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Tokyo's lingering glitter

By Lee Hannon (China Daily)

09:25, May 08, 2012

Clockwise from top: While the lights of Shibuya don't shine as brightly as the pre-tsunami days, more than a year ago, the heart of Tokyo's shopping districts is beginning to buzz again. From vivid street performances to the just plain weird, Tokyo's streets are still vibrant with a mix of interesting characters. Yokohama, Tokyo's Chinese district, is the largest Chinatown in Asia. Photos by Todd Balazovic / China Daily

As Japan struggles to get its groove back, the capital beckons as a bright bargain. Lee Hannon visits.

The bright neon lights of Tokyo may dim this year, but the flicker of hope that Japan will remain a top tourist destination still glimmers. It's been more than a year since the land of the rising sun faced its darkest days after World War II, after a massive earthquake and deadly tsunami killed tens of thousands of people as it washed away entire towns and villages. Tourists in Japan left as quickly as multinational corporations evacuated their workers.

Latest statistics show Chinese tourists are returning in record numbers to Japan. Some 138,400 visited in January alone, up 39.6 percent from the same period last year pre-quake.

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