Japan

Summary

‘The Land of the Rising Sun’, Japan is a destination that captivates all who enter and offers experiences quite unlike any other. Its culture is entirely unique, contrasting ancient traditions with a modern love of technology and pop-culture to create something distinctly its own; here there is a real sense of the merging of old and new. A similar sense of contrast exists between the natural beauty of Japan’s serene rural towns and the vibrant cities that are symbols of its immense progress. This is a country where you can immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature among candy-floss pink cherry blossoms, snow-capped mountains, and crystal clear lakes - before easily heading to the hustle and bustle of lively cities, where something new and exciting lurks around every corner. In Japan there is truly something for everyone - watch Geishas dance in Kyoto, take a dip in an onsen, visit the eccentric Akihabara district in Tokyo, there is no shortage of things to do. From the enchanting and beautiful, the modern and inspiring, to the downright bizarre, Japan has something to surprise, entertain, and charm even the most seasoned traveller.

Experiences

  • Watch the blossoms bloom on the trees in the spring time
  • Watch a traditional dance performed by Geishas in Kyoto.
  • See the leaves change colour in the Autumn.
  • Explore the different districts of Tokyo and marvel at the wonderful things you find within them.
  • Sample authentic Japanese cuisine, there's more to it than sushi!
  • Visit an onsen/hot spring to relax after a long day exploring. 
  • Go skiing in the mountains

Seasons

The seasons in Japan are very distinct and follow the same pattern as our own but with more extreme conditions, although this varies between the north and south of the country. The North tends to see the cooler weather, with longer winters and more snowfall, whereas the South is generally warmer. The rainy season falls between June and July, while it may not rain everyday it will feel very humid during this time; there is also the chance of typhoons between July and October.  

  • Spring: Spring falls between March and May and the weather during this time is rather mild with temperatures usually reaching between 10°C and 15°C.
  • Summer: June to August sees the hottest temperatures as well as the most humidity, with temperatures averaging in the high 20s but can reach up to 40°C in some places.
  • Autumn: The weather between September and November is generally mild but can be unpredictable with a risk of typhoons; it is less humid than the summer months which can make it a more pleasant time to visit.
  • Winter: Winter falls between December and February and sees the coldest weather, with temperatures averaging between 1°C and 5°C and the mainland seeing some snow, although temperatures can drop lower in the North and along the Japan Sea Coast and much more snow falls.

Best time to go

Japan is a year round destination, however in terms of weather the best time to go is in the spring when temperatures remain comfortable and there is less risk of rain, this is also a great time to be able to see the trees blossom.

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Fast Facts

  • Capital - Tokyo
  • Currency - Japanese Yen 
  • Point of Entry - Tokyo
  • Airlines - British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic
  • Flying Time - Average over 13 hours depending where you fly to.
  • Time Zone - GMT + 9 hrs
  • Visa - Not required, visitors can enter Japan for up to 90 days without a visa.

Highlights

  • Fabulous Food - From sushi and sashimi to fresh noodles and miso soup, Japan’s cuisine is a big selling point
  • Outdoors - Mountains, coral reefs and multi-day hiking trails make it a magnet for outdoor-lovers
  • Islands - Japan has more than 6,500 islands that offer both sun and snow escapes
  • Traditions - Temples, tea houses, Zen rock gardens, geishas – Japan has strong traditions to explore
  • Technology - It’s also a high-tech destination, with sleek cityscapes, walls of neon and a population that just loves gadgets
  • Hot springs - Onsen (or hot springs), are found across the country. They can be located indoors or out
  • Accommodation - Whether you  stay in a ryokan (traditional inn) or a hotel, the quality tends to be high
  • Ease of transport - Bullet trains, ferries and efficient public transport make getting around simple
  • Cherry blossom - The natural spectacle of the cherry blossom season each spring always draws the crowds
  • Events - The Rugby World Cup takes place in the country in 2019, while the following year will see Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games.  
  • Culture - Himeji Castle, a 17th-century attraction on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, reopened in March after more than three years of restoration.
  • Transport - In March 2015 a line was extended between Tokyo and the historic city of Kanazawa, cutting transport times by almost 50% to two-and-a-half hours. And next year sees the opening of a new line extension that will reach the northern island of Hokkaido. Around 23km of the line will be under the seabed.

Hakone


Hiroshima


Honshu


Kagawa


Kyoto


Osaka


Tokyo

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