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Travel guide to Tokyo and Japan, with the pictures downloadable in large version for printouts, backgrounds and wallpapers.

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> Map of Japan

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Browse by city
information and pictures

> Tokyo - (30 albums)
> Kyoto - (4 albums)
> Osaka - (3 albums)
> Nikko
> Yokohama
> Narita
> Nara
> Sapporo
> Otaru
> Noboribetsu
> Kamakura
> Aomori

Famous places
well known areas...

> in Tokyo
> Shibuya
> Shinjuku
> Harajuku
> Ginza
> Aoyama
> Tokyo Tower
> Asakusa
> Akihabara
> Ueno
> Ebisu
> ... and more.

> in Kyoto
> Kyoto, Higashiyama
> Arashiyama
> ... and more.

Photo: Shibuya Foodshow court. Giving it a deep thought and choosing the right kind of pastry is a national pastime.

Popular Themes
Japanese Pictures of...

> Japanese Fashion
> Japanese People
> Japanese Garden

The Shinkansen and the Japan train system

Japanese Architecture
Buddhist Temple, Shinto Shrine

Featured Travel Guide articles:

Japan Guide

Tokyo guide


Suggested Itinerary
photo guide by weeks

Week 1 - Tokyo
Week 2 - Tokyo,Kanto
Week 3 - Nikko
Week 4 - Tokyo
Week 5 - Kyoto
Week 6 - Osaka,Nara
Week 7 - Tokyo,Kanto
Week 8 - Hokkaido

Or click here for more detailed info on the tours.



/ back to the index of the
Tokyo Travel Guide

Tokyo - as we see it
a place where you won't feel lost even if you don't know your way
Photo:  Shinjuku Dori, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Shinjuku Dori
in downtown, Tokyo
There is probably no way a couple of sentences could describe the city. An ultramodern cosmopolitan metropolis with a history on its own, and over ten million people simultaneously altering its present, the capital of Japan, an economic and cultural juggernaut. One of the most notable places on the face of the earth that everyone knows something about. It has as many sides to it as many faces you see on the streets, you simply have to experience Tokyo to have a vague idea on what it should mean to you. With some attitude into it, find your own way through the maze of interests and subcultures, and give up on the idea of consuming it in its entirety, otherwise you'll end up being consumed by it instead.

Photo:  Asakusa, Senso-Ji Buddhist Temple, the Hozo-mon gate
The Hozo-mon gate
in Asakusa, Tokyo

As every modern city, its an ocean of opportunities for both locals and visitors, an ideal place to amuse yourself as a tourist for weeks, or to find a lifestyle of your own pace for months or years. There's plenty of historic sights both hyped up and hidden in the shadows of major attractions, and a lot of activities you could participate in from world debut of new technology, conventions of nearly all kinds from anime through cars, fashion, sports to health, and festivals for all seasons. You'll probably need to offer something in exchange of course, but as opposed to the common misrepresentation of Tokyo being overly expensive, it's not necessarily money, but your own effort to give it your best catching up with yourself and to find what you were looking for. For more information on Tokyo flip through the rest of the articles in the travel guide. Reading them while browsing the photos might be entertaining as well. Not to mention that both are much more informative if used together...

Photo: City view on Nishi Shinjuku, Tokyo
City view
in Shinjuku, Tokyo
Even with this much basic, miscellaneous and practical information thrown in, we can't possibly take on the task to introduce every detail of the city. But with these albums - and our own take on what a travel guide could be - we hoping that the site could be used as... some extensive visual tour through famous and/or typical scenes of featured districts, with mildly serious practical narration, and lots of photos on the locations. But even with this many images the albums can't be a representation of the entire city, probably no collection would be, nonetheless they will provide you with a fair amount of the many atmospheres to find your way around. Otherwise for those who are interested, for the few districts not shown and more in-depth textual information on those that are featured, there are some much more detailed travel guides available. Such books will do a great job on providing tips on travel planning, information on accommodation, the history of the sights and the
Photo:  Harajuku cosplayer girls at the Jingu Bashi, Tokyo
Cosplay girls
Jingubashi, Tokyo

background of each district. We'd recommend the Japan guidebook published by Lonely Planet for its wide variety of authors and constant updates with each edition, or from the same source a separate compilation is available on Tokyo itself.

The site features a list of interesting locations in Tokyo with the least possible compromises towards our own preferences ( sorry ). Many of them might ring a bell for people with some knowledge of history or an eye out for Japanese entertainment, all of them are well known town centers with a unique style... well basically cities within the city. If it's not much to ask, for your own benefit do take your time to browse through those short descriptions on the Tokyo Pictures Page, in which we tried to convey some of the atmosphere of the different areas, and in case you still have no idea where to start... you could still follow through the Tokyo Scenes album series. Which is a heavily biased but quite practical way to familiarize yourself with a certain kind of Tokyo, for there are many, and follow up on the districts either on this site, in a separate publication... or even in real life. Well that's what we're hoping to get you into anyway.

