Tokyo: Places to Explore

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Greater Tokyo

The size of the city and the diversity of its institutions make it impossible to fit all of Tokyo's interesting sights into neighborhoods. Plenty of worthy places—from Tokyo Disneyland to sumo stables to the old Oji district—fall outside the city's neighborhood repertoire. Yet no guide to Tokyo would be complete without them.

The 23 wards of Tokyo border four prefectures and a bay. A number of historically and culturally important sights require a special trek off the Yamanote Line.

Central Tokyo is routinely described as a concrete haven, yet the Kasai Seaside Park offers numerous flora at the edge of Tokyo Bay. Tokyo has a few traditional areas remaining, but if the sport of sumo tickles your fancy, the largest collection of training stables is in the Ryogoku area. Two things make this working-class shitamachi neighborhood worth a special trip: this is the center of the world of sumo wrestling as well as the site of the extraordinary Edo-Tokyo Museum. Also outside the city center are some theme parks, like Tokyo Disneyland and Sanrio Puroland, whose numerous kitsch attractions celebrate Japan’s love for all that is cute. Creatures from the sea abound at the Shinagawa Aquarium and Sunshine International Aquarium. If land mammals are more to your liking, the Tama Zoo is a fine choice for kids.

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