Zoorasia is not only one of Japan's largest zoos, but it is also the most child-friendly zoo in the country. It covers an area of about 53 hectares and holds more than 1,500 animals of over 150 species; everything from elephants to alligators, and tropical birds to piranhas. The beauty of this zoo is that the animals are housed in environments that are as close as possible to that which they inhabit in the wild. Even the vegetation and terrain are as natural as possible.
Chinatown or Chukagai in Japanese, is a fun place for dining, shopping or just walking around. Chinese people started settling in Yokohama in the mid-1800s when Japan opened its doors to international trade. Since then Yokohama's Chinatown has blossomed into the country's largest Chinese community. The area comprises one major street, dozens of cross-streets and alleys, and is home to over 100 restaurants, most serving Cantonese cuisine. There are also many colorful and exotic shops overflowing with Chinese goods, books, souvenirs and even Chinese medicines.
As the premier jazz venue in Tokyo, the Blue Note is the place to hear some of the world's greatest jazz musicians. Tied in with other clubs in such cities as New York and Milan, Blue Note is able to attract such names as Natalie Cole, Oscar Peterson and Taj Mahal. Arrive early for dinner and enjoy a wide ranging menu offering everything from steaks to seafood. Check the website for concert information. This is a must-visit for jazz lovers while in Tokyo.
The Tokyo National Museum displays sculptures, paintings, calligraphy, archaeological objects, and other decorative arts. Broadly divided into Japanese, Chinese and Korean forms, the museum's collections are nothing if not an artistic preservation of Asian history and culture. Exhibitions, lectures and gallery talks are held regularly, so visitors can gain access to some valuable information about the world's largest continent. The museum also stores historical documents dating back to the 10th and 11th Centuries.
The Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden mixes Western and Eastern influences in its layout with English, French and conventional Japanese gardens. It also has quaint tea ceremony houses and a greenhouse with a considerable collection of tropical plants. It is most famous for its 1500 cherry blossom trees, which in early spring paint the whole place with different hues of fluttering pink.
Both history and architecture buffs will appreciate the very contemporary building balanced on its landmark, gigantic pillars. Set in a stadium-sized expanse, a model of Nihonbashi (Japan's premier bridge) separates feudal Tokyo (Edo) from modern Tokyo (since 1868). In the permanent exhibition area, you will find original documents. Nostalgic aspects of everyday life are depicted to scale without the restriction of display cases. Ongoing enactments of various folk arts and crafts bring Japan's rich cultural traditions to life. Do not miss the models of the Edo Castle and the Kabuki Theater. See the website for visitor information and the event calendar.