Tokyo, the capital of a thousand contrasts

In only a few centuries, Edo, a small fishing village in the 15th century, became the world's most populated megalopolis with over 37 million inhabitants, larger than both New York and Mexico City.
Tokyo has an area of more than 2000 km². The octopus-like city has many contrasts between tradition and modernity: futuristic skyscrapers rub shoulders with Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines, in Shibuya, cosplayers cross paths with Japanese women dressed in traditional kimonos and huge malls compete with traditional Japanese handcrafts. Both sides of the city live in natural, peaceful cohabitation. Despite obvious westernisation, Tokyo maintains an organisation and spirit that is typically Japanese. The visitor will find everything that he/she is looking for and even more in this city that is not afraid of contradictions. It is so vast, plan on at least one week to discover Tokyo and its unusual, unforgettable sites.

Discover traditional Japan

From the outside Tokyo can seem like a very futuristic city where all traces of the past have been replaced by buildings and electronic shops. However, the Japanese capital has a large number of historical or typically traditional Japanese places, far from the image of being an eastern megalopolis. For proof, the numerous temples and sanctuaries throughout the city.

A typical day to discover the old side of Tokyo:
Begin your visit very early in the morning at the traditional fish market in the Tsukiji area in Chuo.
Continue to the Asakusa neighbourhood with its ryokan, traditional inns, stands and theatres. The neighbourhood reminds us of the old city of Edo. Don't forget to visit the Senso-ji, the largest and oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo.
Walk through Koishikawa Korakuen in the same-name neighbourhood. It is one of Tokyo's most beautiful gardens.
Next, discover the imperial palace and its gardens, in the heart of the city as well as the trendy Ginza district, and the Kabuki-za theatre, the most famous kabuki theatre in Tokyo.
At the end of the day, go to the artificial island of Obaiba over the Rainbow Bridge. You will have a wide open view of Tokyo Bay from the beach.

Tokyo, a city that lives at 300 km/h

Techies and gadget-lovers of all types won't know where start in Tokyo. Some neighbourhoods, such as Shibuya, Harajuku and Roppongi are famous for being trendy areas. Impressive buildings, game rooms, J-pop and Kawai youth have invaded the streets. Welcome to the frenetic pace of Tokyoites. You will find fashion and trendy designer shops as well as new concept stores. You can also try one of the famous karaoke houses, a favourite activity for Japanese youth.
Tokyo's buildings are sometimes eccentric, such as the famous Asahi Sky Room, dominated by a flame and designed by Philippe Stark.
As for museums, don't miss the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation on Tokyo Bay and the Nezu Museum that has collections of Japanese art objects from private collections.

Before leaving for Tokyo

Air France offers several daily flights London-Paris-Tokyo. You may reserve online and even check-in online on our website. The flight lasts between 11:30 and 13:20 between Paris and Tokyo, depending on which way you are flying. UK citizens do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days or less. If you plan to stay longer, contact the Japanese embassy or consulate.
No specific vaccinations are required for travel to Tokyo.

For more information about Tokyo