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5 Reasons Why Tokyo is Asia’s Coolest City

5 Reasons Why Tokyo is Asia’s Coolest City

ASIA, DESTINATIONS, TOKYO

Cities like Seoul and Hong Kong have fast become meccas for tourists craving a taste of vibrant city life mixed with a slice of Asian culture. With booming tourism industries, quirky must-tries, unique must-dos and a colourful melting pot of cultures all in close quarters, both are strong contenders for the title of Asia’s coolest city, but it’s the colourful metropolis of Tokyo that stands up strong and pips them at the post.

Pioneers of technology

It’s no secret the Japanese are a tech-savvy bunch. Game-changing inventions like DVDs, cameras and robots have seen them at the forefront of the digital revolution for decades, and with the likes of the Shinkansen and talking loos sat proudly on their list of worldly contributions, they’ve really done a great job of making the rest of the world look like technophobes. If you’re a tech geek, make your way to Akihabara (otherwise known as the electric city) for a full on attack of the senses. As you walk along the main strip, neon lights, booming music and wall to wall activity will ensure there’s no chance of you forgetting where you are and what you came for. Not afraid to show you who’s the boss of technology, Sony have an expansive showroom showcasing their latest, most innovative products, ranging from phones to robots. You can even visit restaurants where ordering sushi on an iPad that is delivered by conveyor belt is just a standard day at the office. It’s a forgone conclusion- Tokyo is the ultimate place to silence the geek within you.

Tokyo Robot
Tokyo Robot

Trend-setters in fashion

From mega malls to boutique shops, Tokyo is undoubtedly a shopping mecca, it’s no wonder trend-setting in the fashion world is something this nation does incredibly well. Take Harajuku fashion for example. It all began with a handful of mavericks who had a penchant for brightly coloured clothing colliding with a conquest of patterns on one single piece of material. From here it escalated into a globally known trend. The trends of Tokyo start at grassroots level in shopping districts like Shibuya and Harajuku before seeping out to the masses. Street fashion is huge here so you can expect to see more and more labels joining the Uniqlos and Issey Miyakes that have come before them.

Harajuko Tokyo (Image Flickr Seth Tate used under Creative CC)
Harajuko Tokyo (Image Credit Flickr)

History, culture and the future collide

One of the things that makes Tokyo a strong contender for the title of Asia’s coolest city is undoubtedly its history. The remnants of the country’s past has not been lost over time, with everything from temples to shrines and historic castle ruins boldly on display for all to see. Japanese culture is also at the heart of everything. Whilst many Asian countries have succumbed to western culture allowing the English language to take a strong hold in speaking, advertising and tourism, in Japan, Japanese is still in number one. You can still see women in traditional dress, catch age-old forms of Japanese performance such as Kabuki, enjoy traditional architecture and even watch sumo wrestling. All this collides with the future of technology and lives in perfect harmony to deliver the best of both worlds.

Tokyo Temple (Flickr SerrMarr used under the Creative CC)
Tokyo Temple (Image Credit Flickr)

There’s space to escape

Like many Asian cities, you can find anything your heart desires at the drop of a hat, whether that’s cuisine, entertainment or relaxation but there’s something Tokyo can offer that its competition find more difficult. The opportunity to retreat. Escaping the bright lights and bustle is simple here, with low-density residential areas situated in pockets around the city for you to explore on foot. You’ve also got the tranquillity of the parks found at the heart of the city, the serenity of the traditional spas, the opportunity to soak up silence at temples and shrines, as well as the relaxed confines and service to be enjoyed at unique luxury hotels in Tokyo.

Tokyo park (Flickr: ibz_omar used under the Creative CC License)
Tokyo Park (Image Credit Flickr)
Sakura Tokyo
Sakura Tokyo

Culture, traditions, charm and appeal all intact, Japan still manages to provide the tourist with a first-rate efficient, well-connected modern day experience. Tokyo is linked to suburbs far and wide via subway and train, and the entirety of the country can be reached via bullet train in just a matter of hours. How many Asian countries can boast such impeccable travel conveniences? You needn’t waste time queueing at airports for domestic flights, as you can visit those rural, hard to reach areas for a taste of Japanese life outside of the cities at speeds of 180 mph.

