Holiday Destinations #4: Tokyo
For many people, the major cities of the world can be broken down to four main ones – New York, London, Paris and Tokyo. These are the world’s great examples of the word “metropolis” and when you visit them you refer to them by name – not by saying “I went to America/England/France/Japan”. These are cities which to many define the country they are in, and to others transcend them.
Tokyo is a little different from the above three, with its attraction for many being not in its past but in its present – a futuristic present which makes many people feel like they have jumped forward in time. It is a city that is on the “to visit” list for most of the world’s technology junkies, as an industry of ideas and micro-technology make it a gadget paradise.
This is not to say that Tokyo is a bunch of bright lights and nothing else. In among the imposing futuristic landscape of the country there are plenty of examples of traditional Japan which are well worth visiting. It is a city of contrasts, with charming architecture in one spot, not far from the buzz and the flash of the city center.
Tokyo is different from the other three cities mentioned as well in that its chief influences are not European but Asian. Although there is some evidence of European influence upon the city, there is an undeniable sense that when you come to Tokyo, you are in a different world with different customs. And those customs have a real charm to them for someone who has only seen European life up until now.