A Quick Introduction to Japan

A destination for all travellers – whether you’re a foodie or a family, a couple or a group of history lovers – there is truly something for everyone. It’s home to beautiful landscapes, historic towns with enchanting pagodas and colourful customs as well as one of the most unique and vibrant cities in the world – Tokyo.

If you’re a bit of an adventurist then ascend the majestic Mt. Fuji and explore nearby Lake Kawaguchi or roam Nagoya castle. If you want to explore Japan’s beautiful natural scenery, then head to the wonderful Peaceful Deer Park in Nara and afterwards visit the Vermillion-hued Kasuga Shrine or simply take in the colourful Cherry Blossoms that come into bloom all over Japan in March and April. If you’re more of an urban explore then the cities of Tokyo and Kyoto will suit you will. Tokyo offers a vast neon skyline Tokyo under which are lively districts such as Ginza – which is great for shopping, to the colourful Harajuku and Shibuya areas – great for spotting the weird and wonderful fashionistas that inhabit Tokyo and Roppongi, which is well known for it’s raucous nightlife. Kyoto on the other hand is bathed in history and home to no less than 17 World Heritage sites and thousands of temples, from Kiyomizu and Sanjusangendo Temples, through to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and the UNESCO listed Nijo Castle. A must see is the glittering Kinkakuji buddhist temple – a former retirement villa, it’s perched on the banks of a pretty pond and surrounded by lush green gardens. It’s not uncommon to see a pretty Geisha girl in the streets of the Gion district of Kyoto.

If you’d like to get a taste of Japan’s wilder side – then you should visit one of its (literally thousands) festivals. The Tokushima Awa Odori is a gigantic citywide dance party in Tokushima City – it’s colourful and vibrant and attractions more than a million people each year and plays out on the city streets for several days. If you’re sticking to Tokyo on your holiday to Japan – then try the Asakusa Samba Matsuri festival (yes Samba) in the Asakusa area of Japan. kyoto has its own 1 month long festival known as the Gion Festival held in the Geisha district Gion. There are parades, street parties, markets and traditional Geisha dances. Japanese food is simply mouth-watering. From Osaka’s (nicknamed tenka no daidokoro or the nation’s kitchen) savoury pancakes, udon noodles and Takoyaki through to well-known staples of Japanese cuisine such as sushi, miso soup, tempura vegetables and fish – which is served raw such as in sashimi/sushi. Want to fit in? Learn how to use chopsticks!