Tokyo Bridge (Flickr: Balint Foldesi used under the Creative CC)
Tokyo Bridge (Image Credit Flickr)

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About the author

Ian Garstang is a travel writer and marketing specialist working in the luxury travel market. Ian is the editor at Luxury-Travels.net and has worked with such brands as GHM Hotels, Four Seasons and Aman. Ian was named Hotel Club's 'Bali Expert' and Nominated in the top 20 luxury travel bloggers on USA Today. Ian has written for various websites that include A Luxury Travel Blog, Luxury Asia News and Travelo Cafe.

31 Comments

  1. Suze - Luxury Columnist
    September 20, 2016 at 9:27 am
    Reply

    I’m really keen to visit Japan, as you say, the technology side of the place is fascinating and they’re definitely trendsetters
    Suze – Luxury Columnist recently posted…A Rare Rosé Experience with PIPER-HEIDSIECK Champagne in ParisMy Profile

    • Ian Garstang
      September 23, 2016 at 6:57 am

      It’s truly an amazing place, as there is always something new to discover. At first, everything seems so alien, but after a few days, you’re hooked and you never want to leave.

  2. Awint Waliya
    September 23, 2016 at 7:34 am
    Reply

    Hi Ian Garstang!! Interesting Facts you shared about Tokyo city. These facts are really intriguing for the travelers who love to visit romantic places like this amazing city.

    • Ian Garstang
      September 23, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Tokyo has so much to offer from Cat Cafe’s to Sumo tournaments… There really is something for everyone.

  3. Sheena
    September 24, 2016 at 4:38 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been to most of Asia & have to agree that Tokyo is the very cool – traditional & contemporary, culture & technology, there’s no mix like it anywhere in the world. And like you said, there’s many places you can retreat to outside the city for times when you need a bit of peace & tranquility.

    • Ian Garstang
      September 26, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Thanks Sheena… I can’t wait to go back 😉

  4. Kenny
    September 25, 2016 at 2:49 am
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing! To me, I love love love the food and there’s great Japanese cuisine in any corner of the city!
    https://knycxjourneying.com/2015/06/14/yummylicious-tokyo/

    • Ian Garstang
      September 26, 2016 at 11:16 am

      The food is fantastic… Thanks for sharing your post.

  5. Vicky @ A Backpack Full of Adventures
    September 25, 2016 at 6:56 am
    Reply

    Great post, Ian – I’ve never been to Japan but would love to visit sometime. It sounds like Tokyo is quite an eclectic place, which I absolutely love – and those temples look beautiful!
    Vicky @ A Backpack Full of Adventures recently posted…Sicilian Adventures, Part 1 (Palermo)My Profile

    • Ian Garstang
      September 26, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Thanks Vicky, It’s well worth adding to the bucket list as I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. From food to fashion or tech to temples, there is so much to see and do. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Christopher
    September 28, 2016 at 1:09 am
    Reply

    I’be been a huge fan of Japanese Anime ever since I was a kid. Pokémon are cool and I love technology. Tokyo has been on my go-to-list for awhile now. Great post. I pinned it too 🙂

    • Ian Garstang
      September 30, 2016 at 9:26 am

      Thanks for your kind words and pinning the post. I too am a huge tech fan and love Japanese movies. If you love Anime then Japan should be on the bucket list 😉
      Ian Garstang recently posted…Treat Yourself in GreeceMy Profile

  7. danik the explorer
    October 8, 2016 at 11:46 am
    Reply

    By the looks of this post and I havent visited the capital, Tokyo looks totally amazing! 🙂 Great read
    danik the explorer recently posted…Our Relaxing Stay at Sheraton Grand KrakowMy Profile

  8. Miranda
    October 9, 2016 at 2:35 am
    Reply

    I love that there is so many ‘escapes’ and greenspace in Tokyo. I didn’t realize there were so many tranquil spots there until I read this blog post. Thanks!

