2nd International

 
Conference of Asian Special Libraries
 Feb 10-12, 2011

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  Sightseeing

Tokyo is Japan's capital and the country's largest city. Tokyo is also one of Japan's 47 prefectures, but is called a metropolis (to) rather than a prefecture (ken). The metropolis of Tokyo consists of 23 city wards (ku), 26 cities, 5 towns and 8 villages, including the Izu and Ogasawara Islands, several small Pacific Islands in the south of Japan's main island Honshu. The 23 city wards (ku) are the center of Tokyo and make up about one third of the metropolis' area, while housing roughly eight of Tokyo's approximately twelve million residents
Places of Interest

Akihabara

Akihabara (short: Akiba) is a district in central Tokyo, famous for its many electronics shops. In recent years, it has also gained fame as a center of the gaming, manga and animation culture. A major redevelopment of Akihabara Station and surroundings is nearing its completion, giving Akihabara a new face. Hundreds of electronics shops of various sizes can be found around Akihabara Station and along Chuo Dori (Chuo Avenue). They offer everything from the newest computers, cameras, televisions, mobile phones and home appliances to second-hand goods and electronic junk. A few major stores, such as Ishimaru Denki, Sofmap and Laox operate multiple branch stores mainly along the main roads, while many smaller shops can be found in the narrow side streets

Koishikawa Korakuen


Koishikawa Korakuen is one of Tokyo's oldest and most beautiful Japanese landscape gardens. It was built by close relatives of the Tokugawa Shogun in the early Edo Period. Like most traditional Japanese gardens, Koishikawa Korakuen attempts to reproduce famous landscapes from China and Japan in miniature, using a pond, stones, plants and a man made hill. Koishikawa Korakuen is attractive during all seasons of the year, but particularly so in the second half of November, when the fall colors appear, during the plum festival in late February and when the beautiful weeping cherry tree near the garden's entrance is in full bloom


Hama Rikyu


Hama Rikyu, the garden of a feudal lord's residence during the Edo Period, is one of Tokyo's most attractive landscape gardens. It is located alongside Tokyo Bay, next to the futuristic Shiodome district. Seawater ponds, which change water level with the tides, former duck hunting grounds, forested areas and a teahouse are some of the park's attractions. Furthermore, the contrast between the traditional gardens with Shiodome's skyscrapers in the background is spectacular Tokyo Imperial Palace The current Imperial Palace (Kokyo) is located on the former site of Edo Castle, a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the center of Tokyo, a short walk from Tokyo Station. It is the residence of Japan's Imperial Family. Edo Castle used to be the seat of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867. In 1868, the shogunate was overthrown, and the country's capital and Imperial Residence were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. In 1888 construction of a new Imperial Palace was completed. The palace was once destroyed during World War Two, and rebuilt in the same style, afterwards. From Kokyo Gaien, the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, visitors can view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived. 


Imperial Palace East Gardens


The Imperial Palace East Gardens (Kokyo Higashi Gyoen) are a part of the inner palace area and are open to the public. The East Gardens are the former site of Edo Castle's innermost circles of defense, the honmaru ("main circle") and ninomaru ("secondary circle"). None of the main buildings remain today, but the moats, walls, entrance gates and several guardhouses still exist. Edo Castle was the residence of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. Emperor Meiji also resided there from 1868 to 1888 before moving to the newly constructed Imperial Palace.


Ginza


The Ginza is Tokyo's most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district, featuring numerous department stores, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, night clubs and cafes. One square meter of land in the district's center is worth more than ten million yen (more than 100,000 US dollars), making it one of the most expensive real estate in Japan. It is where you can find the infamous $10 cups of coffee and where virtually every leading brand name in fashion and cosmetics has a presence. From 1612 to 1800, today's Ginza district was the site of a silver coin mint (Japanese: ginza), after which the district was eventually named. The Ginza evolved as an upmarket shopping district following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. A visit to the Ginza is most pleasant on a weekend afternoon, when the central Chuo Dori gets closed to traffic and become a large pedestrian zone. The closure takes place from 14:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays and from 12:00 to 17:00 on Sundays (until 18:00 from April through September). 

 

 

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