Japan is a country of magnificent contrasts. Its cities are among the most frenetic and thrilling on Earth, yet its countryside is dotted with ornate shrines and peaceful ryokan retreats. Its tranquil lakes and forests are neighbours to thermal springs and active volcanoes. And its emphasis on tradition lives alongside a bustling, cutting-edge modernity.
Begin your bewitching tour of the Land of the Rising Sun in vibrant Tokyo, one of the world’s great metropolises. Visit the magnificent Meiji Shrine and Imperial Palace before witnessing an array of Japanese traditions up close, from calligraphy to traditional tea ceremonies. Then, it’s up to you to discover Tokyo’s present-day vibrancy: tuck yourself into tiny ramen shops, promenade in the Nakamise Shopping Arcade, and crown your trip with a visit to the iconic Mount Fuji, which you can explore via cable car.
For a taste of the traditional, head to lively Kyoto, where historical palaces and temples exist alongside busy shopping streets. Venture to Hiroshima for a contemplative visit to the Peace Memorial Park, and thread your way through Osaka’s busy Dotonbori district.
Beyond Japan’s biggest cities, other discoveries await. Explore centuries-old Nara, Japan’s oldest capital city, and its UNESCO World Heritage Sites; learn how to make sushi at a special Japanese cookery class; and tread the wooden floors of Matsumoto Castle, poised at the gateway to the Japanese Alps.