Japan, a country steeped in history and culture, offers opportunities to explore bustling cityscapes, tranquil temples, and diverse landscapes. Known for its technological innovations and rich culinary scene, it provides a unique destination experience.

Travel Guide to Japan

Japan, an archipelago steeped in centuries-old traditions yet at the forefront of futuristic innovation, offers a travel experience where the past and future coexist. From serene temples and majestic natural landscapes to neon-lit skyscrapers and cutting-edge technology, Japan embodies a unique blend of contradictions that enchant every visitor.

Essential Highlights

  • Mount Fuji: The iconic and sacred Mount Fuji inspires awe with its symmetrical beauty. Whether you aim to climb to the summit or admire it from a distance, such as from the Chureito Pagoda, it’s a symbol of Japan not to be missed. Learn more here.
  • Historic Kyoto: Home to over a thousand temples and shrines, including the stunning Fushimi Inari Shrine and the scenic Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto is the heart of traditional Japan. Plan your visit here.
  • Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing: Experience the pulsating heart of modern Japan at Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world, surrounded by neon signs and towering screens. Tokyo's official guide can help plan your visit here.
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: A poignant site dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb in 1945, the park and its museum serve as a reminder of the horrors of war and a hope for peace. Visitor info found here.

Top Destinations

  1. Tokyo - Japan’s bustling capital mixes the ultramodern with traditional, from historic temples to the trendsetting Harajuku district, offering endless shopping, entertainment, and dining options.
  2. Kyoto - As the former imperial capital, Kyoto is rich in historical and cultural sites, including magnificent temples, traditional tea houses, and timeless streetscapes that evoke old-world Japan.
  3. Hokkaido - Famed for its unspoiled nature, Hokkaido offers stunning landscapes, ski resorts, and the Sapporo Snow Festival, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and foodies alike.
  4. Okinawa - Known for its tropical climate, crystal-clear waters, and distinct Ryukyu culture, Okinawa provides a unique blend of Japanese and Southeast Asian influences, perfect for beach lovers.

Accommodations & Dining in Japan

Japan offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious hotels like The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo (website) to traditional ryokans and minimalist capsule hotels, catering to all preferences and budgets.

Japanese cuisine, recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, ranges from sushi and ramen to kaiseki, a traditional multi-course meal. For an exceptional dining experience, consider Narisawa in Tokyo (website), which combines Japanese ingredients with innovative techniques.

Getting There

Top Airlines
  • Japan Airlines (website): Offers direct flights to Tokyo from various international destinations.
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) (website): Provides extensive flight options to Tokyo and other Japanese cities, known for its quality service.
Exploring Japan
  • Japan Rail Pass: For extensive travel, the JR Pass (website) offers unlimited access to JR trains nationwide, including the Shinkansen (bullet train), an efficient and scenic way to explore the country.
  • Domestic Flights: For distant islands like Okinawa or remote areas, domestic flights can be a time-saving option.

Top Experiences & Things to Do in Japan

  • Cherry Blossom Viewing (Hanami): Celebrate the arrival of spring by partaking in hanami, the traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of cherry blossoms, particularly in locations like Ueno Park in Tokyo or along the Philosopher's Path in Kyoto.
  • Onsen Experience: Soak in a natural hot spring bath, an essential Japanese experience, with scenic onsen towns like Hakone or Beppu offering a perfect retreat.

Helpful Tips

  • Currency: The Japanese Yen (¥) is the official currency. While larger establishments accept cards, many places, especially in rural areas, still prefer cash.
  • Etiquette: Japan is a country with deep-rooted customs. Simple gestures like removing your shoes before entering someone’s home, bowing as a greeting, and handling your chopsticks properly are appreciated.
  • Language: Japanese is the official language. English is widely taught, but proficiency varies. Learning a few basic Japanese phrases can go a long way.

For more information and detailed trip planning, visit the official Japan National Tourism Organization website: https://www.japan.travel/en/.

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