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Japan Travel Guide - The Non Fiction Author

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Why You Will Fall In Love With Japan!

It’s called the Land of the Rising Sun ...a place where the wonders of the old intermingle with the ways of the present. Welcome to the Asian island nation of Japan, where travelers can experience some of the world’s most ancient history, yet can indulge in modern, face-paced culture as well. The Japanese spirit is alive with a welcoming warmth and strength that will impress even the hardest to please tourist who ventures onto its beautiful shores. This historic country has a lot to offer in the way of culture, architecture, art, and food, giving you many reasons to return to it again and again. There’s much to see and do here, and with the right planning, no matter if you’re a seasoned traveler or just getting your feet wet, Japan is a great place in Asia to start.

The history of Japan can be traced back to the 5th century, although that’s only regarding recorded history. There’s been plenty of archaeological evidence found suggesting that its history dates back even further, perhaps some 50,000 years. On this island nation, you’ll find that the Japanese have spent quite a long time refining and defining their culture, making it strictly and uniquely their own. From the mesmerizing temples to the ancient and beautiful splendor a Kyoto geisha dancer, Japan definitely has something special going on, and is sure to impress even the most jaded of travelers. Whether you’re into the quiet countryside or the more modern hustle and bustle of a metropolis like Tokyo, there’s always something to do here to intrigue the mind, body, and spirit.

One big draw of Japan is its cuisine. In fact, it’s one of the most popular reasons travelers venture to this island nation. The Japanese pay great attention to detail in all that they do and food is no exception. The savory delights here are seemingly endless, and of course, there are the incredible choices in seafood and sushi.

When it comes to outdoor activities, Japan definitely has plenty to offer. Hikers will love the Japan Alps with breath-taking views. There are plenty of options for multiday hikes too if you’re looking for an extended outdoor excursion. If you prefer the ocean to the mountains, Japan has plenty of that as well. From the beaches to the beautiful coral reefs of Okinawa, the outdoor enthusiast is sure to find plenty to indulge in here.

So now that you’ve decide to set your sights on traveling to Japan, where do you start? When should you go? What should you do? Where should you stay, and where should you eat? You’ll find all of the answers and more in this comprehensive Japan travel guide. From what islands to visit to what temples to see, you’ll find it all here in an easy to use way that will help you plan your travel itinerary as well as guide you every step of the way when it comes to finding things that suit your interests as a traveler. So now it’s time take a seat amidst the cherry blossoms, indulge in your authentic sushi rolls, and go on a journey through the Land of the Rising Sun.

Chapter 1:

General Japan Overview (Regions, Transport, Culture)

Before you begin planning your trip to Japan, it’s good to know some of the basics about the country such as what to expect when you get there in terms of culture, money, and what you’ll be seeing in various regions. In this section you’ll be given the essential tools needed for learning the basics when it comes to planning your trip to Japan.

Regions of Japan:

There are nine different regions to be aware of when it comes to the islands that make up Japan. These regions will be covered more extensively in the next chapter of the guide, so here is just a quick overview of the region names and what you’ll find there:

• Hokkaido- This is Japan’s northern most island known for its wide open spaces and cold, snowy winters.

• Tohoku- Here you’ll find the areas of Yamagata, Fukushima, Miyagi, Akita, Iwate, and Aomori. It includes the more rural north-eastern part of the main island Honshu, and is known for its hot springs, skiing, and great seafood.

• Kanto- Tokyo, Chiba, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, and Kanagawa are found in this region and include the coastal plains of Honshu.

• Chuba- Nagano, Fukui, Yamanashi, Toyama, and Gifu are among the areas in this region. It’s the mountainous middle region of Honshu that’s dominated by the beautiful Japan Alps. It’s here where you’ll also find the fourth-largest city of Nagoya.

• Kansai- This is the western region of Honshu, and is considered an ancient capital of commerce and culture. Here you’ll find the cities of Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, and Osaka.

• Chugoku- This region is the south-westernmost part of Honshu. It’s quite rural and where you’ll find the cities of Hiroshima and Okayama.

• Shikoku- This area is the smallest of the four main islands and is famous for its white-water rafting and is also a destination for Buddhist pilgrims.

• Kyushu- This region is the southernmost of the four main islands and thought to be the birthplace of Japanese civilization. The largest cities here are Fukuoka and Kitakyushu.

• Okinawa- This is the southern island chain of Japan that reaches out towards Taiwan. You’ll find semi-tropical weather here as well as some beautiful scenery.

When to Visit:

Unlike many island nations, Japan does experience four different seasons, but spring and autumn prove to be the best times for travelers to visit.

• Spring- Springtime is one of the best times to visit Japan, and typically the most popular time for travelers. The temperatures remain moderately warm, but not too hot. The months of March through April are when the famous cherry blossoms flourish and are also a time of revelry and festivals for the Japanese.

• Summer- Summers in Japan start off dreary and rainy in June and by July through August it can be pretty hot and humid with temperatures getting as hot as thirty-five degrees Celsius. Summer is not typically an ideal time for travelers to come to Japan, but if you wish to brave the Japanese summer season, head to northern Hokkaido or perhaps the mountains of Tohoku and Chubu for a cooler escape. There do tend to be many fireworks shows and festivals during the