Japan is an ancient and beautiful country that offers everything from ultra-modern cities to ancient shrines, stunning mountain vistas and warm coastal waters. This means that a holiday to Japan has countless ideas to experience – here are five favourites to help you organise your Japan tours.
Hiroshima may be most well known for being the first city to be destroyed by a nuclear bomb, the city is much more than that one event. But this period of history has obviously played a very major part in the modern city, most all of which was rebuilt after the war. Rather than being a sad and depressed place with such a sad history, Hiroshima has been reborn as a city of peace, with people who burst with enthusiasm and welcome visitors.
There’s so much to see in the city but a few of the notable highlights include Peace Park, the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. There are still historic sites to see as well including the Hiroshima Castle and Shukkei-en Garden.
Edo Gardens, Tokyo
One of the big parts of Japan travel is visiting Tokyo and this most modern city also offers plenty for people who want to see more of the history of the city. Edo Gardens were built in the early 1600s and offer the chance to see Tokyo as it was back in this period. The gardens offer something regardless of the time of year you visit them with their bridges, lakes and beautiful tea pavilions. A half-day guided tour is a great way to see the best of the gardens while still leaving plenty of time to visit some other highlights of the city.
Mount Takao is an hour’s ride by bus from Kyoto and is home to three historic temples as well as being a largely untouched site with great natural beauty. The Kozanji Temple dates from 774 and is a World Heritage Site – it contains what is known as the first manga In Japan showing animals in a satire of court life during the time, the Heian Period. The temple also has claims to be the first place tea was cultivated in Japan.
The Jingoji Temple is one of the most visited and has an impressive set of stone steps to climb to reach it, flanked by stunning trees. Saimyoji Temple is the smallest of the three but is also worth visiting and the Shigetsukyo Bridge is a famous landmark close by.
Kamakura is the ancient capital of Japan around an hour from Tokyo by train. The city was capital from 1192 until 1333 and has many temples from this time. It also has many matsuri, traditional festivals of Shinto origin that bring together the people. Tours around the city can focus on the many historic attractions from different periods.
Japanese Whiskey Tasting, Kyoto
Whiskey may not be one of the things people associate with Japan but the country has a thriving industry and the whiskey tasting tour around the city is a great way to learn about the history of it. You can visit a number of local distilleries and sample their products as well as learning some of the culture that has developed around the whiskey distillery process.