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Tokyo is an amazing new world, where you should be prepared for difficulties and surprises. Nothing here is like what you've got used to in your life.
Tokyo is filled with an addiction to anime, stylish people, cyberpunk, a commitment to tradition, delicious food and a special attitude to the world. Probably you will not be able to understand the Japanese through Tokyo. But you can definitely get the most unusual impressions here at every step.
Tokyo has two airports: Haneda and Narita. Almost all international flights land in Narita. At the same time, both airports are thought-out, comfortable for travelers and Japanese-tech. However, most tourists will see only Narita Airport.
Although this is essentially the main airport of the city, it is located quite far from the center — it will take 75 km to drive, and this is an hour's drive under good conditions. The airport consists of two large terminals, between which there are buses and a train. In Terminal 1, you can find the largest duty-free zone in the whole Japan and a great deal.
Taxis are an option for a comfortable trip with luggage, but for an immodest amount of about $ 200. Price can vary greatly depending on destination, weather and traffic.
Bus is a relatively low-cost option for traveling from the airport to the center. Depending on the level of comfort of the bus, such a trip will cost from 10 to 30 dollars. The travel time is 1.5 hours or more if you get stuck in traffic.
The train is definitely the fastest way to get to Tokyo. Moreover, there are even a few trains. They differ in speed and price. Narita Express goes to the main metro stations in Tokyo. A one-way ticket will cost $ 30, and back and forth you can buy for only $ 38. Travel time is one hour. The express train is covered by the JR Pass, which allows you to travel on the JR subway line, some Japanese trains and JR buses in Tokyo. It costs $ 270 for 7 days and can help you save a lot if you plan to move around the city actively. Another train of the JR Sobu Line is also covered by a travel card, and a separate ticket costs only $ 12. Travel time is 1.5 hours. It only goes to the central stations of Tokyo and Yokohama.
Haneda Airport is used for internal flights. Also, flights from Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong arrive here, and recently several more flights from the USA have been added. At the same time, Haneda is on third place in terms of congestion throughout Asia and fifth in the world.
The airport is located much closer to the city. Therefore, both time and prices are much more pleasant. A taxi will cost $ 100, a bus — about $ 10. The trip will take about 40 minutes depending on the destination. The train is even faster, but you will have to change metro lines on the way. At the same time, the branches belong to different companies, so you won’t be able to use the pass. You can get to JR Yamanote Line, which runs around the center of Tokyo, from Haneda in two ways: by Keikyu Line train to Shinagawa Station for $ 4, or Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsouto Station for $ 4.5. At transfer points, you need to take the JR Yamanote Line and get to any of the central stations for $ 2. The whole trip by any method will take about 30 minutes.
Tokyo is the real city of the future. All the strangest things you saw on TV about Japan are concentrated here. Toilets will talk to you in hotels, surprisingly dressed people will meet you in the streets, thousands of strange mascots and anime characters will look at you from stores, and real robots will serve food in restaurants.
Do not forget about the Japanese commitment to tradition at the same time. There is still room for historic buildings, national costumes and dining rituals. How does it all get along together? Nobody knows...
Sumo is Japan's national sport. This is one of the most unusual entertainment that can be found in Tokyo. There are many training centers for sumo wrestlers in Tokyo. Most of them are located in the Ryogoku area. If you arrive there in the morning, you can look at the training of real sumo wrestlers. And if you really want to feel like a sumoist, for a fee you can join them during training.
Cat-cafe fashion has spread all over the world a couple of years ago. They probably will not surprise a tourist. But Tokyo went a lot further. Nowadays, cafes with owls have become especially popular. These birds can rarely be seen live, and in Tokyo cafes you can not only watch them closely, but also touch them. If you don’t really like the prospect of talking to owls, go to the cafe with hedgehogs. These are probably some of the cutest creatures on the planet. And they are also very friendly in Tokyo. In addition, Tokyo has a cafe with rabbits, parrots and even penguins. In general, all animal lovers will find a place here to their liking.
When talking about food, Tokyo is not different from Japan as a whole. You definitely need to try here real Japanese ramen, order the right cooked tempura and certainly learn how to actually eat sushi and rolls.
But in Tokyo you can also find very special dishes that can not be found anywhere else. For example, Abura Soba noodles, which literally translates as “buttery noodles,” are served only here. By the way, many Japanese cities have their own unique kind of noodles, which can't be tasted anywhere else.
Tokyo also makes special buns. Bread came to Japan relatively recently — 150 years ago. But the Japanese reacted to it responsibly as usual: they learned how to bake ideal bread. Therefore, the usual, at first glance, buns with fillings can actually surprise your taste buds.
One more dish, unique in a sense, is omouraisu. This is rice wrapped in an omelet. It would seem that there is nothing surprising? But in Tokyo there are restaurants in which real art has been made from Omuraisu. You are unlikely to be able to try such an airy and tasteful omelette elsewhere.