Ilya Genkin Fine Art Landscape Photography, Travel Photography

Photography, Australian Landscape Photography, Panoramic Photos,
Fine Art Photography, Travel Photography, Landscapes, Stock Images


Tokyo Prefecture, Kanto Region, Honshu Island, Japan


Tokyo ("Eastern Capital"), officially Tokyo Metropolis (Tokyo-to), is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. It is located on the eastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture (Tokyo-fu) and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family.

Prior to 1868, Tokyo was known as Edo. A small castle town in the 16th century, Edo became Japan's political center in 1603 when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his feudal government there. A few decades later, Edo had grown into one of the world's most populous cities. With the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo. Large parts of Tokyo were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and in the air raids of 1945.

Akihabara Tokyo - Akihabara is famous for its high tech shopping, entertainment and meido cafe. Akihabara is Tokyo's "Electric Town", located on the eastern side of the central Chiyoda ward. The area houses thousands of shops selling every technological gadget you can imagine, from cameras to PlayStations and vacuums to DVDs. 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.

Since around 2000, cafes called "maid cafe" have opened in Akihabara. In maid cafes, typical manga-style maids serve tea and cakes. When a guest comes to the cafe, maids say "Welcome home, Master" even if it is the guest's first time there, because the maids play the role of maids belonging to the guest's mansion. Similarly, they say "Have a nice day, Master" when the guest leaves.

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. Tokyo Imperial Palace - East Gardens are open to the public daily except Mondays and Fridays. Kept in impeccable shape, the Tokyo Imperial Palace - East Gardens are particularly beautiful during the March and early April cherry blossom seasons. Entrance to the Tokyo Imperial Palace - East Gardens is free. There are several entrances to the gardens, but most visitors use the Otemachi gate near the subway station of the same name.

Shibuya is a famous fashionable shopping district of Tokyo, with department stores and shopping malls filled with boutiques. Shibuya is a shopping and eating district popular with the younger people of Tokyo. In common usage, Shibuya refers to the area directly around Shibuya Station. However Shibuya is technically much larger than this. Shibuya is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo which includes the famous Harajuku with its shopping streets Omotesando and Takeshita-Dori, Yoyogi Park, Meiji Jingu shrine and Sendagaya. Shibuya is one of Tokyo's most colorful and busy districts and birthplace to many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends. Most of the area's large department and fashion stores belong to either Tokyu or Seibu, two competing corporations. A prominent landmark of Shibuya is the large intersection in front of the station (Hachiko Exit), which is heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens and gets crossed by amazingly large crowds of pedestrians each time the traffic light turns green.

Asakusa is the center of Tokyo's shitamachi, literally "low city", one of Tokyo's few districts, which have preserved a certain atmosphere of the old Tokyo. Asakusa's main attraction is Senso-ji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries.

Senso-ji Temple (also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple) is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo. It is Tokyo's oldest temple, and one of its most significant. The legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Senso-ji was built there for the goddess of Kannon. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo's oldest temple. Hozomon Gate at Senso-ji Temple contains the very famous and massive red paper lantern. Dominating the entrance to the Senso-ji Temple is the kaminari-mon or "Thunder Gate". This imposing Buddhist structure features a massive paper lantern dramatically painted in vivid red-and-black tones to suggest thunderclouds and lightning. Kaminari-mon contains two protective deities - (left side) Raijin - God of Thunder and (right side) Fujin - God of Wind.

Nakamise-dori, the street leading from the Thunder Gate to the Senso-ji Temple itself, is lined with small shops selling omiyage (souvenirs) ranging from fans, ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), kimono and other robes, Buddhist scrolls, traditional sweets, to Godzilla toys, t-shirts, and cell-phone trinkets. These shops themselves are part of a living tradition of selling to pilgrims who walked to Senso-ji. Pilgrims and tourists flocking to Senso-ji have shopped at the small stores here for centuries. Many tourists, both Japanese and from abroad, visit Senso-ji every year. Catering to the visiting crowds, the surrounding area has many traditional shops and eating places that feature traditional dishes (hand-made noodles, sushi, tempura, etc.).

Odaiba (sometimes known as Daiba) is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan. Administratively it is a part of Minatoku, Tokyo. Odaiba was originally constructed in 1851 by the Tokugawa shogunate as a series of 6 fortresses in order to protect Tokyo from attack by sea, the primary threat being Commodore Matthew Perry's Black Ships, which had arrived in the same year. Daiba in Japanese refers to the cannon batteries placed on the islands. In 1928, the 3rd Odaiba was refurbished and opened to the public as park, which remains open to this day. During the extravagant 1980s, a spectacular redevelopment of the islands into a futuristic business district was started, but development was critically slowed down after the burst of the "bubble economy" in the early 1990s. It was not until the second half of the 1990s, that Odaiba developed into one of Tokyo's most interesting tourist spots and the highly popular shopping and entertainment district, which it is today. Further development of the area is still underway. Among the attractions of Odaiba are several shopping and entertainment centers, theme parks, museums and the futuristic architecture and city planning. Even access to Odaiba can be considered an attraction.

Palette Town is a complex that includes Venus Fort and Toyota MEGA WEB. Venus Fort shopping mall in Odaiba, Tokyo embodies a Japanese vision of a young woman's shopping paradise. The interior is modeled after Italy in the 18th century where the ceilings simulate the sky turning from day to night creating a sunset every thirty minutes. There are marble fountains along with all the shop fronts looking like the buildings of Venice. The stores are mainly fashion and accessories, together with restaurants and cake shops.

The French Statue of Liberty came to Odaiba, the beach area of Tokyo since April 1998 until May 1999 in commemoration of "The French year in Japan". Because of its popularity, in 2000, a replica of the French Statue of Liberty was erected at the same place.

The Rainbow Bridge is a suspension bridge crossing northern Tokyo Bay between Shibaura Wharf and the Odaiba, a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan. The towers supporting the bridge are white in color, designed to harmonize with the skyline of central Tokyo seen from Odaiba. There are lamps placed on the wires supporting the bridge, which are illuminated into three different colors, red, white and green every night using solar energy obtained during the day.

Fuji TV studios is a distinctive building designed by Kenzo Tange. The studio tour is of limited interest unless you speak Japanese and/or are familiar with Fuji's programming, but you can visit the second-highest story for free for some nice views. There is an up market French restaurant within the giant ball suspended in the structure.