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By the Bay
Kobe
Kobe is one of Japan's most international cities. Stroll lazily through the city, or get a nice view of Osaka Bay from the top of Mt. Rokko. If you have the money, make sure you try Kobe beef.
Japan: Kobe



Top 3 View
Matsushima
Just a short trainride from Sendai is the town of Matsushima, world famous in Japan. Matsushima Bay with its 250 islands is officialy one of the Three Great Sights of Japan.
Japan: Miyagi-ken Matsushima Islands

Bullet Train
Shinkansen
The shinkansen bullet train is one of the technological marvels of modern society. Let it whisk you through Japan at speeds of up to 300 km/h.
Japan: Shinkansen Bullet Train

Media
Daily Yomiuri Online
National newspaper
The Asahi Shimbun
National newspaper
The Japan Times
English language newspaper

Asia | N. E. Asia | Japan--> Tokyo | Kansai Region | Hiroshima | North Japan -->

Japan: Lost in Translation

Getting to grips with Japan takes a lifetime, and still some more. See mega-cities that will take your breath away, but make sure you don't miss the calm of the countryside and mountains as well. To see it all you are well off with a Japan Rail Pass. A few trips on the shinkansen and you have already gotten your yen's worth. And don't forget your pocket phrasebook! Learning a few words and characters in Japanese will take you a long way.
Japan: Hiroshima Miyajima Torii

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Japan: Tokyo Shinjuku Night Tokyo: Endless City

With 35 million people in the metropolitan area, Tokyo can rightfully be called one of the world's great megacities. It is an endless expanse of buldings and overground highways and railroads, lit by the ever-present neon signs. History and the old has definitly had to take the backseat, with future pushing ahead at full speed. The size and density of Tokyo can be intimidating at first, but with patience and curiosity the many small treasures of the city reveal themselves.

Hiroshima: Built From Ashes

On August 6, 1945, Fat Man was dropped from a US bomber plane over Hiroshima. When it exploded 600 meters over the city, at 8:15 AM, the world's first atomic bombing was a fact. After three days, and the additional atomic bombing of Nagasaki, a total of 100,000-200,000 people had died from the bombings. The necessity of the bombs are still up for debate, but the horror experienced by the population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should never be forgotten.
Japan: Hiroshima Peace Dome

Chuson-ji: Main temple North Japan: Scenic Land

As you travel north from Tokyo the population density falls, life takes on a slower pace, and the temperature falls as well. The north offers many of Japan's top sights; within an hour of Sendai are both the island-covered bay of Matsushima as well as the great temple complex Chuson-ji. Further north there are some coastal cities/villages well worth a visit (like Hakodate and Otaru), and the majestic mountains of Hokkaido island make for great trekking.

Kansai Region: Cultural Heart

Many of Japan's main attractions can be found in the Kansai Region, some three hours by shinkansen train from Tokyo. The two most popular destinations in the region are the historical cities Kyoto and Nara, both having previously served as the capital of Japan, and which together contain several thousand temples, shrines and gardens. On the other extreme is Osaka, the vibrant and modern hub of the region. Visitors should at a minimum plan for a week in the region.
Kansai: Himeji Castle

Japan: Geishas Geishas: Traditional Modern

Geishas are known the world around, easily recognized by their exagerated make-up, elaborate hair and japanese traditional dresses. The word means art-person. A common misconception by foreigners is that they are prostitutes. A more apt term is entertainment artist. Few people are aware that originally most geishas were men. Their numbers are dwindling, but you'll have a good chance of seeing a geisha if you're in Kyoto.



Mountain Town
Nikko
A nice day-trip from Tokyo is to the town of Nikko, one of the highlights of any visit to Japan. The city is 140 km north of Tokyo, and boasts a nice collection of temples and shrines, placed in beautiful mountainous surroundings.
Japan: Nikko Town Center

Facts
日本国 Nihon-koku

Capital
Tokyo
Largest city
Tokyo
Population
127,400,000 (2006)
Area
377,835 km²
Official language(s)
Japanese
Government
Constitutional monarchy

Travel
Japan National Tourist Organization
Official site
Japan Rail
National Railways Group
Japan Travel and Living Guide
Extensive guide
Outdoor Japan
Bilingual magazine
Work in Japan
Bilingual jobs site

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