As everyone who has ever been to Japan will tell you, you might think you know the land of samurai, sushi, and sumo. But from the second you touch down until the second you leave, it’s like being in another world. While Japan is not for everyone, for the more adventurous there is a lot to enjoy – and we’re going to take a look at some of the best reasons for visiting this beautiful, quirky country. Let’s take a closer look….
The cultural mix
No country mixes up the ancient and modern in quite the same way as Japan. One minute you can be in a city brimming with the cutting edge of technology, but a few stops away on a high-speed train you can be in the wonderful countryside looking at ancient temples and shrines. The people are kind, civilised and incredibly respectful, which, depending on where you come from in the world, can be an eye-opening experience.
The ease of travel
As we mentioned above, the ease of which you can travel around Japan is incredible, thanks in no small part to the high-speed trains. Look into cheap flights to Tokyo and base yourself in the nation’s capital and you can access almost every part of the country within a few hours. Fancy testing yourself? If so, try one of the famous Japanese cycling tours, and you can even try cycling the length of the country.
Outside of the major towns and cities, Japan is a place of great beauty. Be sure to check out the majestic Mount Fuji which overlooks the magnificent Tokyo skyscrapers, and head out to the Arashiyama bamboo forest. In fact, everywhere you go there are sites which are perfect for nature lovers, whether it’s rugged mountainous regions or incredible natural gardens dotted with ancient temples.
The Sakura Bloom
If you want to see one of the most spectacular sights in nature, head over to Japan in the spring for the cherry blossom festival – known as the Sakura Bloom. The soft pink petals of the cherry blossom (sakura) slowly make their way across the country from late April through to May, and it’s a truly spectacular sight, and there will be plenty of parties, picnics, and festivals enjoyed by locals and travellers alike.
Now, as we have mentioned before on this blog, not all Japanese food is to everyone’s tastes. But when they get it right, it can be divine. Some dishes can be a little weird, but for those with adventurous taste buds, you will be rewarded with some incredible meals. Sushi, ramen, sashimi – and let’s not forget the amazing taste of Kobe beef – are all there to be enjoyed.
Japan is an incredibly safe country and puts many other nations to shame. People tend to look out for each other, too, and although the language barrier can be difficult at times, the locals will do their utmost to help you out.
So, what do you think? Does Japan make your bucket list? Or have you been before? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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