For the casual visitors though, we feel that at least a minor warning should be sent out. Japan is not the Japan you ( and especially those not familiar with at least its pop culture ) think it is.
Photo: Takeshita Dori, shopping for fashion in Harajuku, Tokyo
Takeshita dori fashion
in Harajuku, Tokyo
Tokyo is the best example on how different the overseas image and the actual country is. If you're after the standard (mis)representation of a probably never existed legendary place with an almost too strange to be believable attitude towards pride, women, work, honor, sitting still, dragging traditions and views of life... forget it right now. Japan is actually a place were the inhabitants are people, meaning they - apart from a different history and minor differences in buildup - are actually after the same things as everyone else on the face of earth. The ways Japanese pursue their happiness might be a little different from other places, but if you didn't know the country at all... you'll find that the the modern Japan is much more closer to a hyper version of Europe or East-Coast US, than you'd think. If you look further into understanding the people even the differences will be but entertaining new aspects of the same goals. Don't get this wrong, history and religion haven't disappeared, only that they were never what they seemed from afar, and all ages are still in love with the thousands of years of great traditions, festivals and legends ( but you see... legends are what they are called... legends ) and even among these only the good and fun ones are kept in practice... brooding over things and dragging an overdue view on something isn't a social habit in Japan.
Photo: Hachiko crossing view in Shibuya, Tokyo
Hachiko crossing
in Shibuya, Tokyo

How it all has come to this... well... must have been that few decades of nightmare during the last century. And the few decades of waking up and having need to restart from nothing. Exaggeration of the differences in the most ignorant time of history have lead to an... otherwise quite interesting phenomenon... that the real Japan is in fact everything but what it is famous for. It's modern as in willing to change its ways, people oriented, caring and selfish as anyone, peace loving yet loud and overdosed with energy, an entire society getting high on exploring new ways in everything, let it be entertainment, technology, philosophy, religion or politics. The overall trend in the last hundred and fifty years seems to be... if you want to be happy and need to change, adapt, adopt or learn... do it. Don't whine, just do it right now. So... expect this if you were after the geishas, the samurai or afraid of a salary-man society. Not everyone in the US is a cowboy, neither are all Canadians chopping trees right ? Sorry for the analogy ( sorry!! ) but... it felt so awkward having to explain this to even the most open minded travelers over and over again... this is the actual reality... Japan, and Tokyo is not calm... but cool - ^.^

Japan Guide

- Japan Visa, border entry, what to bring and be prepared with
- Japanese maps, Navi mobile navigation, easy orientation for travelers
- Convenience stores, the resupply stations that sell everything
- Japanese Vending machines, for drinks, tickets, cigarettes and more
- Japanese Food, and all kinds of food in Japan, restaurants, fast food, cheap food...

Tokyo guide

- Tokyo - as we see it - introduction
- Budget Tokyo apartment rental, accommodation, let go of the concern
- Tokyo Prices, the real cost vs. western legends, how to make most of your budget
- Cheap Tokyo Stores, bargain tips, where to find what, fashion to electronics
- Tokyo Cafe life, a guide to Cafes serving as meeting points, hangouts and life-savers
- Tokyo Parks and Gardens, well maintained icons of tranquility, tradition or having fun
- The Tokyo crowd... escaping from Tokyo to Tokyo, evading downtown rushhours

Photo: Hachiko crossing view in Shibuya, Tokyo
Tokyo Scenes 3
Ultramodern, people oriented city, the young and energetic face of Tokyo

Well, the site may be a little too excessive especially on the issue of Tokyo, but here are some of the most essential photo albums...
Just Click
on any thumbnail to see the pictures of either district or theme

On the picture: Shinjuku, in between the station and Kabukicho
Tokyo Scenes 2
Images on the real downtowns of the city, centers for and of all ages

Photo:  Asakusa, Senso-Ji Buddhist Temple, the Hozo-mon gate
Tokyo Scenes 1
A tour around some of the most famous historic sights in Tokyo

Tokyo Scenes 5
A closer look at some of the most unique and atmospheric districts

Tokyo Scenes 6
Finding the right place... whichever it is... from Shimokita to Koenji

Tokyo Scenes 4
Famous town centers in Tokyo, both historic and modern

Tokyo Scenes 7
A quick tour on the harmony of 21st century architecture and everyday life

See a list of all photo albums on Tokyo


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