Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Destinations in Japan

AsiaJapanDestinations in Japan

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Regions in Japan

Japan is conventionally divided into nine regions, listed here from north to south:

  • Hokkaido(Central Circuit, Eastern Circuit, Northern Circuit, Southern Circuit).
    Northernmost island and snowy borderland. Famous for its vast landscapes and cold winters.
  • Tohoku(Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Miyagi, Yamagata, Fukushima)
    The largely rural northeastern part of the main island of Honshu, best known for seafood, skiing, and hot springs.
  • Kanto (Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa).
    The coastal plain of Honshu includes the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama.
  • Chubu (Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Nagano, Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu)
    The mountainous central region of Honshu, dominated by the Japanese Alps and Japan’s fourth-largest city Nagoya.
  • Kansai (Shiga, Mie, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Wakayama, Hyogo).
    The western region of Honshu, the ancient capital of culture and trade, including the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe.
  • Chugoku (Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi)
    Southwesternmost Honshu, a rural region best known for the cities of Hiroshima and Okayama.
  • Shikoku (Kagawa, Ehime, Tokushima, Kochi)
    Smallest of the four main islands, a destination for Buddhist pilgrims, and Japan’s best white-water rafting.
  • Okinawa
    Semi-tropical island chain in the south extending to Taiwan; formerly independent Ryukyu Kingdom until annexed by Japan in 1879. Traditional customs and architecture are very different from the rest of Japan.
  • Kyushu (Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima).
    Southernmost of the four main islands, the birthplace of Japanese civilization; largest cities Fukuoka and Kitakyushu

Cities in Japan

Japan has thousands of cities; these are nine of the most important for the traveler.

  • Tokyo – the capital and main financial center, modern and densely populated.
  • Hiroshima – large port city, the first city destroyed by an atomic bomb
  • Kanazawa – historic city on the west coast
  • Kyoto – the ancient capital of Japan, considered the cultural heart of the country, with many ancient Buddhist temples and gardens.
  • Nagasaki – an old port city in Kyushu, the second city destroyed by an atomic bomb
  • Nara – the first capital of unified Japan, with many Buddhist shrines and historic buildings.
  • Osaka – large and dynamic city in the Kansai region
  • Sapporo – the largest city in Hokkaido, famous for its snow festival
  • Sendai – the largest city in the Tohoku region, known as the City of Forests for its tree-lined avenues and forested hills

Other destinations in Japan

  • Japanese Alps – a range of high snow-capped mountains in the centre of Honshu
  • Miyajima – just outside Hiroshima, site of the iconic floating torii
  • Mount Fuji – iconic snow-capped volcano and highest peak in Japan (3776m)
  • Mount Koya – headquarters of the Buddhist Shingon sect
  • Sado Island – island off Niigata, once home to exiles and prisoners, today a brilliant summer holiday
  • Shiretoko National Park – untouched wilderness at Hokkaido’s north-easternmost tip
  • Yaeyama Islands – the most remote part of Okinawa, with spectacular diving, beaches and jungle cruises
  • Yakushima – UNESCO World Heritage Site with giant cedars and misty primeval forests

How To Travel To Japan

By plane The majority of intercontinental flights use either Narita Airport (NRT) near Tokyo or Kansai Airport (KIX) near Osaka, and a fewer arrive at Chubu International Airport (NGO) in the vicinity of Nagoya. All three airports are far from their respective city centres, but they are connected to the...

How To Travel Around Japan

Japan has one of the best transport systems in the world and getting around is usually a breeze, with trains being by far the most popular option. Trains are rarely or never late and are one of the cleanest transport systems in Asia. Although travelling in Japan is expensive...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Japan

Visa restrictionsAll foreign nationals (except those travelling on government business and certain permanent residents) who are 16 years or older are electronically fingerprinted and photographed as part of the entry process. This may be followed by a brief interview by the immigration officer. Entry will be denied if any...

Accommodation & Hotels in Japan

In addition to the usual youth hostels and business hotels, there are various types of uniquely Japanese accommodation, ranging from noble ryokan inns to strictly functional capsule hotels and completely over-the-top love hotels. When booking Japanese accommodation, bear in mind that many smaller establishments are reluctant to accept foreigners for...

Things To See in Japan

Castles in Japan When most Westerners think of castles, they naturally think of their own in places like England and France, but Japan was also a nation of castle builders. In its feudal days, you could find several castles in almost every prefecture. Original castles Due to World War II bombings, fires,...

Weather & Climate in Japan

While the Japanese pride themselves on having four seasons, for the tourist with a flexible itinerary, they should focus on spring or fall. Spring is one of the best times of the year in Japan. Temperatures are warm but not hot, it does not rain too much, and March-April brings the...

Things To Do in Japan

Nature in Japan It should come as no surprise that in a country where more than 70% of the terrain is forests and mountains, outdoor activities abound. Climbing one of Japan's many mountains is within the means of any traveller. You can reach the top of some mountains almost entirely by...

Food & Drinks in Japan

Food in Japan Japanese cuisine, known for its emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, has taken the world by storm. The main ingredient in most meals is white rice, usually served steamed. In fact, the Japanese word gohan (ご飯) also means "meal". Soybeans are an important source of protein and come...

Money & Shopping in Japan

Money in Japan Currency The Japanese currency is the Japanese yen, abbreviated ¥ (or JPY in foreign exchange contexts). In April 2015, the yen was trading at around 120 to the US dollar. In the Japanese language itself, the symbol 円 (pronounced: en) is used. Coins: ¥1 (silver), ¥5 (gold with centre...

Festivals & Events in Japan

Holidays in Japan The most important holiday in Japan is the New Year (お正月 Oshōgatsu), which largely paralyses the country from 30 December to 3 January. Japanese go home to their families (which means massive traffic jams), eat festive food and go to the neighbourhood temple at midnight to welcome...

Internet & Communications in Japan

Phone International dialling codes vary from company to company. Check with your network operator for more details. For international calls to Japan, the country code is 81. Landline numbers in Japan have the format +81 3 1234-5678, where "81" is the country code for Japan, the next digit is the...

Traditions & Customs in Japan

Most, if not all, Japanese are very understanding of a foreigner (gaijin or gaikokujin) who does not immediately adapt to their culture; indeed, the Japanese like to boast (with questionable credibility) that their language and culture are among the most difficult in the world to understand, so they are...

Language & Phrasebook in Japan

The language of Japan is Japanese. Japanese is a language with several different dialects, although standard Japanese (hyōjungo 標準語), based on the Tokyo dialect, is taught in schools and is known to most people throughout the country. The slangy dialect of the Kansai region is particularly well known in...

Culture Of Japan

Japanese culture has evolved greatly since its origins. Contemporary culture combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America. Traditional Japanese arts include crafts such as ceramics, textiles, lacquerware, swords and dolls; performances of bunraku, kabuki, noh, dance and rakugo; and other practices that include tea ceremony, ikebana, martial arts,...

History Of Japan

Prehistory and ancient history A Palaeolithic culture around 30,000 BC represents the first known settlement of the Japanese archipelago. This was followed from around 14,000 BC (beginning of the Jōmon period) by a Mesolithic to Neolithic semi-settled hunter-gatherer culture, to which the ancestors of today's Ainu people and Yamato people...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Japan

Stay safe in Japan Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, the crime rate is significantly lower than in western countries. Volcanoes, storms and typhoons are a potential problem especially if you are mountaineering or sailing, so check the latest information before you go. In volcanic areas, stick...

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