Kantō, in eastern Honshū, is the most urban and developed part of Japan, and home to the Tokyo metropolis and the city of Yokohama.
Events and Festivals
- Japanese New Year (January 1) - the most important holiday in Japan. Although there are lots of customs and traditions most of them are done in the private. This is mainly a family holiday and Japan can feel very empty as almost everyone goes home. Travelling in Japan in during this time is difficult because everything is shut down.
- Seijin No Hi (2nd Monday of January) - the coming of age holiday for Japanese women which 20. Traditionally families will buy any young woman how turned 20 in the last year a kimono. On this day almost all Japanese women will ear a kimono.
- Hin Festival (March 3) - Also known as doll festival the Hin Matsuri festival is meant for young women. In early february families with daughters put dolls in order to make the women happy and healthy later in life. On Girls Day, on March 3, the dolls are put away until next year.
- Shichi Go San Festival (Novermber 5) - Boys who are 3 and 5, and girls 3 and 7 are taken to a shinto shrine in traditional Japanese dress. The children are brought there to pray for good luck, good health and wealth.
- Golden Week - Is quite often referred to as the "Japanese Spring Break." It is a combination of many state holidays, including Showa Day, Greenery Day, Children's Day, and Constitution Memorial Day in order to give a full week off. It takes place during the first full week of May. Everyone gets this week off in Japan so it is very bad time to travel because everything is crowded, expensive and most hotels will be full.
Other Events and Festivals
- O-Bon (Festival of the Dead) - Usually held in August, this festival is observed nationwide in Japan. Buddhist tradition dictates this is the day the dead return to earth to visit their relatives. Lanterns are hung outside homes and offerings to the spirits are made. In the evening, people float the lanterns on the river to help guide the deceased back to their resting place.
- Hanami and Cherry Blossom Festivals - A tradition all over Japan, Hanami literally means viewing flowers. Picnic under the beautiful flowing trees in any public park during this special season. Usually lasting for only two weeks in March, the sakura (cherry blossom) schedule changes a bit every year, so it’s hard to nail down exactly when to come.
There are two main airports: Narita International Airport (code NRT) and Haneda Airport (code: HND). Haneda (officially Tokyo International Airport) offers mainly domestic flights but a growing number of international routes are added. Narita International Airport, in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, is the major gateway for international travelers. Some of the main links with Tokyo Narita include those to/from London, Los Angeles, New York City, Sydney, Paris, Amsterdam, Auckland, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City, Moscow, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Mumbai, Bangkok, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Dubai, Frankfurt, Cairo, Istanbul, Perth, Copenhagen, Zürich and Hanoi.
From Narita, there are two train options to Tokyo. The Narita Express offers service between the airport and Tokyo Station vary from as little as 53 minutes to 70 minutes depending on the time of departure. The price from the airport to Tokyo station is 3,140 yen in ordinary class. Keisei's Skyliner limited express travels to Nippori Station in 51 minutes and Keisei Ueno Station in 56 minutes. The price of the Skyliner from Narita Airport to Keisei Ueno Station is 1,920 yen. Remember that a JR pass covers the cost of this train. Bus and taxi service also exists between the airport and Tokyo. However, they are much more expensive and take longer than the trains, so these are not recommended.
- Rail: Haneda Airport is served by the Keihin Kyuko Railway (Keikyū) and Tokyo Monorail. The monorail has two stations (Haneda Airport Terminal 1 Station and Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station); Keikyū operates a single station between the terminals (Haneda Airport Station).
- Keikyū offers trains to Shinagawa Station and Yokohama Station and through service to the Toei Asakusa Line, which makes several stops in eastern Tokyo. Some Keikyū trains also run through to the Keisei Oshiage Line and Keisei Main Line, making it possible to reach Narita International Airport by train. Although a few direct trains run in the morning, a transfer along the Keisei Line is generally necessary to reach Narita.
- Tokyo Monorail trains run between the airport and Hamamatsuchō Station, where passengers can connect to the Yamanote Line to reach other points in Tokyo, or Keihin Tohoku Line to Saitama, and have a second access option to Narita Airport via Narita Express, Airport Narita, or Sōbu Line (Rapid) Trains at Tokyo Station. Express trains make the nonstop run from Haneda Airport to Hamamatsuchō in 16 minutes. Hamamatsuchō Station is also located adjacent to the Toei Oedo Line Daimon station.
- The airport can be reached by a the Bayshore Route of the Shuto Expressway and is also accessible from Route 1. Scheduled bus service to various points in the Kanto region is provided by Airport Transport Service and Keihin Express Bus.
Kanto is connected to other parts of Honshu, as well as Kyushu and Hokkaido islands by train. Tokyo is the main gateway and schedules and prices can be found on the Hyperdia website.
Japan Rail offers extensive rail services throughout the area, for example between Tokyo and Yokohama. Check Hyperdia for schedules and prices.