Japan is a fascinating blend of thousands of years of tradition and culture intertwined with some of the most advanced technology in the world. Ever wanted to visit? We think these pictures will make you want to pack a bag and get on a plane immediately!

Come For The Cherry Blossom

If you are visiting Japan and can make it for the narrow window of cherry blossom season it is well worth it. Seeing the city awash with sakura is a magical sight. Tokyo is literally exploding with pink and white blossom and you don’t need to head far to find it, virtually every street in the city is in full bloom.

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Fall in Love With Osaka

Osaka is an often overlooked city in Japan, with its neighbor Kyoto receiving all the tourist attention. However the city is a complete gem and well worth factoring in a few days to explore.

Key highlights are Dōtonbori where the city’s main tourist centre is. Entire buildings are lit up in neon and gigantic screens show advertising, making the neon backdrop of Tokyo pale in comparison. The area is also a food Mecca, with restaurants and stalls everywhere you look; make sure you try an Okonomiyaki a Japanese part pancake part noodle and 100% delicious.

To get a feel for the size of the city head up to the Umeda Sky Building which offers 360° panoramic views and to gain a true sense of Osaka’s history a visit to Osaka castle is a must.

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Take Time Out in Kyoto

Nowhere else in Japan will you feel a sense of history like you do in Kyoto. The city is a mix of quiet temples, gardens, shrines and Geisha scurrying to secret meetings. There are over 1000 temples in the city. Tō-ji is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect in Kyoto which is worth seeing and no trip is complete without a visit to the famous temple of all Fushimi Inari-Taisha the seemingly endless red shrine gates will leave you in awe.

In evening head to Gion the entertainment and Geisha quarter on the eastern bank of the Kamo-gawa. The best time to see Geisha are at dusk when they are on their way to see clients.

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Get Immersed In Tokyo

Tokyo delivers and then some – a metropolis which pushes the architectural boundaries of what is possible in a densely populated and earthquake prone land. There is so much to do in the city you are spoilt for choice.

By day make sure you take a picture at Shibya crossing, head to Harajuka to shop, for luxury shopping Ginza is the district for you.

By night head to Akihabara (Electric City) to play video games into the small hours, for karaoke Roppongi is the district to head to and a dusk trip up Tokyo tower provides panoramic views.

For food experiences an early start is needed to see Tsukiji Fish Market in full swing but it is worth it and for lunch visit one of the many teppanyaki for an Asahi beer and some nibbles.

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Visit the Japanese Alps

If you have time then take a two day trip to Yudanaka Shibu Onsen. The village is beautiful and built on top of a natural hot spring. Be sure to head up into the mountains to see the Japanese macaque monkeys who bathe in the hot springs to keep warm.

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Ross Fraser



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