Tokyo; a city of flashing neon lights, super-advanced gadgetry, Hello Kitty and about 13 million people, which makes it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Travel in Tokyo is one of the most exciting and energy-pumping things you can do on your gap year.
But it's got more to offer than batteries, bodies and blinking lights. From the cacophony of sights, sounds and smells that is Tokyo, it is possible to make a short journey and find yourself atop a mountain with nothing other than peace and tranquillity surrounding you. It may be far to travel to but it's got a whole lot to offer - whether you like stuffed cat toys or not.
At its core the city is steeped in culture and tradition, extremely proud of its history and heritage. It's not uncommon to see geishas and locals in traditional dress alongside men in suits on the perfectly-oiled underground, and it is that. Tokyo is city that is unbelievably efficient; there are no late trains here.
With so much going on, first-time visitors should be prepared for a massive assault on the senses - just walking the streets of this hyperactive city can be an energizing experience.
Today, Tokyo offers a seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and dining to its visitors; it's safe to say that there really is something for everyone here. The city's history can be appreciated in districts such as Asakusa, and in many excellent museums, historic temples and gardens. And contrary to common perception, Tokyo also offers a number of attractive green spaces in the city centre and within relatively short train rides at its outskirts. Also, it can be surprisingly cheap too if you know how to look after your budget with cheap cafes and some of the world's best hostels.
In Tokyo you can quietly contemplate life beside a carp on in the Zen-like Hamarikyu Gardens one minute and get lost in the concrete jungle of Shiodome's skyscrapers. One of the best times of the year to visit the city on your gap year is the cherry blossom festival; all the gardens transform into something from a manga magazine and city seems to thrive on the turn of the season.
Tokyo is a big, bright, buzzing, bustling city that never sleeps. If there's one thing for certain, you'll have an amazing time in Tokyo on your gap year.