Whether youre watching Tokyo turn a hundred shades of pink under the cherry blossom, youre looking up at the summit of Mount Fuji through the clouds, or youre experiencing the geisha quarter and old town of Kyoto, a trip to Japan is an unforgettable experience. Its technologically advanced, lit up with neon at night and full of fascinating temples, waterfalls and hot springs, heated by the lava that flows below them. This is home to a sophisticated culture unlike any other and a delight to explore.
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A trip to Tokyo is a must-see on all trips to Japan. Fuelled on green and matcha tea, to fully appreciate the city, youll need to take in both the impressively high Skytree viewing tower and the traditional market below at Asakusa. A tour of the citys shrines is a must, as is, for just a few pence, having your fortune told at each. The Shibuya Crossing is where youll see all manner of life (and possibly a few robots), coming together to wear cosplay outfits, play the slot machines and eat noodles. In the citys parks, youll see beautiful manicured gardens displayed in front of the castle.
But of course, youll naturally want to go further afield, to the shrine of the Giant Buddha and into the bamboo forest of Kamakura, as well onwards to Lake Ashi and into Kyoto. There are so many individually astonishing cities in Japan that, without doubt, the best way to get a decent insight into the culture and the cuisine is to take an escorted tour of the county.
Places to see in Japan:
Discover shopping in Shinjuko and walk through the iconic Meiji shrine. See some of the worlds most cutting edge robots at the Miraikan Robot Museum and enjoy noodles the authentic Japanese way.
- Tokyo Skytree: Huge tower with an observation deck to gaze upon this vibrant city
- Meiji Jingu: Famed Shinto shrine and garden that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken.
- Imperial Palace:This is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in Chiyoda ward of Tokyo and contains buildings including the main palace, the provate residences of the Imperial Family, an archive, museums and administrative offices.
- * Tokyo has the most top-rated restaurants in the world. It is home to over 14 three-star Michelin restaurants!
- * There are vending machines everywhere! There are vending machines roughly every 12 metres in Tokyo. It is estimated that about 3% of Japans power goes towards powering vending machines. So dont worry about getting thirsty!
- * Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area in the world, hosting over 36 million people spread over three prefectures!
Enjoy tea brewed and served in the original way at a tea ceremony, whilst marvelling at the colour characters in the old town. This is a taste of traditional Japan, that has been depicted in art and literature throughout the ages.
With its buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and imperial palaces, youll love walking around, admiring the architecture and gardens of this carefully planned, very ornate, highly respected old city.
- Kiyomizu-dera: this is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Fushimi Inari Taisha:this is the head shrine of Kami Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto Perfecture.
- Arashiyama:a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto. It also refers to the mountain across the Oi River, whcih forms a backdrop to the district. Arashiyama is nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty.
- * It is believed there are over 1,000 Buddhist temples in Koyoto!
- * It is the largest city in Japan.
- * It was the original capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years! In 1192, Kyoto lost its political power to Tokyo.
- * Cell phones from other countries, other than Japan, usually dont work there, so be aware!
Known for its modern architecture, contrasted with its ancient shrines and impressive castle, Osaka is popular with everyone who wants to get to know the the impact Japans history has had on recent city planning.
- Osaka Castle: The castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks and it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
- Dotonbori: Osaka’s most famoud tourist destination and renowned for its gaudy neon lights, extravagent signage, and enormous variety of restaurants and bars
- Universal Studio’s Japan: One of six Universal Studio’s theme parks in the world, attracts millions of people every year.
- * Osaka is known as the ‘Nation’s Kitchen’, and is well known for delicious foods such as takoyaki and okonomiyaki. The most famous food district in Osaka is Dotonbori.
- * People from Osaka are said to be the most outgoing in Japan. Many famous Japanese comedians come from Osaka, and many say that Osaka feels more friendly and down to earth than other major Japanese cities.
- * The underground shopping complex in Osaka’s central district, Umeda, actually has fossils from the Jurassic to Cretaceous period! If you want to see them, pay close attention to the walls of the shopping complex!
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