ROL Cruise recommends….
Hold on to your hats
Many cities can say they’re bustling, but few boast a pulsating traffic intersection that’s become a tourist attraction all of its own. Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing is a perfect introduction to the sheer vitality of this exciting metropolis. At peak times, several hundred people cross the street at the same time in all different directions; it’s an urban dance that’s somehow quite beautiful.
Hitting the high notes
The idea of singing in public might send you running for the hills, but karaoke is one of Tokyo’s favourite pastimes. Forget what you know; in this city you could be belting out a tune in your own private suite in Lovenet, or from a Jacuzzi at Aqua Suite. You could find yourself singing with a live band at Gigabar, or follow the Lost in Translation trail at Karaoke Kan.
Take a breath
To get a feel for Tokyo’s natural beauty, head to Yoyogi Park, where cherry blossoms are resplendent in spring and its ginko tree forest shimmers with gold in the autumn. City life slows down just a touch in this former Olympic village, which also served as a military parade ground and barracks for American soldiers after the Second World War.
Close to the Yoyogi Park is the Meiji Jingu Shrine, established in 1920 and dedicated to Emperor Meiji who helped to open Japan up to the west. As impressive as anything else is its 40-foot gate, made of 1,500-year-old cypress. At the main shrine buildings, you may show respect by bowing twice, clapping your hands twice, making a wish then bowing once more. You may be lucky enough to catch a traditional Japanese wedding procession.
A microcosm of Tokyo
Modern Tokyo can be deftly explored at the Roppongi Hills complex. Drink in breathtaking panoramic vistas at the 52nd floor Tokyo City View, then peruse the exhibits at the Mori Art Museum. Indulge in traditional sushi and sake at one of the complex’s many restaurants, or sit back and watch the world go by in the Japanese landscape garden.