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Located in the east of the city, Tokyo Station handles a vast array of commuter trains running north, south, east and west. All trains are color-coded to match the lines on which they run. Most lines run local, rapid and express trains. Tokyo Station is also the terminal for bullet trains running to all corners of the country. Tickets for these may be purchased at all major JR stations at the Midori Madoguchi (Green Window). It is best to make a seat reservation in advance. Moreover, the imperial red building also houses a plethora of shops, eateries and even a hotel within its premises, making it a premiere attraction.
Tokyo International Forum is an excellent venue for music, theater, dance performances, cinema and art exhibitions. It consists of four buildings, each with its own venue hall. Live performances are usually staged in Hall A and Hall B. The facilities are marvelous and include a variety of restaurants that cater to a wide range of culinary tastes. Concerts are also sometimes staged in the afternoon and evening.
The National Diet Building was built in 1936. It is about 65.5 meters (215 feet) high and takes up 103 square meters (1108.7 square feet) of space. There are two free tours available: the first one is offered by the House of Representatives (this tour is not offered on Saturdays, Sundays and a holidays) and the second one is offered by the House of Councilors. In these tours, you will see the lobby, conference hall and central hall of the National Diet Building. You don’t need to book in advance if you're going with less than nine people.
Gleaming in swathes of orange and white during the day, the Tokyo Tower rises from a sea of skyscrapers in its latticed glory, and soars above the city at 332 meters (1,092 feet). The tower, constructed in 1958, was inspired by the charming form of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and its architect, Tachū Naitō, instantly imbibed this design into his plans for the magnificent tower. A remarkable landmark in this thriving city, the Tokyo Tower hosts a variety of entertainment along its steep stretch. At 150 meters (490 feet), the Main Observatory hosts a viewing platform, while the special platform with incomparable views is located at 250 meters (820.21 feet). On a clear day, the views extend to as far as the lofty pinnacle of Mount Fuji. The Tokyo Tower, among other things, is a dazzling beacon symbolizing the city's success, and appears the most beautiful when illuminated in incandescent colors.
The vast Iwasaki estate that was founded in 1886 by the Iwasaki family is an important cultural asset, whose crown jewel is the Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens. It has a beautiful western style residence, a princely Japanese style house and extensive gardens. The craft of making ‘kinkarakawa paper'(gold leather work like paper) has almost disappeared. But if you visit the Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens, you will see this work on the garden's wall, adding further cultural significance to this landmark. The gardens are free to visit for Junior High school and Elementary school students living in Tokyo.
The elegant Akamon, a symbol of the University of Tokyo, is also an important national cultural treasure. Built to welcome Yasuhime, the daughter of the 13th generation Shogun Ienari, on her visit to the samurai Maeda Family in 1828, the gate got its name from its beautiful vermilion color, and its eaves still retain the Maeda Family crest. While you are on the grounds, pause to consider this century-old masterpiece.
Founded in 1926, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum displays a wide range of Japanese art forms in its six huge galleries. Apart from organizing exhibitions of traditional Japanese crafts, graphic design and calligraphy by contemporary Japanese artists, the museum also holds art lectures and workshops for upcoming enthusiasts. Admission prices vary as per the exhibition. For more details, check the website.
So named because of its colorful lights, Rainbow Bridge spans the bay from Shibaura Wharf to Odaiba, one of Tokyo's premier wining and dining areas. Comprising eight traffic lanes and two railways, the bridge also has a pedestrian walkway and observation towers. Inaugurated in 1993, the suspension bridge is 918 meters long with a distance of 570 meters between the two towers. Another way to see this spectacular bridge would be to travel over it on the Yurikamome monorail line departing from Shimbashi. Or you could take a cruise boat upriver from Hinode Pier to Asakusa.
Watching over the increasingly-cosmopolitan landscape of Sumida, Tokyo Sky Tree is one of the tallest of its kind in the whole of Japan. The tower is indeed a beacon of the city's contemporary bent and an amalgam of the country's traditional tastes and elements of Neo-futuristic architecture. Boasting a monumental scale of 634 meters (2080 feet), this lofty tower is home to many attractions including a restaurant, a cafe, an aquarium and a couple of observation decks that afford astounding views of the metropolitan cityscape beneath. Also doubling as a broadcasting tower, Tokyo Skytree prides itself on its glorious standing as one of the world's tallest towers. A sight of magnificence and luminescence at night, Tokyo Sky Tree is not only a dominating feature of Sumida's skyline but is also a majestic embodiment of the city's ever-evolving face.
Here is another businessman's collection (Kaichiro Nezu 1860-1940) which has become a first-rate museum. Well represented are traditional Japanese art works. The museum is well known for its 14th century painting of "Nachi Waterfall", its screens (the irises by Korin) and its tea ceremony ware. There is also an excellent collection of Song and Yuan Chinese dynasty paintings. The facility itself is breathtaking with plenty of trees, a small pond and traditional sculptures dotting the landscape. Overall, this museum is guaranteed to fill you with tranquility and awe.
Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum is home to the works of the great artist, Taro Okamoto. Magnificent sculptures and paintings fill the museum. This Museum was his house and atelier, where he created many famous artworks. Here you can also catch a glimpse of rare manuscripts, which also hosts variety of exhibitions. His strange artworks will stimulate your creativity. For a nominal price you can learn all about this visionary artist and truly learn the meaning of abstract art.
Located in Daiba and fronted by a life-sized model of a Gundam, the seven-floor Diver City Tokyo Plaza has all the leading fashion brands, such as Old Navy, Uniqlo, Lacoste, Adidas and Diesel. On the ground floor, there is a food court, and the sixth floor has more formal restaurants serving a variety of world foods. First-time visitors to Japan can take a peek in the maid café for a unique experience, or make reservations to explore Gundam Front Tokyo, a shop/exhibit dedicated to the Japanese animated TV series. More run-of-the-mill entertainment options include tennis and bowling. There is an exchange bureau, and duty free shopping is available at some stores. The restaurants stay open later than the boutiques.