Things to do in Tokyo
Climb to the summit of Mount Fuji
Tokyo may be a concrete jungle, but the cutting-edge urban life is extremely close to serene mountains, forests and well-maintained paths. Lace up your hiking boots for both Nikko and Kamakura, the nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites, or trek to the top of Mount Fuji where no climbing experience is necessary.
Jump on the bullet train and hit the powder
Japan’s super-fast trains whisk travellers from Tokyo to the heart of a ski resort (www.outdoorjapan.com/snow) in as little as 90 minutes. Powder in these parts has a great reputation, but don’t expect cosy fires and sweet little chalets; resorts are more modern with a warming onsen instead of après-ski entertainment.
Pound the paths around the Imperial Palace
Pounding the pavements is surprisingly popular in Tokyo, with the paths around the Imperial Palace offering a suitably traffic-free place to start. For longer routes, try running along the Tama River or around Koganei Park, and for those who can handle the pace, the Tokyo Marathon (www.tokyo42195.org) takes place every February.
Relax with strangers at an onsen
Onsens (hot bubbling springs) are an essential part of Japanese life, though they can come as a little bit of a shock to foreigners. Essentially, you bathe naked in near-scalding water with a group of strangers. And yet, once you have gotten used to the familiarity of it all, it is a very relaxing experience. Scrub up in the city or else head into the countryside to soak surrounded by fresh air.
Sing your lungs out with a spot of karaoke
A trip to Tokyo wouldn't be complete without a night spent clutching a microphone in one hand and belting out as many hits as your wallet can afford. You can find many karaoke haunts in little cubic offices above the streets - keep an ear out and you'll track them down.