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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Take an evening stroll through the Shinjuku district of Tokyo and every preconceived image of modern Japan will be there to greet you: crowds decked out in the wildest fashions, towering skyscrapers and flashing neon.
Take an evening stroll through the Shinjuku district of Tokyo and every preconceived image of modern Japan will be there to greet you: the thronging crowds decked out in the wildest fashions, towering skyscrapers, flashing neon and all the noise and excitement of what is perhaps the world’s ultimate metropolis.
Shinjuku is Tokyo, but so are the smoky Senso-ji temples of Asakusa and the green oases of Hamarikyu-en Garden and Meiji Jingu Shrine. Tokyo is a city of countless subcentres, each with its own style, atmosphere and interest.
Location is key here, and we recommend staying in one of the excellent international hotel options on the circular JR Yamanote railway line. From here we can organise a city tour or provide comprehensive pre-departure notes to help you to explore independently. Savour an early sushi breakfast at the amazing Tsukiji fish market, explore historic Asakusa with its temples and traditional handicrafts before plunging into the glitter and extravagance of the shopping and entertainment districts of Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ginza.
Tokyo also holds countless attractions for younger visitors, including celebrated anime director Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli Museum, Tokyo Disneyland and Harajuku, mecca for Japan's fashion-conscious youth.
The cherry blossom season in Japan is one of the most popular and iconic times of the year to visit this spectacular country, and for good reason. But there are also many benefits to travelling outside of this period, from the changing leaves in autumn to the snow festivals in winter.
To visit a garden in Japan is to take a step away from reality. Many of the gardens are calm oases in the centre of busy cities and they offer visitors an opportunity to relax and forget.
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.
Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san, as it is more commonly known in Japan, is, along with Geisha, sushi and the bullet train, one of the most iconic images of the country. As well as a selection of itinerary suggestions, this travel guide provides information on climbing and where to view one of Japan's most famous landmarks.
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Include a visit to Tokyo on your tailor-made trip around Japan by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in JapanWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout JapanCountry Guides
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