When you hear the word "Japan" , what do you think of ? Does your mind fill with images of ancient temples or futuristic cities ? Do you see visions of mist-shrouded hills or lightning fast bullet trains ? Do you think of suit clad businessman or kimono-clad geisha ? Whatever image you have of Japan, it's  probably  accurate, because it's all there.

The sheer level of energy is the most striking aspect of Japan's capital city. Tokyo is a place where the urgent rhythms of consumer culture collide with the quieter moments that linger from older traditions. It's hectic madness leavened by the most Zen-like of calms.

While it's true the exciting vibe has a somewhat depressing flip side - shoebox housing estates and office blocks traversed by overhead expressways crowded with traffic - Tokyo remains a glittering example of the 'miracle' of post-WWII Japan.

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