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Cheap Tokyo Business Class Flights
Tōkyō (東京) is the capital of Japan. At over 12 million people in the official metropolitan area alone, Tokyo is the core of the most populated urban area in the world, Greater Tokyo (which has a population of 35 million people). This huge, wealthy and fascinating metropolis brings high-tech visions of the future side by side with glimpses of old Japan, and has something for everyone.
Over 500 years old, the city of Tokyo grew from the modest fishing village of Edo (江戸). The city only truly began to grow when it became the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1603. While the emperor ruled in name from Kyoto, the true power was concentrated in the hands of the Tokugawa shogun in Edo. After the Meiji restoration in 1868, during which the Tokugawa family lost its influence, the emperor and the imperial family moved here from Kyoto, and the city was re-named to its current name, Tokyo. The metropolitan center of the country, Tokyo is the destination for business, education, modern culture, and government.
Tokyo is vast: it’s best thought of not as a single city, but a constellation of cities that have grown together. Tokyo’s districts vary wildly by character, from the electronic blare of Akihabara to the Imperial gardens and shrines of Chiyoda, from the hyperactive youth culture mecca of Shibuya to the pottery shops and temple markets of Asakusa. If you don’t like what you see, hop on the train and head to the next station, and you will find something entirely different.
The sheer size and frenetic pace of Tokyo can intimidate the first-time visitor. Much of the city is a jungle of concrete and wires, with a mass of neon and blaring loudspeakers. At rush hour, crowds jostle in packed trains and masses of humanity sweep through enormous and bewilderingly complex stations.
Don’t get too hung up on ticking tourist sights off your list: for most visitors, the biggest part of the Tokyo experience is just wandering around at random and absorbing the vibe, poking your head into shops selling weird and wonderful things, sampling restaurants where you can’t recognize a single thing on the menu (or on your plate), and finding unexpected oases of calm in the tranquil grounds of a neighbourhood Shinto shrine. It’s all perfectly safe, and the locals will go to sometimes extraordinary lengths to help you if you just ask.
In Japan, all roads, rails, shipping lanes and planes lead to Tokyo. Tokyo has two large airports: Narita for international flights, and Haneda for (mostly) domestic flights.
Tokyo’s main international gateway is Narita Airport (成田空港) (IATA: NRT) , located in the town of Narita nearly 70 kilometers northeast of Tokyo and covered in a separate article. A brief summary of options for getting there and away:
- Easiest: Limousine bus direct to major hotels, ~120 minutes (subject to traffic), ¥3,500
- Fastest: Skyliner to Nippori and Ueno Stations, under 45 minutes, ¥2,400; Narita Express to Tokyo Station, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Yokohama, 55 minutes and ¥2,940 to Tokyo Station (Japan Rail Pass valid)
- Cheapest: Keisei Limited Express/Access Tokkyu trains to Nippori/Ueno, 60-80 minutes, ¥1,000-1,200 (Access Tokkyu trains also serve some subway stations); “Super Shuttle” Bus to Ueno and Asakusa, ¥1,000
- Most expensive: Taxi to the city, more than ¥30,000; flat-fare cabs approximately ¥17,000-19,000
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