JAPAN

Capital City: Tokyo
Official language: Japanese with some English being spoken in the main tourist cities such as Tokyo.
Currency: Japanese Yen

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Population
Konnichiwa…and welcome to the land of The Rising Sun!

Step inside and explore a world where the traditional and the modern collide head-on to create one of the most amazing tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Imagine…the freshest sushi around, the mysterious Okinawa and the Japan Alps, breathtaking art and the sheer magical lifestyle of the Japanese people. The array of opportunity might be bewildering, but it will never be boring! On offer here are wondrous things such as the kimono-clad geishas to the latest in design, tech, fashion and cuisine. From crumbling castles to sacred Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and festivals unmatched anywhere else, the darker history of cities like Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the magnificent natural beauty…Japan is a world of wonders just waiting to be explored by tourists from all walks of life.
Yes, we all know that Japan has some pretty famous history thanks to WWII, wounds which are still healing with the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but it’s famous for so many other reasons. Japan is at the forefront of technology, just think about the fact that they built toilets that can talk to you! Japan is the home of the ancient ruling class warriors, the Samurai. Today, the country has one of the world’s strongest economies, giving it more than enough reason to be validated as one of the most famous destinations in Southeast Asia.
So what makes Japan such a unique destination? The answer might lay hidden in the fact that the Japanese are very heavy on their traditional culture and still wear kimonos without considering it to be a big deal. The lifestyle is also calm an in order, resembling a peace and tranquility among the masses which isn’t really see anywhere else. Japan is also home to some of the weirdest and most wonderful festivals across the world. Their uniqueness could also originate from the fact that it’s the home of anime & manga, karaoke, the most earthquakes in the world and they still have real life ninjas. All of these factors come together in a magnificent blend of traditional and modern to make Japan one of the most unique destinations in the world.

Must see places in Japan

Tokyo

Tokyo

You can either love it or hate it, but what really makes Tokyo pop is the people that live there. Japan’s capital city, is something different altogether. Make sure to stop by Shibuya and take a stroll through Yoyogi Park.

Kyoto

Kyoto

This is probably one of the most Zen cities out there, with more temples and shrines than any other place in Japan. Great spots to visit include the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine and the Golden Pavilion.

Nikko Japan

Nikko

Nikko is a UNESCO world heritage site and is famed for some of the most lavishly decorated temples and shrines. The forest with its giant cedar trees beautifully round off the man-made marvels on display here.

Kamakura

Kamakura

Here you can find the Great Buddha standing at the Kotoku-in as well as many other shrines and temples to visit.

Nara Japan

Nara

This is a former capital of Japan, so you can bet it will be interesting to see. With over 1200 sika deer roaming freely over the Nara Park, the shrines and temples that are located within close proximity of each other are a real treat for the eyes.

Yamagata

Yamagata

Mount Haguro Goju Pagoda can be found here, and at 600 years old, is said to be the oldest pagoda in the Tohoku region. See the breathtaking trees which are believed to be 1000 years old.

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

This picture perfect castle speaks of impeccable elegance and is designated as one of the “National Treasures of Japan”, which explains why it’s a sight you have to visit.

Takayama

Takayama

This is where you can find the preserved old town that dates back to the Edo period. Splendid design and architecture makes this a very scenic destination, and the old shops and restaurants allows one to almost step back in time.

Otaru Canal Japan

Otaru Canal

This 40 meter wide canal in Otaru spans over a kilometer and is lined with 63 Victoria-style lamps posts.

Hiroshima

Hiroshima

Strangely enough, what used to be a famous name thanks to the atomic bomb is today’s global peace center. Here you can find Ground Zero, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, as well as the Itsukushima Shrine of Miyajima Island.

Things to do in Japan

Japan

Go to a Sumo Tournament

Sumo Tournaments is about more than just some fat guys slapping each other around. The atmosphere at these tournaments is electrifying and there’s something very Japanese about them that you just cannot miss.

Karaoke to your heart’s content

Karaoke to your heart’s content - since it was born in Japan, Karaoke is something you have to do when you’re there.

Ride the Bullet Train

The Shinkansen gets people to one side of Japan to the other in record time, traveling at speeds of 186 miles per hour. The best thing about it is that the trains are ALWAYS on time, down to the second!

Dine at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant

Dine at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant - to get the real feel of sushi at its best, you have to try this one. Grabbing your dinner as it rolls around is really something else, and about as Japanese as it gets.

Bathe in the hot springs

Onsen (relaxing) is what the hot springs are all about. Some of the most famous sites with hot springs are Dogo in Matsuyama, Shikoku and Ibusuki.

Drink some Sake

If you’ve always wanted to try authentic Japanese rice wine, the Japan is the right place to indulge in some delicious Sake

Be inspired at the Temples and Shrines

Be inspired at the Temples and Shrines - with roughly 85,000 temples and 95,000 shrines, the country of Japan has no shortage or religious and spiritual sights to keep the senses in awe. Kyoto has the most temples and shrines, although all of the major cities have these sights in abundance.

Pick the time right

Tourists visit Japan in Spring and Autumn

Japan has four distinct seasons, with a mostly temperate climate. In the south, winters are cool and sunny, colder. In Tokyo with occasional snow and seriously cold around Hokkaido, which can be covered in snow for up to four months a year. Summer time runs between June and September and sees warm to very hot temperatures with high humidity in many areas. Between the months of August and September, Japan is often victim to typhoons. The best time to visit Japan would probably be in spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and you’ll get the best views of the natural environment.

Did you know?

01
In Japan, when an employer notices that an employee looks tired and overworked, the employee is forced to take a “refreshing” nap in an upright position
02
Most of Japan’s landscape is mountains
03
Japan’s literacy rate is almost 100%
04

Konnichiwa is the standard Japanese greeting for good morning or hello

Travel Tips

Local dishes to try
  • Teriyaki - is a dish of marinated beef or chicken that is seared on a hot plate
  • Tempura - this is a dish consisting of seafood or vegetables that are deep-fried in a light batter
  • Sushi - enough said
  • Kushikatsu - this dish consists of crumbled fish, meat and vegetables that are deep-fried on skewers
  • Okonomiyaki - this is a grilled savory pancake that is stuffed with shredded cabbage, seafood, pork and noodles.
  • Sake - try the traditional rice wine drink, served hot or cold
Seasonal Specialties
  • Teriyaki - is a dish of marinated beef or chicken that is seared on a hot plate
  • Tempura - this is a dish consisting of seafood or vegetables that are deep-fried in a light batter
  • Sushi - enough said
  • Kushikatsu - this dish consists of crumbled fish, meat and vegetables that are deep-fried on skewers
  • Okonomiyaki - this is a grilled savory pancake that is stuffed with shredded cabbage, seafood, pork and noodles.
  • Sake - try the traditional rice wine drink, served hot or cold
Good to know!
  • When greeting the locals, bow down to show respect
  • Get some cash at the airport as Japanese ATM machines don't accept some of the credit and debit cards
  • Get yourself a Suica card, which is almost like traveler’s cheques
  • In Japan, they drive and walk on the left hand side of the road, so keep that in mind
  • Have your address written down in Japanese to make it easier for locals to get you back home safely after a day of touring
  • Pointing at anyone or anything with your forefinger is considered rude
  • Blowing your nose in public is also considered seriously offensive


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