Reasons to Visit
Modern and exciting cities make up much of the Japanese landscape, encapsulated by sleek bullet trains, flashing neon lights and dizzying skyscrapers. Scratch the surface to find hidden temples, preserved samurai quarters and local markets.
From delicate sashimi to prime grade steaks washed down with a local beer or a cup of hot sake, every mouthful you try in Japan will certainly be memorable and more often than not, delicious.
A stay in a Japanese ryokan inn is an unbeatable opportunity to experience true Japanese hospitality, including kaiseki cuisine, hot onsen baths and sleeping on a tatami mat.
Although the image of Japan is that of skyscrapers and flashing neon, most of the country is rural, rugged and mountainous, providing excellent walking and hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Kyoto alone has over 1600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines paying homage to a number of different deities and gods. Enter the through the large torii gate and contemplate.
From tea ceremonies and flower arrangements to lavish Geisha attended kaiseki banquets, Japanese culture is the most refined and elaborate in the world.
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Hiroshima is a city which has risen from the ashes since the horrific events of August 1945 and although these events are justifiably and sensitively commemorated, the city is now one with an energetic and cosmopolitan feel.
Beneath an arched cenotaph in Hiroshima’s Memorial Park a flame burns, waiting to be extinguished once the world is finally rid of nuclear weapons.
Close by, thousands of paper cranes, a symbol of health and longevity, are spread in silent protest around the poignant Children’s Peace Memorial. But the modern city is fully revitalised, and from your central hotel it is easy to explore its lively and energetic core.
Hiroshima is a city which has risen from the ashes since the horrific events of August 1945 and although these events are justifiably and sensitively commemorated, the city is now one with an energetic and cosmopolitan feel. The wide tree lined avenues, castle (reconstructed), Shukkei-en gardens and of course the moving Peace Park and Memorial Museum ensure that the visitor has plenty to see and do over a couple of days here.
Nearby Miyajima Island, or Itsuku-shima as it was formally known, has been sacred to the Japanese since the inception of the first shrine on the island over fifteen hundred years ago. The present incarnation of the Itsukushima-jinja shrine is one of the island's greatest attractions, and the "floating" red torii gate that stands in the shallow waters of the bay when the tide is in remains on of the most photographed views in Japan.
Travelling to Japan on a budget is often perceived to be difficult. But by taking advantage of a Japan rail pass, choosing your accommodation wisely and knowing the best value places to eat, a cheap holiday to Japan is more achievable than ever.
14 days from £3,505pp
14 days from £2,830pp
16 days from £6,830pp
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Further reading:Tours in JapanWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout JapanCountry Guides
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