By Michelle Inaba Mocarski
Tokyo is a wondrous city of welcome and beauty. As the memory of last year’s tsunami fades, tourism to Tokyo - and to Japan generally - is increasing every month. Now, come June 1, it will be more convenient than ever for New Yorkers to visit this extraordinary destination. On that day, American Airlines begins direct service from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Flying to and from Haneda is a traveler’s delight, because it is just a half-hour or less from downtown Tokyo, compared to an hour and a half or more from the more distant Narita Airport. And the mood in Tokyo today is positive and enthusiastic, as it would be expected from a culture where the traditional Buddhist idea of impermanence is so strong. Everything changes, and change is to be celebrated as an incentive to live life to the fullest, and Tokyo definitely knows how to do it. The city offers its visitors a contemporary mixture of history, art, and culture: the Imperial Palace, museums, lively nightlife, amazing shopping, and incredible dining experiences. Tokyo is the face of a country where past traditions and modernity coexist harmonically.