My Tokyo

Govind Shrikhande recommends a bus tour to soak in the sights and culture

Published: Sep 10, 2011
Image: Will & Deni McIntyre/Corbis

Since I was a child, the song “Sayonara” from the film Love in Tokyo had me fascinated about Japan. On visiting it as an adult, I was dazed by its people, culture, friendliness and hospitality.

Tips
Hotel Metropolitan is centrally located and is right next to the Tokyo station. It is surrounded by commercial buildings that include stores and offices. Service here, in keeping with Japanese culture, is superlative.

Trains are a very good and comfortable way of getting around the city. The routes are very well connected and services always run on time. Taxi drivers are a polite and disciplined lot. They do not refuse a customer. All the taxis have a unique feature: Doors that open and close automatically!

Tokyo, to my surprise, has a lot of Indian restaurants that serve pretty good food. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of naans served at these places. Some of the best Indian restaurants in Tokyo are Nirvana, Dhaba India, Maharaja and Ajanta.

After Hours
If you have a Sunday at your disposal, take a day tour around the city in a bus. You can get a glimpse of the best of Tokyo’s sights and culture, such as the Tokyo Tower, the Royal Garden, a traditional Japanese tea party and a traditional Japanese wedding.

Govind Shrikhande, MD, Shoppers Stop
Image: Vikas Khot
Govind Shrikhande, MD, Shoppers Stop
Tokyo offers a large variety of shopping options, with malls within metro station complexes, high streets such as Ginza and the traditional markets. The quality of the stores is admirable: Their hypermarkets give you the experience of a quality department store, while a department store makes you feel like you are in a luxury store. The department stores are huge and are on an average 3 to 4 lakh sq. ft. each. Numerous high-end luxury brands have their outlets in these department stores.  

If you are looking to pick up traditional Japanese souvenirs, you should head for Japanese Bazaar, where you will get cute Japanese dolls, Samurai statues, good-luck cats, traditional outfits and the like. Their quality and variety are excellent.

When in Japan, remember that the Japanese are very polite and always prefer to use the family name to address each other, unlike the American concept of calling people by their first name. They also thank you by bowing repeatedly, as a sign of respect.
(Co-ordinated by Jasodhara Banerjee)

(This story appears in the 23 September, 2011 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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