A fuel-injected adrenaline rush into a neon-bright future, Tokyo is a mercurial metropolis flashing by in a blur of conflicting images. Obsessed with the latest trends and fashions, the world’s largest city – the heart of which is home to at least eight million people – is also fiercely proud of its heritage. Lively neighbourhood festivals are held virtually every day of the year, and people regularly visit their local shrine or temple and scrupulously observe the passing seasons in manicured gardens.
Tokyo has four discrete seasons, with temperatures ranging from around freezing at night during the peak of winter to the high 90s in the height of summer. While it rarely snows in the capital, the humidity during January and February can make it feel colder than the reading on the thermometer. And the city’s asphalt and concrete retain considerable heat during the summer. Japan's "plum rain" season falls in early summer—tsuyu, as it is called in Japanese, is characterized by a light drizzle reminiscent of Seattle or London. September sees the advent of typhoons originating in the more southerly Pacific. These occasionally strike the capital, bringing high winds and downpours. Spring and particularly autumn are absolutely beautiful, with relatively low humidity. Cherry blossoms bloom in March and April, and brilliant fall colors characterize November.