HomeNewsInnovation meets serenity in Tokyo

Innovation meets serenity in Tokyo


IF a cellphone is the closest you’ve been to experiencing Japan, then it’s time to discover the true diversity of one of the world’s busiest, most innovative cities, now made easier with the advent of Emirates’ daily flights from Harare connecting you into the airline’s global network. Travel with Dusty Miller

Experience luxury flying to Tokyo on board Emirates’ A380 aircraft, where First Class passengers can relax in flat-bed, massage-equipped private suites and refresh by enjoying an on-board shower spa.

Premium passengers on the upper deck can enjoy an onboard lounge providing the opportunity for passengers to stretch out, socialise and enjoy a gourmet selection of on-demand drinks and snacks.

Emirates’ bespoke, award-winning in-flight system ice offers 1 400 channels of on-demand entertainment, ensuring your Tokyo trip is pleasant and enjoyable.

You arrive at Tokyo Narita International Airport 65km from the city. Rail is a quick and efficient way to reach the city. Japan Railways and Keisei Electric Railway operate rapid trains from the airport to destinations in downtown Tokyo.

Tokyo flights bring you to the capital of Japan and to a leading Asian business destination. The freshest sushi, landmarks like Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge, and the peace and serenity of tea ceremonies, meditative temples and springtime cherry blossoms are a few of the experiences you can explore there.

Tokyo is a city of remarkable density, character and innovation. Originating as Edo, a modest fishing village, it grew rapidly over the past four centuries to become an urban landscape of unparalleled dimension. A true metropolis, the city boasts a resident population of well over 12 million.

The Japanese capital’s architecture is predominately closely-packed, tall buildings and plenty of concrete. Perhaps bland outside, Tokyo’s magic lies in the fantastic design and diversity of its interiors.

With the city expanding vertically due to the constraints of land area, Tokyo buildings tend to house a variety of experiences – everything from restaurants and shops to sports stadiums and amusement parks.

Aesthetically, Tokyo is highly technological; at the same time traditional and serene. The city is just as much known for its love of the futuristic – think bullet trains, enormous video game parks and obsession with robotics – as it is for its springtime cherry blossoms, tea ceremonies and meditative temples. Even the crowded chaos at Shibuya Crossing is ultimately orderly; and all in all, this extraordinarily populous, busy, round-the-clock city remains a safe, pleasurable place to visit.

Two of Tokyo’s most recognisable landmarks are Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge. A massive orange and white structure similar in shape to the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower stands 333 metres offering two observation decks; while visitors to Rainbow Bridge are welcome to stroll its 918-metre length to take in the city’s skyline and waterfront.

Shibuya is the best place to see the human element of Tokyo’s enormity: an upbeat, flashy area known for entertainment and nightlife, 24-hour crowds and an impressive aggregation of neon signs.

Just outside Shibuya Station is the popularly photographed Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest pedestrian walkway. Here, all crossing lights turn from red to green at once, so innumerable pedestrians appear to flood into the crossing from all directions in a chaotic, yet surprisingly organised, stampede.

Tokyo loves to shop; premier shopping destination in the city the neighbourhood of Ginza. Here droves of shoppers come daily to visit the famed Japanese department stores Mitsukoshi and Wako.

More recently, another draw is the number of upscale global brands which have opened large boutiques with beautiful window displays. Several retailers have adjoining cafes where their internationally-recognised branding has been rolled out across menus of light meals, sweets and tea.

Harajuku is another popular, fashionable area catering to offbeat, youthful tastes. This is a place to visit not only for shopping, but also for the people-watching, as groups of teenagers come to Harajuku to don head-turning ensembles.

Besides funky boutiques specialising in expensive apparel, there are also international clothing stores here catering to a younger, more budget-conscious market.

Japanese food is known for its beautiful presentation; everything from a bowl of soup to intricately crafted sushi platters is colourful, sculpted and exhibits extraordinary attention to detail.

Japan is also not averse to experimenting with food colouring, so shades of bright pink, green and violet that other cultures reserve for sweets, could just as easily be a fish cake or pickle.

Sushi is one of the most popular cuisines in Japan, and fans of it come from around the world to visit Tokyo’s abundance of sushi restaurants. Anyone visiting the city with an appreciation for Japanese seafood should also try to visit Tsujiki fish market early morning to see the incredible market system at work, as well as marvel at the variety and freshness of fish sold.

If sushi’s not your bag, there are plenty of alternatives. Ramen, soba and udon noodle soups are often sold inexpensively as fast food. At more traditional restaurants, consider ordering teriyaki, sukiyaki or dishes like shabu shabu, if raw fish isn’t to your taste.

A popular post-dinner activity is karaoke, often carrying on until the wee hours. Most karaoke houses have private rooms, but there are also spots that offer a more public platform to demonstrate your vocal abilities.

Those after variety should head to Roppongi or Shibuya where karaoke places often abut arcades, bars and discos allowing one to go ‘hopping’ from place to place.

Yokohama, Japan’s second city, is 15 minutes by train from downtown Tokyo and home to Japan’s tallest building, Landmark Tower, as well as the Shinyokohama Raumen Museum dedicated to the history of the ramen noodle. There is also a “happening” Chinatown district where you can visit a food-themed park called Daska.

For those seeking time outdoors, a trip to Hakone by bullet train from Tokyo offers a variety of experiences in a picturesque setting. Hakone boasts a world-famous golf course with views of Mount Fuji and is home to a popular hot springs spa. There are also several museums of art, as well as the Hakone Open-Air Museum and Venetian Glass Museum.

The Emirates Dubai-Lusaka-Harare service leaves Dubai at 0925hrs, arriving in Harare at 1720. The return flight leaves Harare at 1850hrs, landing in Dubai at 0640hrs the next day.
Emirates fly Harare-Dubai daily; fares to Tokyo start around US$1 953 including taxes.

Zimbabwean citizens need a Japanese visa. Contact the Japanese Embassy at http://www.zw.emb-japan.go.jp/ or at 4th Floor, Social Security Centre, Corner Julius Nyerere Way/ Sam Nujoma Street. Harare. Tel: +263 4 250025/6/7.

Book online at www.emirates.com/zw Or with your usual travel agent.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading