A passerby would easily dismiss Tokyo as a city like any other Asian city – overpopulated and overdeveloped, with its cookie-cutter everyday goings-on. A destination worth the three-day trip, perhaps?
But, if you are the type to veer away from the crowd, preferring to trace the city’s backstreets than to hobnob with fellow tourists, you might just witness the lifeblood rushing through its metropolitan veins. You’ll find out how Tokyo can mean something to everybody – an inspiration for someone stuck in the past, a sanctuary for someone sick of the cutthroat busyness of home, or a distraction for the bored soul. Linger a bit longer, and you’ll feel its living, breathing soul hidden deep underneath those lifeless glass and metal skyscrapers. Watch a bit closer, and you’ll never fail to notice the endearing qualities of the Japanese, that somehow make Tokyo the haven that it is.
Affection for Tokyo isn’t something that immediately is. It’s a feeling that sneaks up on you from the lulls and the in-betweens. Before you know it, you have fallen in love with its nooks and crannies, its monotony and idiosyncrasies. It doesn’t help that every corner seems to have a charming café, or a quaint tea house, or a hip-and-happening watering hole, that you, most likely, didn’t chance upon the last time you were there. The thrill of the find draws you in, until it becomes an incurable addiction.
So, sit with us, and we’ll introduce you to the Tokyo we know. This is a guide for people, who keep on coming back to Tokyo, always excited to get to know it more; for first-timers, who feel like they’ve already seen it all.