The Imperial Palace
(formerly known as Edo Castle) is a huge attraction, but
it not open to the public but two days a year. The Imperial
Palace East Garden can be visited on specific days at
specific times, and the Music Room in the Palace is
open to the public in April and October, but requests for
tickets must be made in writing and in advance.
The Meiji Shrine,
built in 1920, was destroyed during the war and rebuilt.
Dedicated to Emperor Meiji, it is one of the most popular
Shinto places to worship. The Shrine is surrounded
by an Inner Garden of 180 acres (72 ha) which is
connected to the Outer Garden by an expressway.
Ueno Park is the
largest park in Tokyo and is located in the Ueno District.
The park is one of the most popular places to go in
inner-city Tokyo with its 208 acres (84 ha). The
park is home to an aquarium, zoo, a number of museums,
temples and shrines. The Tokyo National Museum is
the largest museum in Japan. There are twenty-five
exhibition galleries in the main building, with twenty of
them open to the public. The museum is filled with
treasures from the Asuka period to the present and vary
from Buddhist sculptures, Japanese/Korean/Chinese ceramics
and pottery to colored xylographs and lacquerwork.
The Zoo in Ueno Park opened in 1882 thus making it
the oldest zoological garden in Japan. Divided into
two sections, the Zoo is connected by a monorail.
Designed by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier, the National
Museum of Western Art was built in 1959 to house
Western sculpture and paintings. Impressionist
paintings by Cézanne, Monet, Manet and Degas can be
found. Most of the items found in the museum were
collected by Matsukata Kojiro during his stay in Europe at
the beginning of the last century. Other attractions
in the park include the Gallery of Far Eastern Art,
the Japanese Academy of Art, the Municipal Art
Gallery, the National History Museum, Kuroda
Hall, an Aquarium - one of the largest in Asia,
and the National Science Museum.
Located in the western
portion of Tokyo, Shinjuku is a trendy and popular
nightspot with jazz cellars, cafés and other hotspots. It
also has the second largest shopping center in Tokyo with
an underground mall and department stores. Shinjuku
Gyoen National Garden is a fine example of Japanese
garden design and covers about 145 acres (58.5 ha).
The park is also a botanical garden and can be divided
into two main sections, Japanese and European. The
Japanese section has influences from China, while the
European section is influenced by the landscaped English
garden and French parks. Depending on when you go
either cherry blossoms (April) or chrysanthemums
(November) may be in bloom.
The most famous shopping
district in Tokyo is Ginza. This area is
famous even around the world for all the exclusive shops
and at night all the bright lights. Also in Ginza is
the Kabukiza Theater in the midst of all the
shopping strips, in which there are performances of
Kanda is a district
that is famous for its bookshops, and with over 100
secondhand shops Kanda is one of the largest bookshop
districts in the world.
The oldest garden in Tokyo
and one of the most beautiful is Korakuen Park.
The park covers 18 acres (7 ha) and includes a lake (added
at a later time), the Kantokutei teahouse (a
smaller replica), and the Korakuen Games and Sports
Center where there is skating, table tennis and other
Several foreign embassies are
located in the Roppongi quarter, which is also
where most of Tokyo's night life occurs. A variety
of entertainment can be found here from "hostess
bars" to night-clubs.
Located about 9 miles
southeast of Tokyo, the Tokyo Disneyland theme park
has been in operation since 1983. Covering an area
of about 114 acres (46 ha) the park is modeled after its
American counterpart but with a Japanese history theme as
well. The "World Bazaar" is in the main
central area and other areas include Adventureland,
Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are the other
aspects of Tokyo Disneyland.
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