Colourful, surprising, majestic, charismatic, entertaining, friendly, diverse, mysterious; many adjectives spring to mind to describe the Land of the Rising Sun. Whether you're planning an organized tour to Japan or a trip with friends or your sweetheart throughout this East Asian country, you will get your money's worth and take in all the local colours since Japan offers a world of surprises and wonders. Let's zoom in on this country and all the beauty it has to offer us.
Mountainous Terrain and a Volcanic Zone
Bordered on all sides by the Pacific Ocean, Japan is an island nation comprised of more than 6,000 islands, including the four main ones. Three quarters of its territory is mountainous. There are also many volcanoes, Japan being classified a volcanic archipelago. The highest volcano, Mount Fuji, is 3,776 metres high.
There are a number of other volcanoes and mountain ranges in Japan. The fact that the country is located on the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire means that the territory is particularly conducive to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Nevertheless, despite its vulnerable geographical location, that sometimes threatens the security of its inhabitants, Japan is a spectacular and unique destination that any traveller should visit at least once in his life.
Japan's climate is quite varied. While the north of the country has a temperate climate characterized by cold temperatures in winter and mild temperatures in summer, the regions in the centre enjoy a subtropical climate: mild in the winter and hot in the summer. Depending on where you travel and the time of year, you will experience different weather during a trip to Japan.
Cities To Visit without Fail
Japan is full of cities that you simply must visit and, at the top of the list, we have to put Tokyo, the capital, with its sumo wrestling, its tall skyscrapers, and the many sushi bars found all over the city. Indeed, the administrative capital of Japan is full of activities and places to discover with friends or family. We make special mention of the neighbourhoods of Shinjuku and Shibuya.
With their trendy boutiques (including the department store 109), their Japanese restaurants, their pubs and bars open until the early hours, both of these lively districts are the places to go for a shopping spree or nightclub dancing.
Some Nightclub Suggestions
For party and pub lovers, New York Bar, Donzoko, and The Womb, are just some examples of Tokyo nightclubs that will leave you with unforgettable memories of your trip to Japan.
Also in the capital, the majestic, 333-metre-tall Tokyo Tower, in the district of Minato, as well as the artificial island of Odaiba are among attractions to make the time to see.
The City of Hiroshima
Another place not to be missed during your trip to Japan is the city of Hiroshima, where there is little to remind you of the destruction resulting from the nuclear bombing at the end of World War II that killed more 100,000 people.
You will want to visit the famous Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which houses exhibits in honour of the victims, including the Genbaku Dome, also called the Atomic Bomb Done, that withstood the blast. Beyond the monuments, the city is vibrant and buzzing with energy today.
The Torii de Miyajima
Among the other must-see sites in Hiroshima, besides the museum, is the famous site of the floating torii gate of Miyajima Island, one of the most photographed sights in Japan, considered a sacred place.
Take advantage of your time in Hiroshima to eat in a Japanese restaurant and taste the succulent local cuisine – there are many for every taste in the city including the renowned Polar Bear, Shanti Vegan Café, and Nagataya, to name only a few.
Mount Fuji and Its Five Lakes
It would be unthinkable to travel to Japan without visiting famous Mount Fuji and the five lakes surrounding it, formed as a result of volcanic activity. It is a paradise of picturesque panoramas. If you are planning an organized tour of Japan, there is a good chance that it will be included in your itinerary, since it is generally accepted as a must-see.
Visit a Japanese Temple in Kyoto
The City of Temples, Kyoto, along with Tokyo and Hiroshima, is located on Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It is home to more than 1,000 temples, so you are bound to find one that suits you on this leg of your trip to Japan. The complex of Miyoshin-ji has nearly 40 temples alone, so it is a good starting point to visit some.
Japan's Most Beautiful Beaches
When we think of the words “Japan trip,” beaches do not automatically spring to mind, since Japan is first and foremost a historical and cultural destination.
Yet the Japanese archipelago has no shortage of heavenly bodies of water, just like many other Asian countries. Japan's resorts are unique in that they are often surrounded by idyllic landscapes, such as lush tropical forests that are found nowhere else.
Some Beach Suggestions
If you like diving, you can go to the island of Okinawa, which is about three hours from Tokyo by plane, where it is possible to admire a number of marine species, including the manta ray and the sea turtle.