• Population: 126 million
• Capital: Tokyo
• Religion: Buddhism
Mount Fuji – the country’s highest mountain peak
Tokyo – the capital city of Japan
Hiroshima – the Historically Significant City
Historic Kyoto – the city of shrines, gardens & palaces in Japan
The Island Shrine of Itsukushima in Miyajima
Osaka – a Cultural Delight
Sushi: Without doubt, one of the most famous foods to come from Japan. A dish that was born in ancient times. Sushi originated from the process of preserving fish in fermented rice. Today it’s made with vinegared rice and fresh fish, presented in a number of ways and shapes.
Yakitori: Yakitori is a dish of bite-sized cuts of chicken grilled on a skewer. It makes use of every part of the chicken — including heart, liver, and even chicken comb — to avoid wastefulness, an important element of Japanese food culture.
Udon: Is a dense and chewy noodle made from wheat flour. It’s one of the most popular foods in Japan due to its delicious taste, inexpensive price point, and versatility — Udon can be eaten hot or cold and customized with any number of toppings.
Sukiyaki: Is a one-pot dish of beef, vegetables, and tofu cooked with a sweet soy sauce broth in a shallow cast iron pot. It became highly popular after the centuries-long ban on eating meat was lifted during the Meiji period, and is the perfect way to enjoy Japan’s incredibly rich and tender wagyu beef.
Sashimi: Centuries before Japanese people were eating sushi, they first enjoyed raw fish without the rice. While the name “Sashimi” refers to any thinly sliced raw food, including raw beef (gyuu-sashi), chicken (tori-zashi), and even horse, fish and seafood are the most popular varieties.
Japan’s official language is Japanese, but English is generally understood in major cities and designated tourist sites.
Weather & Climate
Spring (March – April): If cherry blossoms as far as the eye can see spark your wanderlust, then spring is the ideal time to go on Japan guided tours. Cherry blossom season varies by location. Cherry trees peak just one week after the blossoms begin to open, so set off on your tour in Japan in March to see the best of the best.
Sumner (May – July): May is pleasant times to go on escorted tours of Japan. June and July mark the height of Japan’s rainy season, but are also the time when Japan gets the fewest visitors. So, if you’re not a fan of crowds and don’t mind a bit of rain and humidity, the summer season can be an enjoyable time to see the country. It’s also around this time that the country’s music festivals and beer gardens start to open.
Autumn (September – December): Although the season can come with a little rain, it brings colorful autumnal leaves that can be considered on par with the famous cherry blossoms.
Winter (January – February): The ski season begins and the northern areas are covered with Japan’s peerless powder snow. Crisp and cool, the weather remains clear throughout January on the mainland—becoming a little gray and uninspiring in February. Warm up with some hot sake and a bowl of bubbling hot-pot.
The Japanese Yen is used throughout the country and you can exchange foreign currency at the airports and most major banks.
Yen (JPY) comes in bills of 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen, 5,000 yen and 10,000 yen, and coins of 1 yen, 5 yen, 10 yen, 50 yen, and 500 yen.
Japan, however, is very much a cash-based society, so keep cash on you. It’s worth noting that ATMs often charge for withdrawals and this charge can vary depending on the time you’re making a withdrawal. Not all ATMs are 24 hours and, in central areas, may run out of cash at times. Be prepared by having enough cash on hand.
1 USD = 106 JPY
1 EURO = 124 JPY
1. Shinkansen (Bullet Train): Japan’s sleek Shikashen or bullet train offer you maximum speed with maximum comfort
2. Subway: Travel underground for quick and easy access to every corner of Japan’s cities
3. Japan Local Railways: Travel at a slower pace and take in local scenery and traditional on Japan’s distinctive local railways
4. Taxi: Spotless clean and reliably trustworthy, Japan’s taxi can be very useful travel options. Just don’t forget to bring some cash.
5. Bus: Board local or highway bus both day and night to travel quickly and easily to your destinations
6. Renting Car: Outside of major cities, renting a car can sometimes be the most convenient and economical form of transport, especially if you are traveling in a group.
7. Ferry & Cruise Ship: Add a splash of excitement to your trip by boarding some of the water-based travel options
8. Airlines: Fly through Japanese skies to reach all four corner of the country.