see + do
Tokyo see + do
Tokyo is so sprawling, so huge in its dimensions, so confusing in its maze of subway lines that it's difficult to pinpoint exactly where the city begins and ends, let alone where to begin a day's exploration. Most visitors tend to spend the bulk of their time in the central commercial neighborhoods, such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, Aoyama-Omotesando, and Roppongi. The real pleasure in Tokyo, though, is not so much in the specific sights (among them the Tokyo Sky Tree, due to be the tallest tower in the world when it officially opens in 2012), but in wandering the urban landscape itself, with its clash of the traditional and modern—discovering hidden enclaves that seem forgotten by time, eating at tiny noodle shops and drinking in cubbyhole bars, shopping for one-offs at quirky boutiques, and paying tribute to Tokyo's ancient cultural roots at its many museums and Buddhist temples. Don't hesitate to take a subway or commuter train out to the residential neighborhoods and explore. A one- or two-stop ride away from Shinjuku or Shibuya stations (both commuter-rail terminals) on any line is worth the trip. Many expatriates live on the charming, hilly streets of Yoyogi near the park of the same name. In Shimokitazawa, the narrow lanes near the station are jammed with funky shops and eateries and crowds of young people. The free weekly magazine Metropolis is a good English-language resource for art, music, cinema, and nightlife listings.