Flight of Fancy podcast: Why we love Tokyo

Make sure you book a window seat when you're flying into Tokyo, because you need to see this city from the air. You need to be able to take in the true enormity of this phenomenal metropolis, to gaze out over a cityscape that holds almost 40 million people in its greater area and just understand what that looks like.

Tokyo. What is this place? Honestly, it's anything you want it to be. It's karaoke bars and seedy dens of ill-repute, cosplay girls and weird theme bars and manga cafes. But it's also friendly tachinomi, or standing bars, where off-duty workers come to slake their thirst. It's uber-cool vintage stores and old-school vinyl peddlers and smoky, ear-splitting J-punk music venues.

It's restaurants, so many restaurants, from modest ramen bars to snappy train-station katsu joints to the highest of the high-end, kaiseki and omakase sushi that will burst your wallet and blow your mind. It's fairytale streets in dollhouse suburbs, everything clean and neat and so beautifully presented. It's manicured parklands. It's rattling subway cars. It's mania and chaos. It's perfection and peace.

On this special episode of Flight of Fancy, we're taking a deep-dive into one of the world's truly great travel destinations – and the host of the controversial 2020 Olympic Games – Tokyo. This is a love letter to the Japanese capital, featuring insights, tips and advice from TV star Adam Liaw, author Jane Lawson, Traveller editor Anthony Dennis, and Tokyo residents Ryo Sadayuki and Brett Plotz.

So, ikimashou! Let's go on a journey…

This Flight of Fancy episode is hosted and produced by Ben Groundwater and mixed by Tim Mummery.

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