What to see in Tokyo
Tokyo is the industrial capital and the heart of Japan. Those who value industrial culture should start their trip around the city from its main shopping street Ginza, where most important and expensive shops and restaurants are located. The street was founded by the English architects during the city renovation after the fire of 1872.
However, if you still want to feel the Eastern soul, start with Asakus district, which saved the unique aroma of ancient Japan. Although in past times it was famous for its indulgence houses and was thought to be one of the most bawdy places.
So what is there to see in Tokyo? Imperial Palace is located in the central part of the Japanese capital on the Edo Castle territory. It was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa dynasty shogun that took up his residence here. Further Tokugawa shoguns decided to enlarge and fortify the castle and starting from 1637 it became one of the largest castles in Japan. Till 1868, the official residence of Japanese monarchs was situated in Kyoto. But as Meidzi dynasty was restored in 1868, the shoguns reign collapsed and the Japanese capital was moved to Tokyo. Since then, Edo Castle became the new imperial residence. It is here, among the picturesque Higashi and Kitanomaru parks, behind the castle ditches and walls, that the Imperial Palace is located. The erections as well as the castles stonewalls were named the national heritage in 1963 and since then, they are highly protected by the government. The modern palace complex was built in 1964 to 1986 on the place where the previous palace was located (it burnt during one of the American bombings in 1945).
Tokyo Tower (which is 333 meters high) and the modern skyscraper Three Towers complex are also among the citys main attractions.
One of the most popular and most visited Shinto sanctuaries, Meidzi, is also found in Tokyo. This relic was dedicated to the Meidzi emperor, who, together with his wife, was considered to be the one who made Japan open to the world (no one was let in to the country before that). Built in 1920 after their death, the sanctuary was destroyed during the Second World War and was only reconstructed in 1958. Nowadays you can visit the inner sanctuary (Naihaiden), where the main temple is located, as well as the outer sanctuary (Gehaiden), opened in 1926. Homotsuden museum is also among the curious places that might attract you here. It was built in 1921 and keeps the Emperor and Empress personal photos and articles.
Senso-ji temple is the most honoured city temple, is located in the Asakusa district. Based in 628, its aim was to keep the golden statuette of a Buddhist mercy goddess, Kannon, which, according to a legend, was found by the two fishermen. The temple and the 5-storey pagoda were vastly reconstructed after the Second World War. However, it is still a greatly visited place. They even say that the big censer in front of the entrance can cure diseases. There are also lots of Shinto relics in this temple.
And, of course, Tokyo is famous for its museums that have no analogues all over the world. They are: the Kite Museum with more than 4 thousand objects on display, Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Metro museum as well as the museum of spectacles, museum of lighters, museum of bicycles and the museum of bags.
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