JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 1 Japan
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Tokyo

The ultimate metropolis, Tokyo has reinvented itself as one of the world's most exciting and energizing cities. It is a marvellous mix of modern living and old-fashioned manners. It is terribly crowded, yet can be strangely quiet. It is home to understated contemporary designs and outlandish cartoonish creations, and you often find them right next to each other on the sidewalk. Tucked in amongst the cutting edge creations are old temples, shrines and stone lanterns – traces of old Japan which still run strong in 21st-century veins. That's the beauty of this extraordinary city, along with its fabulous food and unparalleled mass transit system. From hole-in-the-wall noodle shops to swanky flagship stores, Tokyo has something to suit every taste and palette. If your eyes ever tire of the neon, there is always a serene garden or temple ground to find. 

There are many other distinctive area to explore, from the centre of Manga culture in Akihabara to the neon-lit nightlife of Shibuya and boutique shops of trendy Daikanyama. For shopping, walk down Omotesando near Shinjuku and marvel at the dazzling flagship stores by the world’s most acclaimed architects, or explore the Ginza area just south of Tokyo station. Ginza also has the most upmarket and Michelin-starred restaurants, while Ebisu and Shinjuku are both very popular dining spots. There are numerous easy day trips to places such as historical Nikko and the coastal Edo-period capital of Kamakura along with Enoshima island, and all bullet train tracks lead to Tokyo.

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When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
Susan Heller