Tokyo is more than just a city; it’s the most populous urban center in the world. The city has more than 13 million residents (that’s more than NYC), and the greater metropolitan area is closing in on 38 million. In order to manage this sprawling metropolis, Tokyo is divvied up into 23 “special wards.” Each of these wards is a city in its own right, but the whole is governed by the metropolitan government.
There are plenty of ways to experience Japanese culture on a budget. You can order sushi, take a class on bonsai, or read something (anything, really) by Haruki Murakami. To experience Japan in all its manga-loving, high-tech, Asian-Pacific glory, however, you have to go there. And if you need to travel on a budget, you’ll have to do some planning.