Japan is a long and slender, highly volcanic archipelago. It’s over two-thirds mountains, with bubbling hot springs at every turn. Thousands of years as an isolated island country allowed Japan to undergo various cultural evolutions in solitude, creating a truly unique traditional culture. As connections with other countries grew, Japanese tradition was influenced and altered to create the unique culture of modern Japan, evident in its combination of traditional concepts with the latest technology and art.
Tokyo, the capital and home to some 12 million people, is the heartbeat of a vast worldwide network of financial and commercial activity, offering enough of both the old and the new Japan to satisfy even the most jaded travellers. It is the country’s showcase for technology, fashion, art, music, and advertising.
Kyoto served as Japan’s capital for more than 1,000 years, and remains charming and captivating. As you walk its narrow streets and along its tiny canals, you will be struck with images of yesterday.
Located between these two cities is Mt. Fuji, Japan’s tallest peak which overlooks the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than 100 km from Tokyo.
In Japan, train travel is convenient and bullet trains are the fastest way to get around. Choose to stay at Western style hotels or try a traditional Japanese ryokan to experience traditional Japanese customs and food, sleeping on futons laid out on tatami mats.
Additional notable places to visit are Kanazawa, Osaka, Hiroshima or other islands such as Hokkaido, which is famous for its volcanoes, natural hot springs (onsen) and ski areas; Shikoku, which boasts legendary udon noodles, movie-inspiring onsen, the first step on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage and a picturesque coastline on the glittering Seto Inland Sea; as well as Naoshima, known for its modern art museums, architecture and sculptures.