Japan travel guide – Lonely Planet

Japan is really timeless, a spot the place historical traditions are fused with trendy life as if it have been essentially the most pure factor on the earth.

Traditional Culture

On the floor Japan seems exceedingly trendy, however travelling round it presents quite a few alternatives to attach with the nation’s conventional tradition. Spend the night time in a ryokan (conventional Japanese inn), sleeping on futons and tatami mats, and padding via nicely-worn picket halls to the bathhouse (or go one step additional and sleep in an previous farmhouse). Meditate with monks or learn to whisk bitter matcha (powdered inexperienced tea) right into a froth. From the splendour of a Kyoto geisha dance to the spare fantastic thing about a Zen rock backyard, Japan has the facility to enthral even essentially the most jaded traveller.


Wherever you’re in Japan, it appears, you are by no means removed from an awesome meal. Restaurants typically concentrate on only one dish – maybe having spent generations perfecting it – and pay shut consideration to each stage, from sourcing the freshest, native substances to assembling the dish attractively. And as you may shortly uncover, Japanese delicacies has nice regional variations. The hearty hotpots of the mountains are, for instance, dramatically completely different from the fragile sushi for which the coast is known. It’s additionally intensely seasonal, which means you’ll be able to go to at a special time of 12 months and expertise completely new tastes.


Japan is an extended and slender, extremely volcanic archipelago. It’s over two-thirds mountains, with effervescent scorching springs at each flip. In the hotter months there may be glorious climbing, via cedar groves and fields of wildflowers, as much as hovering peaks and historical shrines (the latter based by wandering ascetics). In the winter, all that is coated with snow and the snowboarding is world class. (And in the event you’ve by no means paired climbing or snowboarding with soaking in onsen, you do not know what you have been lacking.) Meanwhile within the southern reaches, there are tropical seashores for sunning, snorkelling and diving.

Ease of Travel

Japan is extremely straightforward to get round: you are able to do an entire journey utilizing nothing however its immaculate, environment friendly public transport. The shinkansen (bullet prepare) community now runs all the way in which from the southern tip of Kyūshū (the southernmost of Japan’s main islands) as much as Hokkaidō (its northernmost), and fairly priced rail passes make it reasonably priced. Major cities have subway networks which are signposted in English and nowadays we’re seeing and listening to extra English throughout. But if getting off the crushed observe and out of doors your consolation zone is what you are after, you’ll be able to have that have, too.

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