As a country, Japan offers a spectacular diversity of attractions and opportunities for travellers. If you re considering a holiday in this part of the world, then there are a few things that stand out as essential. Let s consider them!
See the Cherry Blossom
Among the more iconic occasions on the Japanese cultural calendar is the cheery blossom, which lasts for around a fortnight. Locals will spend their time underneath the cherry trees, picnicking. You can join them.
The second most famous city in the country, Kyoto provides a rich diversity of culture and some of the best restaurant experiences in Japan.It s the first stop on many Japan tours.
Sleep in a Capsule Hotel
One of the problems with travelling to Japan is that it s a little on the expensive side. You can, however, offset these costs if you re willing to sleep in a so-called capsule hotel . These see guests lodged in tiny bed-sized spaces, rather than in full-sized rooms.
Climb Mount Fuji
Fuji is among the world s most distinctive peaks, and it can be ascended quite easily provided that you re an experienced mountaineer. Expect a six-hour hike, and elevation sickness near the summit.
Watch Sumo wrestling
There s no sport in the world quite like sumo wrestling. Two massive, hulking gladiators square off against one another for the enjoyment of a baying crowd. Make time for it at least once!
Join a tea ceremony
For centuries, the tea ceremony has been a cornerstone of Japanese culture. You ll spend your time in silence, listening to the trickle of hot water, and then enjoying some beautifully fragrant tea.
Immerse yourself in Tokyo s quirky side
Many of the artistic developments in recent Japan can actually be traced toa small part of the capital city: Harajuku, which is a bit like a never-ending version of a comic book convention. If there s a cultural shake-up in the brewing, then the chances are it will come from here.
Sake is an acquired tastebut where better to acquire it than Japan? It s a fermented rice wine that s actually brewed more like a beer. Bear in mind that the word in Japanese can refer to any alcoholic drink. Look for the term seishu instead.
Visit the temples
The Japanese countryside is dotted with miniature shrines and temples, and so are the parks in many of its cities. You might not be allowed to take photographs inside, so make sure that you savour the experience.
Soak in the natural hot springs
An onsen is a natural spring where communal bathing takes place. It s a cornerstone of life in Japan, so, if you d like to live like a local, you ll need to make it part of your trip. Be aware, though: you ll be naked in a room full of strangers.