Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, Japan
Amid the clustered high-rises of one of the world’s great metropolitan capitals, carefully cultivated oases remain to showcase the inherent natural beauty of the region. The more than 400 years since the Edo period (1603–1868) spent as Japan’s political and business centre have given Tokyo the distinctive culture that is its lifeblood. It is home to the best and finest, a place where master artisans continue to hone time-honored skills; a place with a tradition of unmatched hospitality—omotenashi—encoded in the city’s very DNA by Edo merchant culture.
Tokyo, a town of endless, immutable charm, shows a different face from moment to moment. At this very instant, somewhere, the seeds of a new movement are being sown and cultivated, and entirely original scenes are springing up as the capital continues its restless evolution: a peculiarly Tokyo type of change that never ceases to fascinate the traveler.
Tokyo boasts more Michelin stars than any other city in the world. This gourmet capital offers a mesmerizing array of options ranging from washoku traditional Japanese cuisine—which has been recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage—to outstanding French and Italian fare both authentic and locally inspired, contemporary fusion food, and dishes featuring game meats. No matter what your taste, you’ll have your pick from Tokyo’s impressive roster of first-class restaurants specializing in innumerable cuisines and styles.
Commerce and popular arts proliferated during the Edo period, and many merchants established themselves in the city of Edo (now called Tokyo). Their stores still flourish here today alongside sophisticated shopping areas that offer the world’s most famous brands. Visitors to Tokyo can enjoy traditional noh and kabuki theatre; they can also experience unique cultural pursuits like the tea ceremony, wearing kimono, dyeing Edo Sarasa cotton fabric in traditional patterns, or cutting Edo kiriko faceted glassware. A wealth of options exist for personalizing a typical Tokyo product that can proudly be described as “one of a kind” to provide an enduring memory of a visit to the heart of Edo.