Header image credit: Joi Ito
Known for both its ancient culture and advanced technology, Tokyo is a city with both a rich history and a bright future.
Most visitors to Tokyo revel in the unique and idiosyncratic culture of Japan while taking advantage of the many high-tech gadgets and innovations in order to get a glimpse of what the future might look like.
As a result, Tokyo is a fantastic destination for both history buffs and lovers of technology. So whether you want to indulge in the historic beauty of Asakusa or see the bright lights and technology of modern Ginza, Tokyo has it all.
Located in the Chūō district, Ginza is home to some of Tokyo’s most exclusive shops and most fashionable restaurants.
Considered by many to be among the most luxurious shopping districts in the world, Ginza is a must see destination for any visitors to Tokyo who like the finer things in life.
As well as the numerous high end shops and restaurants, Ginza is also famous for its architecture and art galleries, both of which are well worth a day or two of your time in Tokyo.
Sights like the San-ai Building, the Sony Building and the Kabukiza Theatre are all well-known Ginza landmarks and an unmissable part of any trip to the district.
Many of the luxury hotels in Tokyo offer transportation to the area, though it is easy to reach by public transport and on foot. Ginza is best visited at the weekends when the roads are closed to cars in order to create a ‘pedestrian haven’. For inspiration, check out this guide on really splashing the cash in Tokyo: The Diary of a Jewellery Lover.
Though it lies just a few stops away from Ginza on the metro, with its temples, traditional, low-rise architecture and colourful streets, Asakusa is a million miles away from the glass, steel and technology of Ginza.
Though many of the buildings in Asakusa look hundreds of years old, most are actually replicas, built in place of buildings destroyed by bombing during the Second World War.
Once famous for its theatres, cinemas and nightlife, Asakusa is now better known for its temples and festivals. The most famous of these religious buildings is the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon.
During the summer months, Asakusa is transformed by its annual carnival, when the traditional streets come alive with life, colour and music.
Visiting these two distinct districts of Tokyo is a fantastic way to see both sides of this extraordinary city, learn and bit more about Japanese culture and maybe even pick up a few great gifts along the way.
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