48 HOURS IN TOKYO
"Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo filled with buildings that are hypermodern and yet simple and strange. Imagine the result of an acid-soaked pre-schooler's architecture class."
Our good friends at Freunde von Freunden recently took a trip to Tokyo, where they stayed at the extraordinary Park Hotel, a perfect base for some serious sightseeing. Now back in Berlin, they've been nice enough to share with us some of their favorite attractions in the fascinating, futuristic megalopolis, from Buddhist temples to 17th-century gardens to kooky florescent discount shops...
The Rainbow Bridge is a suspension bridge crossing Northern Tokyo Bay between Shibaura Pier and the Odaiba waterfront development in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The construction started in 1987 and was completed in 1993. The bridge is 798 metres (2,618 ft) long with a main span of 580 metres (1,903 ft). The name "'Rainbow Bridge" was picked by the public.
Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo filled with buildings that are hypermodern and yet simple and strange. Imagine the result of an acid-soaked pre-schooler's architecture class. Administratively a part of the Minato, Koto and Shinagawa districts, the area is now a very popular shopping and entertainment destination. Most visitors arrive in Odaiba via the automated Yurikamome "new transit system," which is a cross between a train and a bus. An attraction in itself, the driverless elevated trains cross the Rainbow Bridge with a 270-degree loop for some great views of Tokyo bay.
Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 315 metres (1,033 ft) (As of July 18, 2012), it is the second tallest artificial structure in Japan. The structure is inspired by the Eiffel Tower. It is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations. Built in 1958, the tower's main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening.
San'en-zan Zōjō-ji is a Buddhist temple in the Shiba neighborhood of Minato, Tokyo. It is the Great Main Temple of the Chinzai sect of the Shingon school. The founder of Zōjō-ji was Yūyo Shōsō.
Daimon (Great Gate)
The temple was badly damaged in World War II, but still retains the air of a major temple. Incidentally, the place's name Daimon (大門 "Great Gate") refers to the gate of Zōjō-ji. The present gate is made of concrete.
Tsukiji fish market
Tsukiji Fish Market, properly the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, is worth a visit for the 1600 stalls of bizarre sea creatures, including large blue fin tuna, live shell fish, deep sea crabs, eels and salmon. As you might expect, everything is covered in slippery sea water, so choose footwear accordingly.
This fluorescent-lit, Amusement Discount shop is filled to the ceiling with weird loot: knock-off designer goods, packaged snacks, gimmicky seasonal rubbish and sex toys. Branches of 'the donkey' are all over Tokyo.
Known as an upscale area of Tokyo with numerous department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses, Ginza is recognized as one of the most luxurious shopping d