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Take a trip to Tokyo, Japan

It may be one of the most expensive cities to live in the world, but that does not mean a holiday to Tokyo, Japan, can not be done on a budget. As well as the traditional tourist hotspots, shopping and nightlife can prove costly, there are plenty of free and budget attractions that make a trip to Tokyo ideal for any wallet.

A contrast of modernity and traditionTokyo is a city brimming with energy and adrenaline and there is a palpable obsession with the most modern in fashion and technology.

The place is a shopper's paradise and is the perfect place to pick up the very latest in cutting-edge gadgetry months before it enters showrooms in the UK.

Whether you are looking for the latest mobile phones, iPods or cameras, you'll find them all in the brightly-lit, vast shopping districts of Tokyo.

But step back from the bright lights and city hustle and you will also discover a more traditional side to the Japanese capital that is a world away from pop culture.

Tokyo is also home to an abundance of traditional temples and shrines such as the Sensoji Temple, the Meiji Shrine and Sengakuji Temple.

Getting around

Without doubt, the most efficient way to get around Japan is by bullet train, or shinkansen as it is called in Japanese.

The train connects the main tourists cities of Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka at incredible speeds of up to 300 kilometres an hour, which means it is easy to fit in all the things you may wish to see on a holiday to Japan.

It was first opened in 1964 and since then it has carried more than six billion passengers without a single serious incident.

There is a selection of different rail passes for overseas visitors to choose from depending on where they want to travel, making it easy to plan journeys around individual time and budget constraints.

Tokyo also boasts a world-class subway system which can take tourists anywhere they wish to go when they arrive at in the city.

Cultural delights

As well as having endless shops, bars and restaurants to explore, Tokyo is also a great place to absorb some culture – both in traditional and more contemporary formats.

Every January, residents and holidaymakers gather around to witness one of the sports most synonymous with Japan – sumo wrestling – at the Basho championships.

Film buffs also make the city their home once a year for the world-renowned Tokyo International Film Festival, which is held at the Roppongi Hills Theaters, halls and other facilities in the metropolitan area.

Travellers wishing to experience the real taste of Japan can also visit the Setagaya Boro-ichi street market, which takes place on various dates throughout December.

The event sees stalls selling everything from traditional Japanese kimonos and art, to bric-a-brac and food stalls touting delicious fresh daikan-mochi rice cakes.

Of course, no trip to Toyko would be complete without an injection of glamour, so the fashion conscious may wish to time their visit to coincide with Japan Fashion Week, which takes over the city each October.

Free fun in Tokyo

If budgets are an issue, there are also plenty of things to do in Tokyo that offer great entertainment completely free of charge.

The city's Yoyogi Park holds international-themed mini festivals every Sunday and according to travel writer Jimmy Viola, a whole day's worth of entertainment and food can be enjoyed for less than £6.

Yoyogi is also a great location to view Japan's famous cherry blossom trees in spring and it is also renowned for its ginko tree forest, which lights up an intense gold colour in the autumn.

The park is a just a five minute walk from Harajuku Station on the Japan Rail Yamanote Line and is located next to Meiji Shrine.

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