7 Reasons why you should visit Japan

7 Reasons why you should visit Japan

Japan is home to an incredible range of attractions, natural landscapes and delicious cuisine. From breathtaking Mount Fuji and pretty cherry blossoms to historical monuments and temples that will take your breath away, it’s no wonder so many people add Japan to their holiday bucket list.
If you’re thinking of travelling to Japan, here are our seven top reasons why you should visit Japan now.

1. Cherry blossoms and red leaf season

One of the most popular times to visit Japan is during sakura––the cherry blossom season in March and April. Stroll for hours under the shady blaze of these gorgeous pink blossoms, and drink in the surroundings of everyday life. During this special time of year, sakura touches the entire culture, from special cherry blossom drinks to fun souvenirs in local shops.
In autumn, Japan’s autumn foliage known as koyo or momiji (meaning red leaf), is another spectacular time of the year to visit. The crisp, bright days of the fall season and the contrast of blazing red maple leaves against the cerulean sky is breathtaking––a photographer’s dream. 
See the cherry blossoms bloom against Mount Fuji

2. Old meets new

Japan is known for its brilliant contrasts, where Tokyo’s modern skyscrapers and bright lights meet ancient temples and traditional customs. The temples amid the bright lights and hustle-bustle of one of the world’s largest cities produce an energy quite unlike any other place in the world. Visit the old town, Asakusa, home to Sensoji, one of Tokyo’s oldest, most colourful and popular temples, and walk across Shibuya’s famed zebra crossing, swarming with floods of people as soon as the lights turn green. With Western comforts blended with ancient Eastern delights, Tokyo is a necessary inclusion in any Japan itinerary.
Walk across the famous Shibuya Zebra Crossing in Tokyo, Japan

3. Legendary Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain at 3,776 metres is a sight not to be missed. Worshipped as a sacred mountain by Buddhists, it is believed that the mountain is the gateway to another, spiritual world. You don’t have to hike to its summit to experience its powerful energy though. Instead, head to Hakone and the area surrounding Mount Fuji for incredible views on a clear day. For the best chance of a clear view, time your visit during the autumn and cooler seasons of the year and admire this majestic mountain at early morning or sunset.
Admire the majestic Mount Fuji

4. Kyoto & Geisha Culture

Kyoto is Japan’s original capital and its cultural and historical centre. There are so many things to do and see in Kyoto that you’ll want at least two days here to take in its essence and hit all the hot spots. From exquisite castles and imperial palaces to Buddhist temples and colourful Shinto shrines, Kyoto is home to incredible architecture. Enjoy a relaxing stroll through exquisite zen gardens and the Higashiyama district, lined with charming teahouses and local artisan shops. You may even catch a glimpse of a geisha if you’re lucky. If not, then you can take part in a traditional Japanese dinner with a maiko (apprentice geisha) as part of the Evergreen Cruises & Tours You’re Invited program, or experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at a temple. 
Partake in a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony in Kyoto

5. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum

Situated in downtown Hiroshima, the Peace Memorial Park is a legacy, to the world’s first city to suffer a nuclear attack. This 120,000 square metre expanse was once the city’s political hub before the bomb. Today, it’s home to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, also known as the A-Bomb Dome, which was one of the few buildings left standing after the bomb dropped.

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors can learn of the tragic impact of the bombing whilst paying their respects at the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall. Although visiting Hiroshima may conjure up difficult feelings, it's arguably a necessary experience to celebrate a nation’s renewal and resilience. 
Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome, Japan

6. Japan's Significant Temples

Japan is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary temples which are not to be missed on your Japan itinerary. Head to Kiyomizu Temple, meaning “pure water temple”, for incredible views of Kyoto and highly regarded for its wooden stage, rising 13 metres above the main hall. Alternatively, Tenryuji Temple, is one of Kyoto’s largest and most impressive zen temples, in the town of Arashiyama. Enjoy gorgeous mountain views and one of the most exquisite gardens in Kyoto. Horyuji Temple, situated just outside of central Nara, is an ancient temple founded in 607 AD by Prince Shotoku. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, Horyuji Temple contains one of the world’s oldest wooden structures still in existence. Also worth visiting in Nara is Todaiji Temple, built in 752 AD, known as the “Great Eastern Temple” and home to Japan’s largest Buddha.
Pay a visit to Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan

7. The Samurai District of Kanazawa

Don’t miss the chance to explore Kanazawa, home to one of Japan’s best surviving samurai districts, the Nagamachi Samurai District. The samurai were Japan’s historical warriors and highest-ranking social caste of the 18th century. They were so highly respected, one might say they were worshipped, with every young boy dreaming about becoming a samurai. The historical area of Kanazawa still has well-preserved earthen walls and narrow water canals and walkways. Enjoy a visit to the Nomura Samurai House, a beautifully restored samurai residence housing artefacts of a legendary era and reflections of the lifestyle.
Visit the samurai district of Kanazawa

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