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Japan is a country where the past meets the future. Japanese culture stretches back millennia, yet enjoying some of the world’s most futuristic and technologically advanced cities. Japan has twenty-one World Heritage Sites, including Himeji Castle, Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto and Nara, Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama and the Ogasawara Islands. You will discover it’s history at every turn, whether it’s a venerable Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine, a museum housing samurai swords, or one of Japan’s many colourful festivals with its profusion of costumes and ancient rituals.

Japan is probably the safest country in the world and even its major cities feel always safe. In the midst of buzzing areas such as Shinjuku and Shibuya in central Tokyo, you’ll find that there is a sense of security with police boxes (koban) on most corners and friendly officers ready to help.

Geography

The islands of Japan stretch over 3,000 km (1,864 miles) from north to south and include nearly 4,000 islands in the western Pacific. Its regions are hugely diverse in terms of climate, culture, food, nature, and history. From world-class ski resorts in the snowy northern island of Hokkaido to idyllic golden beaches in subtropical southern Okinawa via the buzzing, neon-lit cities of Tokyo and Osaka

Japan has twenty-one World Heritage Sites, including Himeji Castle, Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto and Nara, Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama and the Ogasawara Islands. You will discover it’s history at every turn, whether it’s a venerable Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine, a museum housing samurai swords, or one of Japan’s many colourful festivals with its profusion of costumes and ancient rituals.

Colliding tectonic plates not only trigger earthquakes they also build volcanoes; about 10 percent of the world’s active volcanoes are in Japan. As a result, geothermal hot springs (onsen) can be found across the country. Since ancient times, Japanese people have been very fond of bathing in these hot springs, and the practice is now deeply embedded as part of the Japanese lifestyle. Because of the high mineral contents, hot spring water is considered effective in treating a variety of injuries and illnesses as well as relieving stress and fatigue.

Climate

Except in the area of subtropical Okinawa and Hokkaido, Japan’s climate is usually temperate with four different seasons. The winters are cool and sunny to the south, cold and sunny around the national capital (which sometimes snow), and very cold around Hokkaido, which is roofed up to four months a year within the snow. The coast of the ocean of Japan typically gets serious downfall in winter.

Summer, between June and September, ranges from warm to hot with high humidity in many areas. Typhoons, strong winds, and heavy rains, often strike Japan in August and September, but may take place from May to October.

Spring and autumn are usually mild all over the country and offer a spectacular view of Sakura cherry blossoms and colorful autumn leaves, respectively. Rain falls in Japan all year round, but June and early July is the main rain. Umbrellas are an essential part of the season. Hokkaido, however, is generally much drier than the area of Tokyo.

Experiences and Attractions

> Hiking in the Alps of Japan, which have a breathtaking view
> Recalling the geishas perform traditional dances in Kyoto
> Karaoke singing, a popular sport, in one of the many bars in Tokyo
> Enjoy fresh sashimi in one of the many restaurants in Tokyo world class sushi or ramen cooking bowl showing in one of the droves of bars noodles in steam to study the city
> Go to a baseball game, a sport that is very popular in the country

Where to Go in Japan

The four main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu.

Hokkaido has always been so distant and alien to the outside of the normal sphere of Japanese life as Alaska is for the rest of the United States. Mountain desert landscape is widely used here best in the Daisetsuzan National Park.

About 600 miles south of the main island of Honshu, it is Tokyo. One of the largest cities in the world, the tradition and futurism catch in the heart of the magic of this extraordinary country. To understand Japan, it is important to spend time in Tokyo.

Kanto level wraps around the city. Southwest is the Mount Fuji, the iconic monument covered with snow, given to Tokyo a clear winter day. Further north is the historical and scenic city of Nikko. Wooded mountains are the most attractive in this part of the country, especially in autumn: South short distance the beautiful old town of Takayama and the beautiful Japanese Alps.

Currency

The currency used in Japan is the Japanese yen