Continuing the journey on Tokyo’s Yamanote  line to explore what this mega city has to offer…

Route map of JR’s Yamanote line which forms a circle around much of central Tokyo. The larger or more important stations are in bold.

2. Bunkyo – Tokyo Dome, universities, salarymen and baseball: that pretty much describes Bunkyo. Tokyo Dome with a little theme park attached is here so you can catch a Giants baseball game and then go on the Big Dipper. There’s plenty of universities here too and it’s where I’m working so fairly central too. Like all areas of Tokyo there are shops, department stores, several metro lines and shrines but there’s not much else to see here and even the Wikipedia article which I headed to to fill out the paragraphs was a bit lacking.

Fancy a pirate ship in the middle of downtown Tokyo?

3. Chuo – Ginza and TsukijiGinza, the main attraction in Chuo, feels like the most exclusive shopping area in the world and has prices to match. I happily, if a bit reluctantly at first, tried on shoes and glasses which cost double my salary. Even if I was rich I’m not sure if I’d pay 600,000 yen (€6,000 or US$6,500 or £5,500) on something for my feet or yet more glasses which I can leave behind on a train when I’m in a rush or had a few too many to drink. Come to Ginza if you fancy a bit of shopping in Dior, Chanel, Gucci, A&F or Luis Vuitton. What surprised me in this area is that unlike similar shopping areas in London and Milan you are actually made to feel welcome when you walk through the doors even if it is obvious to the staff that you’re not going to buy anything and more likely to try to slip some of their garments under your jacket on your way out. Other companies like Sony and Yamaha have huge stores or their head offices in this district. Tsukiji is a bit different to Ginza though. It is a large area reclaimed from the sea and home to the “Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market” or in simple terms “Tsukiji Fish Market“. It’s the biggest fish market in the world though not having traveled to many fish markets I’m not sure how big this one is going to be. Every year fish with a value of over 600 billion yen (US$ 5 billion) pass through this smelly warehouse.

Next stop: Minato, the foreign delights of Roppongi and Shibuya (for everything you could possibly want)…