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Japan is a country of tremendous contrasts. Ancient and modern converge as the transient beauty of “wabi” meets the elegance and refinement of “sabi.” Japan features magnificent traditional monuments, such as temples, tranquil gardens and shrines, alongside starkly modern high-rise buildings. These stunning fusions are set in a dramatic landscape of rugged snowy mountains, dense forest and scenic coastline.
Tokyo, the country’s capital, is a contemporary city filled with bustling shopping districts, fantastic restaurants and a lively nightlife. Visit Tokyo’s Sumida district to find a sumo stadium, fascinating museums and the Sumida River. Experience hanami (cherry blossom viewings) in April and a fireworks festival in July. Explore Harajuku to see an ancient shrine and wild fashions of the Harajuku youth on Sundays. Enjoy a fun-filled night out in Roppongi.
The majestic snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji rises beyond Tokyo’s skyscrapers. Visit Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park to see dense mountainous forest, lakes and waterfalls. Climb the summit of the revered mountain in June or July. For more stunning mountain ranges, visit the northern island of Hokkaido and the Japan Alps on Honshu. In Honshu’s western region, find the stunning cities of Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Nara. Head south to Kyushu, Japan's third-largest island, home to hot spring resorts and the country's most active volcano.
Explore ancient Zen gardens at Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu. Discover Japan’s charming agricultural villages, set in a lush forested landscape. Find breathtakingly beautiful castles dotted across the countryside. Try regional cuisine and delicious sashimi, Japanese-style raw seafood.
Japan’s climate varies greatly from north to south, making it a great year-round destination. Visit in spring for the fragrant cherry blossom season or in autumn to see beautiful maple leaves turning crimson. Japan’s Golden Week, a long public holiday, falls in late April. The rainy season begins in May in the south and moves north to reach Hokkaido by late July. Summers can be very humid. Winters are mild on Honshu’s Pacific coast.
Reach Japan by air via Haneda Airport or Narita International Airport in Tokyo, or Kansai International Airport in Osaka. Enjoy Japan’s famous rail network and explore city and countryside quickly and conveniently. Buses, taxis, ferries and plenty of domestic flights also cover the country.