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Tokyo: three ways

Tokyo’s futuristic streetscapes also contain historical alleys, raucous traditional festivals and lantern-lit yakitori (grilled chicken) stands of yore. See the best of the old city on our guided walk of Asakusa district.
The Tokyo Skytree above the sidestreets of Asakusa.
JOHN LANDER/ALAMY COMPILED BY CATRIONA GREW AND RORY GOULDING, WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM REBECCA MILNER AND SIMON RICHMOND. PHOTOGRAPHS: MATT MUNRO, JULIANNE HYDE/SHUTTERSTOCK,

FOR FIRST-TIMERS

Edo-Tokyo Museum

(edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp; 1-4-1 Yokoami)

This museum documents Tokyo's transformation from tidal flatlands to feudal capital to modern metropolis. There are detailed models of townscapes, villas and tenement homes, plus artefacts such as ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) and old maps.

Maisen

TONKATSU £

(mai-sen.com; 4-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku)

You could order something else (maybe fried shrimp), but everyone else will be ordering the famous tonkatsu (breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets). There are different grades of pork on the menu, including prized kurobuta (black pig), but even the cheapest is melt-in-your-mouth divine. The restaurant is housed in an old public bathhouse. A takeaway window (10am to 7pm) serves delicious tonkatsu sando (breaded pork sandwiches).

Meiji-jingu

(http://meijijingu.or.ji; 1-1 Yoyogi Kamizono-cho)

Tokyo's grandest Shinto shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, whose reign (1868-1912) coincided with Japan's transformation from isolationist, feudal state to modern nation. Constructed in 1920, the shrine was destroyed in WWII air raids and rebuilt in 1958; however, unlike so many of Japan's post-war reconstructions, Meiji-jingu has atmosphere in spades. The main shrine is in a eafy wooded grove.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - September 2018
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