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19:30 AEST Thu Dec 13 2012

Japan, with a population of around 128 million, seems to successfully squeeze people into tight places. Tokyo, on the main island of Honshu, is the world’s largest metropolitan area with a population of 30 million and as Dermott discovered, it’s a wonderfully vibrant city.


If you want to get a taste of Japan's unique youth culture, Harajuku is the centre. It has extreme teenage culture and fashion and is the place to be seen for the young and hip.

Shibuya Crossing

This is one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the world. Enormous video screens noisily compete for attention and bright blinking neon billboards advertise the very latest in everything.

Ichiran Ramen Noodles

Japan's version of comfort food is ramen, a noodle soup dish traditionally with a chicken or pork base. Over the years it has evolved and today there are many soup bases with various toppings.

Roppongi Hills Observation Deck

For stunning 360 degree views of Tokyo from 250m above sea level, head to Roppongi Hills Observation Deck at the top of the Mori Tower. It's built around the rim of the rooftop heliport and on a clear day, Mt Fuji can be seen.

Green Plaza Shinjuku Capsule Hotel

Dermott stayed in Japan's largest capsule hotel in Kabukicho, one of the city’s red light districts. It has 630 capsules and they’re all about price and convenience. Capsules are 190cm deep, 100cm wide and 990cm high. They form a honeycomb, and each capsule is air-conditioned and comes with television, radio, alarm and personal light. Belongings are stowed in a locker room and vending machines dispense drinks, soup, snacks, underwear, trousers, neckties and emergency purchases.

Christon Cafe

This themed restaurant has gone totally overboard presenting Christian paraphernalia. It’s decorated like a church with stained-glass windows, vaulted ceiling, crosses, holy statues and organ music.

Golden Gai

Golden Gai is a block of hundreds of tiny bars which accommodated just five to 15 people. It's like early post-war Japan when the area was popular with artists and radicals wanting to change the world. It was built as a red-light district, but after the US occupation ended in 1952, owners converted the mini brothels into mini bars.

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