We frequently hear from readers who are put off by Tokyo’s status as the world’s most expensive city. Because of the extreme cost involved many people fear that visiting Japan is one of those life goals that will never actually be achieved. Now, thanks to Google you can see Japan (all of it) for free.
Google’s recently expanded map service now includes satellite photo of the entire country of Japan and high resolution aerial photos of the metropolitan Tokyo area.
After spending way too many hours roaming the Japanese country side via Google we’ve finally managed to piece together Planet Tokyo’s first online tour of Japan:
Tsukiji Fish Market
Attending the Tsukiji fish market is traditionally recommended to be the first thing you should do on your first morning in Japan (well, after showering and brushing your teeth). So we’ll start our virtual tour by visiting the fish market. Unfortunately you can’t actually see any fish from this angle.
Ryogoku is known as Sumo Town. The large structure is Kokugikan, Japan’s largest sumo stadium. The park to the north is a particularly nice place to stop and eat your bento before attending as Sumo match.
At 333 meters Tokyo Tower is the world’s tallest self-supporting iron tower. It’s a full 13 meters taller than the eiffel tower.
You can’t quite make out the polar bears doing back strokes at the Ueno Park Zoo (they’re there, trust us), but if you look closely you can see the Tokyo National Museum.
The Tokyo Dome is home to the Yomiuri Giants and the Nippon Ham Fighters baseball teams. The unique dome is actually an air supported membrane. The surrounding Tokyo Dome City includes a variety of amusements and attractions.
Not to be outdone by the Tokyo Dome, the high-tech looking Seibu Dome sits on the outskirts of Tokyo and is home to the Seibu Lions baseball team. This unique dome structure has no walls.
Tokyo Disneyland technically isn’t the happiest place on earth, but it might be the happiest place in Japan – or maybe just the most expensive.
Mt. Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain and an inspiration to countless Japanese artists. As a result, Fuji’s profile is instantly recognizable. Google’s satellite imagery provides a unique perspective on Mt. Fuji that few people have seen previously.
Fuji isn’t the only volcano in Japan. While much smaller than Fuji this volcano island off of the coast of Japan is quite impressive.
Kofuns are ancient Japanese burial sites that were created between the 3rd and 7th century. These keyhole shaped mounds are quite large and easily viewable from satellite photos.
Needless to say, there is quite a bit more to see, but these should be enough to get you started on your $0 a day tour of Japan. If you happen to find any interesting sights while wondering around Japan via Google let us know – send us the URL and we may include your submission in a future post.