Famed for its traditional arts, abstract dishes and symbolic cherry blossom, ‘The Land of The Rising Sun’ has cemented itself amongst Asia’s must-see destinations, and rightly so. Japan is made up of 6,852 different islands, but the largest are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Each holds its own unique flair but they all have the same sensational vistas and extensive history that ties into one.
So, whether you are planning to visit one of the main islands or seek out a smaller one, you can still enjoy an authentic Japanese experience.
If you are planning to start solo travelling, Japan is arguably the best destination in Asia. Thanks to its efficient travel in the form of bullet trains and taxis, getting around the larger cities and to the remote areas can be somewhat of a breeze. Plus, with every season being a good time to visit, there are no limitations to what you can do. Whilst quite large, Japan’s towns and cities are very safe and easy to navigate – the country ranks amongst the top 10 safest every year.
Much like the other countries in Asia, Japan features more than its fair share of monuments and temples to get you up to speed. If you are planning to stay in the city centres, Tokyo’s must-see Imperial Palace is definitely your best bet. And, even though the majority of it is inaccessible to the general public, there is still plenty to do around the grounds.
Otherwise, Kyoto provides a perfect balance of both city and park life, with its most notable attraction, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, only a short walk from the city centre. Finally, as the largest city on the northernmost island, Sapporo is a distinct hub for culture and hosts an abundance of events throughout the year. Japanese markets are found everywhere and are some of the largest in the world. With world-class craftsmen manning every stool, you can easily pick-up a souvenir or two during your travels.
Yes, Sushi is the staple dish of Japan, and you will probably see it everywhere you go. But, this doesn’t mean that you are limited to fish throughout the duration of the day. There are plenty of other dishes to choose from including ramen, tempura and soba – all of which are essential parts of Japanese cuisine. Tokyo has a grand total of 230 Michelin-starred restaurants, so if you are looking for a more memorable experience, there is plenty to choose from. If not, opt for some of the best street food in the world and continue temple trekking.
Not many holiday destinations can boast multiple holiday types. However, from skiing to sunbathing, Japan’s landscape is a never-ending journey. So, while the cities hold beautiful monuments that you might not get elsewhere, the hidden valleys can boast a more authentic side. Sights including poster-child Mount Fuji and Shirogane Blue Pond are ideal start points to see the idyllic parks that are on offer. Combine this with a journey to see the famous snow monkeys and you could really fall in love with Japan’s natural side.
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