Tokyo may be the greatest city on the planet. The metropolitan area alone spans roughly 1808km2, hosting an estimated 37 million residents making it the most densely populated city in the world. Only from one of the few centralized vantage points can one even attempt to understand the scale of the city. From Tokyo Tower, visitors can see Tokyo’s structures reach the horizon line in all directions.
Despite its density, a visit to Tokyo reveals its inherent livability. A rapidly increasing population forced intelligent city planning and an array of architecture that deserves to be seen up close. Each neighborhood reveals a different piece of Tokyo’s complex history.
The architecture itself helps to illustrate the anomaly that is Japanese culture; heavily rooted in tradition, simultaneously swept by technology and innovation. Neighborhoods transcend from the more traditional wooden sukiya-zukuri style to contemporary dwellings made of galvanized steel and concrete.
My advice: buy a Pasmo pass (transit card) and bring your best walking shoes. With more than 47 major neighborhoods to explore, you really never know what you’ll find in Tokyo. But, with so many hidden gems and spectacles to be seen, you won’t want to miss anything, so you’d better get started