Tokyo is a numbers game. Did you know there are more restaurants per capita in Tokyo than anywhere else in the world? Life expectancy exceeds many of the world’s developed nations with women averaging 86 and men 79 years of age. And then there’s Skytree, the world’s tallest freestanding broadcasting tower.
Don’t visit Tokyo without a plan — including a reliable guide book, decent walking shoes, and a map of the nearly 20 metro lines. This sprawling metropolis is anything but “discoverable.” Its 23 wards are spread across a metro area of 5,310 square miles. Most visitors only see five or six around central Tokyo. Since Tokyo is often a layover on international flights to and from Guam, make the most of your time to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this cosmopolitan Asian city.
Take a break from the city with a sojourn to the Japanese Alps. The mountainous area west of Tokyo is teeming with lakes, hot springs, and is a favorite weekend destination of Tokyoites. The mystic Mt. Fuji can be admired from the foothills or the summit, depending on your fitness level and time.
July and August are the official climbing season. During these two months the mountain is usually free of snow, the weather is relatively mild, access by public transportation is easy and the mountain huts are open. Everybody without much hiking experience is advised to tackle the mountain during the official climbing season.
If you have more than a day, rent a compact log cabin at the serene Camp Pica in Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture. You’ll need to rent a car to get there. Enjoy a leisurely, nature-centric respite, barbecuing outdoors while you admire the rolling foothills of the cloud-covered Mt. Fuji.
This is a great option for families with kids and a perfect way to escape the frenetic pace of Tokyo.