For most people, the image of Japan is an enigmatic one, with a vague notion of geishas and samurai warriors butting up against buzzing neon arcades and frenetic TV game shows.
Japan Travel Guide
Japan is indeed a nation of contrasts and those who venture there on holiday will gain a greater understanding of the unique ancient culture and traditions of this beautiful country, as well as the chance to experience the modern innovations and infrastructural genius which has made contemporary Japan a powerhouse.
Japan’s major cities (Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka) appear on the surface to be westernized, but visitor’s quickly realize that the sleek modern culture of Japan is expertly blended with millennia of tradition, evident in the Buddhist and
Shinto temples sprinkled throughout the urban centers, intricate social rituals for eating and greeting, and other small reminders of Japan’s long and proud history.
Once out of the cities, visitors can explore a different side of Japan, climbing one of the country’s 200 mountains, soaking in secluded hot springs, visiting ancient shrines and castles, or attending a sumo match. Whether it’s for skiing in the winter, viewing the cherry blossoms in spring, or enjoying the sunshine of late summer, a holiday in Japan is a rewarding adventure for all.
Best time to visit Japan
April is considered the best time to visit Japan because of the likelihood of the cherry blossoms being in bloom. Otherwise, the weather in Japan varies dramatically from the north to the south, with the rainy season generally lasting from June to early August. September is typhoon season; however, October and November tend to be a good time to travel to Japan, as the weather is mild and pleasant.
What to pack
Slip-on shoes. Japanese temples, museum’s, private homes and even some restaurants will require that you take your shoes off before entering, so having non-lacing shoes will save a lot of time and effort.
What to buy
Cloissane and lacquerware, or silk kimonos.
A final word
A holiday in Japan combines the best of both ancient and modern attractions, and makes this enigmatic country a delight to explore.
DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT TO CITY CENTRE: Tokyo: Narita International Airport and Haneda International Airport and 14 kilometres from Haneda International Airport, Osaka: 38 kilometres
TIME ZONE: GMT +9 hours
CURRENCY: Japanese Yen (JPY). Although major credit cards are accepted in cities, cash is king in Japan
LANGUAGES: Japanese is the official language but English is spoken in most hotels