    • Ian Garstang
      October 10, 2016 at 4:52 am

      Thanks for commenting Miranda. There are so many great parks in the city that are even more special during sakura season.

  9. Lisa
    October 9, 2016 at 5:56 pm
    Reply

    I have wanted to visit Japan for many years now and just can’t seem to get there. It looks like such a cool place to explore. It seems to have a little bit of everything. Thanks for sharing I will pin this for future reference!
    Lisa recently posted…Barrel Run Crossing Winery in OhioMy Profile

    • Ian Garstang
      October 10, 2016 at 4:53 am

      If you ever get the chance, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s one for the whole family. Thanks for pinning!

  10. Daisy J. Crawford
    October 9, 2016 at 6:16 pm
    Reply

    I want to go to Tokyo sooo bad! But my fiancé is scared I’ll overload on Hello Kitty products. And probably some Japanese cookery. It’s on my bucketlist!

    • Ian Garstang
      October 10, 2016 at 4:56 am

      Thanks for commenting, Daisy. That is a risk he should be willing to take in exchange for the trip of a life time! Keep chipping away at him. I’m sure if you gave him free run of the tech stores he’d love it.

  11. Christine | The Traveloguer
    October 10, 2016 at 3:59 am
    Reply

    I would love to visit Tokyo, especially for the technology and street style!
    Christine | The Traveloguer recently posted…How to get a China visa in Hong KongMy Profile

    • Ian Garstang
      October 10, 2016 at 4:57 am

      There’s certainly plenty of tech to hand, which I’m a big fan of myself! Thanks for commenting Christine,

  12. Elisa
    October 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm
    Reply

    I have visited most of Asia but Japan . . . don’t think it is my cup of tea. A pity you did not write more about the spas thing, that could have changed my mind! 😉
    Elisa recently posted…Germany in ParisMy Profile

    • Ian Garstang
      October 11, 2016 at 4:22 am

      Perhaps I can do a low down on the spas and onsens for my next post as they really are quite special. Thanks Elisa!

  13. Yenor
    October 10, 2016 at 4:49 pm
    Reply

    Yes, definitely technologically advanced, that’s for sure! The food and culture I find incredibly interesting also,but unfortunately I am yet to travel to that part of the world. Oh well, maybe sometime next year. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Yenor recently posted…8 Reasons Why I Choose A Life Of MinimalismMy Profile

    • Ian Garstang
      October 11, 2016 at 4:35 am

      The culture is so different from back home, but that’s what makes it such a fantastic place to visit. Next time you’re in Asia, you should make it top of the list! Thanks Yenor.

  14. Nic
    October 10, 2016 at 4:50 pm
    Reply

    Cannot agree more, Tokyo is such a cool place and was were we chose to go on our honeymoon!! We just have to return one day!!
    Nic recently posted…A guide to the Fethiye region of Turkey: Oludeniz, Hisaronu & Kaya. A beautiful, historic paradise!My Profile

    • Ian Garstang
      October 11, 2016 at 4:39 am

      Thanks for commenting Nic. That’s an amazing choice for a honeymoon. People don’t realise that Tokyo is actually quite a romantic place to be. What could be better than dinner for two overlooking a skyline like Tokyo’s!
      Ian Garstang recently posted…Sun, Sea, Sand and Sharks? Welcome to The MaldivesMy Profile

  15. Nancy
    October 10, 2016 at 9:56 pm
    Reply

    Tokyo seems to have it all especially if you are a techie! What I love is the cross from ultra modern to the exquisite architecture of Japan’s historic temples. Its breathtaking! Definitely a place everyone should visit sometime in their lifetime.
    Nancy recently posted…Puerto Vallarta Jungle ATV AdventureMy Profile

  16. Alice Teacake
    January 2, 2017 at 1:22 pm
    Reply

    I visited Japan 3 years ago now and it totally blew my socks off. There’s certainly no other place like it. Tokyo was an absolute playground for me and I highly recommend going to the Robot Restaurant for absolute delightful madness 😀
    Alice Teacake recently posted…Goodbye 2016 + Hello 2017 With A Super Cabin Zero Travel Giveaway!My Profile

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