured gardens where you can savour the bounty of nature. Why just hear those stories, why not go and experience it yourself?
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I saw live Tezuma performance by Taiju Fujiyama at Le Meridien, New Delhi.
  • EASY TRANSPORT IN TOKYO: The 20 railroad lines and 13 subway lines (fares start at 170 yen) run from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. and are dependable. 49,447 taxis ply on Tokyo’s road. Chargeable IC Cards, Suica and Pasmo are used for JR (Japan Railways), subways and buses in Tokyo.
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Marunouchi Ilumination, Tokyo, Japan
  • MUSEUM & ART GALLERIES IN TOKYO: With so much of rich history, Tokyo has many museums as well as art galleries. Being a numismatics enthusiast, Bank of Japan Currency Museum fascinates me.
  • QUIRKS OF JAPAN: Japan is full of quirks, be it the scandalous toilets of Japan or the frightening thought of entering a public onsen sauna naked. There are vending machines everywhere in Tokyo and so are cute mascots. Throw in capsule hotels and a never before experience is guaranteed. Do you have it in you to handle the quirks of Japan?
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Jyanoyu Onsen, Tokyo, Japan.
  • SIGHT SEEING IN TOKYO: There is a lot you can see in Tokyo. The peaceful Asakusa belies its violent past. The Sensoji Temple, built in 628 (Oldest Temple in Tokyo) is one of the most famous landmarks of Tokyo. The night view from Tokyo Skytree at 450 metres high Tembo Galleria, I am told is breath taking. A stroll through Yanesen transports your soul to a bygone era. When visiting the Shibuya scramble, don’t forget to check out the statue of the famous loyal dog
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Koishikawa, Tokyo, Japan
  • SIGHTSEEING IN PERFECTURES NEAR TOKYO: There is a lot you can explore around Tokyo. My most desired excursion from Tokyo is of course Mount Fuji (160 minutes from Tokyo). It is a childhood dream to see the sacred mountain of Japan for myself. Declared a World Cultural Heritage Site, a visit here is a must. Kamakura (60 minutes from Tokyo; history and culture), Nikko (90 minutes from Tokyo, famous for World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu Shrine), Kawagoe (50 minutes from Tokyo, history), Chiba and Saitama are some of the best places to visit near Tokyo.
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Asakusa Nomiya Gai, Tokyo, Japan

I was amongst the lucky few who attended the first ever Tokyo Wonderland media seminar at Le Meridien, New Delhi, India. With all eyes set on Olympics/Paralympics 2020 to be held in Tokyo, Japan, the world is curious to learn more about Tokyo. The discerning Indian tourists are also looking beyond the clichéd destinations they are generally used to and are choosing Japan as an offbeat destination. The seminar was in fact aimed at promoting tourism to Tokyo to Indian travelers. I was fascinated by the video footage of Indians living and working in Tokyo, some for as long as 11 years. Thanks to the relaxation of short term visa requirements, more than 1,00,000 Indians visited Japan in 2015.

Mr. Ken Katayama, Deputy DG, Bureau of Industrial and Labour Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government addressed the media in Japanese (which we understood thanks to live translation via an earphone). He maintained that India and Japan has always had a friendly bond and it makes sense to increase the Indian footfall on Japanese soil.

The 5 themes promoted at Tokyo Wonderland event are: 1) Comfortable Nature 2) Excellent Dining 3) Unique Culture 4) Delightful Stay and 5) Exciting Shopping

Out of these Comfortable nature, Excellent dining (I hope to find vegetarian Japanese) and Unique Cultures the most. And though I am a strict non shopper, somehow shopping in Japan appeals to me. Perhaps because the things you can buy in Japan are available exclusively in Japan.

Ms. Rewati Chetri, a finalist in Femina Miss India 2015 spoke animatedly about her visit to Japan, especially Tokyo. She is representing India at the Miss International 2016 to be held in Tokyo, Japan and couldn’t help but gush at all the sensory delights of Tokyo as she regaled the audience with her stories from Tokyo. Joining her in conversation was Mr. Akito Tadokoro, director (Marketing & Promotion Tourist Promotion Department (Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau). His subtle sense of humor made his stories from Tokyo even more interesting.

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Mr. Ken Katayama, Ms. Rewati Chetri and Mr. Masahiko Sakamoto at Tokyo Wonderland seminar, Le Meridien, New Delhi

Masahiko Sakamoto, Senior Director Tourism Division (Bureau of Industrial and Labour Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government) stated that keeping in mind the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and increasing footfalls from foreign countries including India, the government is building multi lingual information desks at different places in Tokyo to tackle the language barrier.

With so much to eat/see/do in just one city, I can’t wait to be in Tokyo and tell you about my own experience there.

THE VIEW FROM MY SOUL WINDOW IS WONDERFUL!

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Note: All the pictures used here are by Tokyo Wonderland

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Asakusa Sensoji Shrine, Tokyo, Japan

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18 thoughts on “10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT TOKYO WONDERLAND BEFORE OLYMPICS/PARALYMPICS 2020!

  1. Really incredible photos! So many beautiful places and things! I was particularly delighted to read about the food. I’m vegan and always kind of thought it would be hard to be vegan there. I’ve had so many friends go and they all loved it but they all said the language can be a bit of a barrier so I was worried about communicating before eating but that makes me a little more excited.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never been to Japan before because the prices are a bit higher for my travel budget. But I do want to go there and explore this beautiful country. Your photos capture Japan beautifully! I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tokyo is one of our absolute favorite places in the world. It is completely underrated and I can’t believe how few people are aware of how incredible it is. You have done a great job of showing the attraction of this amazing place and what it has to offer for all travellers!

    Like

  4. There are many reasons to visit Tokyo… apart from these ones personally I’d like to visit it due to ts rich pop culture. A good dose of Manga and Japanese movies is what I seek…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great list! And, you’ve listed so many things that there is something for everyone. I’d prefer the quieter things like the nature spots, museums, saunas and sampling local foods. I love buckwheat noodles! Would like to see how they prepare dishes with them in Japan.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tokyo and Japan is definitely full of quirks and I would love to visit one day. Always wanted to stay in a capsule hotel and hopefully I will stay one day. I am glad that there are vegetarian options for people like us. Definitely should visit before 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This post makes me miss Japan so much! And oh, Tokyo! I so love this city. I agree with you that travelers should experience some quirkiness in Japan, especially the onsen! A funny but interesting way to bond with your host family or Japanese friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am travelling to Japan this summers and this is a great insight into what I can do there. The best thing is that the article is so well done that I didn’t realise that you hadn’t been to Tokyo but just attended a conference in Delhi.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tokyo has 23 wards and I’m sure it has something to offer for everyone from cafes to quirky shops and galleries. I’m looking forward to visiting the quirky Shimokitazawa neighborhood! I’ll be adding this post to my growing number of Japan travel guide references. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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