Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is the administrative capital of Japan and one of the world’s largest financial centers as the most densely populated urban area in the world. Located on the east coast of the main island of the Japanese archipelago (Honshu). It contains the residence of the emperor, the prime minister, the parliament and ministries as well as all foreign embassies. Destroyed during the Second World War, it was quickly rebuilt and had a strong industrial development (especially in electronics) and its population multiplied by ten in fifty years. Its district, considered the most lively, is Shibuya where there are large shopping centers like the 109. Its architecture is very modern but there are still shinto sanctuaries or Buddhist temples. The city hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964 and will welcome them again in 2020. There is much to see and a great culture to discover.

Tips If you want to see a tiny piece of ancient Tokyo that has miraculously survived, visit the Golden Gai. There are no large buildings or monuments but you will see how the city was in the recent past. There are six narrow streets, too narrow to pass even a small car, where about 200 bars and cafes line up. The buildings are dilapidated and the alleys broken, but the place is much safer than it seems (Tokyo is indeed the biggest city with the lowest crime rate). Each building is only a few meters wide, and most have a small staircase leading to the first floor, either to an apartment or to another establishment. Many of them can only have 5 or 6 clients at a time but beware: there are places that only serve their customers, no new ones are allowed.

Do not miss the visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Meiji, the great-grandfather of the present Emperor Akihito. There is a forest with 120,000 trees. This place serves to pay tribute and make your offerings to the late Emperor Meiji. First ring the bell to get his attention and place a coin in the box in front of you. Then tilt twice and knock into your hands before you bow one last time.

Department stores play a very important role for the Japanese. These giant temples of consumption are found in every era of shopping in Tokyo. They sell only the best quality products, and at very high prices. The ground floor is generally intended for major western brands (Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, Tiffany, etc …) and their lesser-known Japanese counterparts. There are also many typical Japanese items such as finely embroidered kimonos, chopsticks from great designers, fans or various lacquered wooden objects.

If you want to see a different theater, go to the Kabuki (Japanese Theater); a popular and dramatic theater. The actors wear masks and costumes designed in bright colors, expressing the nature and feelings of their characters with exaggerated gestures and postures. All the roles are played by men without the spectator realizing that female roles are not really played by women. An orchestra accompanies the performance. At the change of scene, instead of lowering the curtain, it is the whole scene that pivots. The largest and most famous theater of Kabuki is the Kabuki-za.

Ko Tao, Thailand

Ko Tao or Koh Tao is an island in Thailand located on the West coast of the Gulf of Thailand, between the provinces of Chumphon and Surat Thani. It covers an area of 21 km². The primary institution and the main port of the island, is Ban Mae Hat.
Its name derives from ‘Turtle’; many turtles which until a few years ago spawned on its quiet beaches and the curious shape of the island also itself. With most of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan and other smaller islands, forms the Mu Ko Samui archipelago.
The island‘s economy is almost entirely focused on tourism. Ko Tao is indeed known amateurs of diving everywhere in the world for many schools and sport clubs that allow you to get easily the ‘Open Water Diver’ diving certificate. Tourist guides announce the bottom of shallow seas, transparent waters and fascinating coral reefs of the island as an ideal for the practice of diving sport for beginners. The interior of the island is full of wild and lush greenery. The climate is pleasant throughout the year and the beaches are heavenly, the most famous are Sairee and the quieter than others Chalok, Mango Bay and Ao Leuk.
 
 
Tips
 
 
If you want to follow the course of diving and the certificate, as a beginner or as master of diving: there are many centers and many courses because it is cheap, then look at standard tourist packages that are very practical and cheap but be careful, cheap hotels are not recommended!
To move on the island the more convenient is the moto with mountain wheels if possible, because roads are not well paved, or aren’t at all.
If you like fireworks, there are on almost all beaches in the evening.
 

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The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum (the former Palace for Chinese), is the imperial palace in the center of the Beijing Imperial City whose construction was ordered by Yongle, third emperor of the Ming Dynasty; conducted between 1406 and 1420. The palace covers 72 hectares including 50 hectares of gardens and is one of the best preserved in China. Abroad, its name Forbidden City is the most common because as it was the residence of Chinese emperors and their families and servants, the public could not enter. It was like a real city and they only came out of the enclosure in very rare occasions. The palace has a wall 10 meters high and 6 meters wide, surrounded by a moat, which is accessed by four doors; being Wumen the most important because it is a central building with two floors and nine intercolumniations front. 24 emperors lived there. The palace has a courtyard and an outdoor with a lazy river. The city was opened to the public in 1924 and today is one of the most visited places in China and it houses the Old Palace; the largest museum of China and is a World Heritage Site since 1987, it has had many renovations and work continues.

Tips

You can get there by subway.
The Forbidden City was protected from mass trade so you will find just arranged spaces for the sale of souvenirs and light snacks. You can also plan to do a picnic.
There are many free exhibitions and other paid ones so depending on what you want to see, you must calculate to visit it for a half day or a full day. It’s better to inform you before not to be disappointed because it is very large and there are always too many people.

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