The Sphinx and the Great Pyramid, Egypt - Creative Commons via Max Pixel/Ricardo Liberato, undated photo
CAIRO – 18 January 2018: Direct flights to Egypt from Narita Airport in Japan began last October and are expected to continue on a weekly basis until April 2018. Japanese tourism in Egypt, which began in the 1980s, has great potential to grow steadily in the North African country.
“The number of Japanese tourists who visited Egypt during the first half of 2017 amassed 18,000, constituting a 127-percent increase from 2016's ratings. The number is expected to rise to 50,000 during 2017,” said Head of the Egyptian Tourism Authority Hesham el-Demeiry after the first direct Japanese flight landed in Luxor on October 22, 2017.
Although Japanese tourists are enjoying the authenticity and glory of Luxor and Aswan, there is much to miss by not paying a visit to Cairo, Egypt’s capital. The massive city is full of beautiful locations, wonderful monuments, informative and interesting museums, and authentic restaurants.
Realizing how easy and affordable it is to visit Cairo while in Egypt would probably convince a tourist to take at least a quick tour in the capital, which hosts the oldest of the Seven Wonders, the Great Pyramid. There is just too much to miss in Cairo, which is considered an open museum exhibiting multiple civilizations, especially if a tourist is not planning another visit to the ancient country. All a tourist needs is a super short flight from Luxor or Aswan to Cairo.
In Giza governorate, there is the Pharaonic Village where time travel will take you to everyday life of ancient Egyptians. The tour includes a boat ride, a replica of the golden tomb of Tutankhamen and a typical ancient Egyptian village.
The Egyptian Museum is less than a 30-minute ride away from Giza. It exhibits Egypt’s most extensive collection of ancient antiquities. The museum, a striking red-domed building between the Nile Hotel and Tahrir Square, Downtown Cairo, is an adventure through time right from the garden, where the huge, recently discovered colossus’ of King Psamtik I now lies, to the entrance where two enormous, beautifully sculptured statues of the influential Queen Tiye and her strong husband King Amenhotep III. The scene surely takes visitors’ breath away once they step in the museum.
The colossus of an Egyptian Pharaoh removed from the mud in Matariya, a slum on the outskirts of Cairo, in March 2017 - Khaled Desouki /AFP/Getty Images
With some120,000 items presented in 107 halls and spanning 5,000 years of Egyptian history, visitors can find the glittering treasures of Tutankhamun, jewelry, eating bowls and even toys with which ancient Egyptians played. In this spot there is also the hall that contains mummies that have survived thousands of years.
Visitors walk around Pharaonic artifacts inside the Egyptian Museum, with the statues of King Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye at a prominent position, in Cairo, Egypt Nov. 8, 2017 - Reuters
Just around the corner, Culina restaurant of the Nile Ritz Carlton offers a buffet-styled kitchen that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in an array of carefully selected international and local dishes.
Culina’s garden overlooks the Egyptian museum and presents live jazz and entertainment for children entertainment.
Located 12 kilometers from Downtown, Khan El-Khalili is a large, old Arab bazaar market that attests to Islamic and Arab art that came to Egypt 14 centuries ago. The place hosts many beautiful old mosques and buildings that show elaborate Islamic architecture.
Stalls at Khan El Khalili, Cairo, Egypt, Egypt Best Places Facebook Page, 10 March 2017
Khan El-Khalili can lure visitors into shopping or exploring for hours amid the hustle and bustle of trade and the scent of spices. Meanwhile, a traditional cup of Egyptian tea at the famous Al-Fishawi café, one of Cairo’s oldest cafés, and perhaps shisha will end the night in a genuinely Egyptian atmosphere.