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  • Mt Fuji, Japan
  • Japanese Garden in autumn
  • Geisha with Sakura Tree, Japan
  • Snow on houses, Cottage at Gassho Zukuri, Shirakawago, Japan
  • Grand Sumo Tournament, Tokyo, Japan
  • Snow Monkeys
  • Tsumago, village on the Samurai trail, Japan
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto - Japan

Japan - Themes

Adventure

Climbing Mt Fuji

For many visitors Mt Fuji is the most beautiful symbol and icon of Japan. The snow-capped summit atop a glorious, near symmetrical volcano is a perpetual reminder of the country’s connection with the earth and the deities within. It 3776m above sea level Mt Fuji is the highest point in Japan and is located approximately 60 miles from central Tokyo.

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Hakone

Hakone is located to the south of Mt Fuji and has been a popular spot since the Samurai warriors ordered an onsen (natural hot water spring bath) be built here in 1590 and to this day, the area is home to more onsen than any other in Japan.

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Mount Koya-san

Koya-san is the centre of Buddhist study and practice that was founded around 12 centuries ago by Buddhist monk Kobo Daiashi Kukai as a centre for Shingon Buddhist training. His wish was to establish a monastery deep in the mountains away from worldly distractions where monks could practice and pray for peace and the welfare of the people.

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Cultural, Historic or World Heritage Site

Kyoto

It’s fair to say that when you think of Japan: geisha disappearing into hidden doorways, Zen pebble gardens, bamboo groves and incense filled serene temples, your imagination will be realised in Kyoto!

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Mount Koya-san

Koya-san is the centre of Buddhist study and practice that was founded around 12 centuries ago by Buddhist monk Kobo Daiashi Kukai as a centre for Shingon Buddhist training. His wish was to establish a monastery deep in the mountains away from worldly distractions where monks could practice and pray for peace and the welfare of the people.

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Nara

Nara is located less than one hour by train from Kyoto and Osaka. In times gone by Nara was the first permanent capital, and as such it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples.

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Nikko

Located north of Tokyo, the town of Nikko is chiefly associated with the Tokugawa shogun and is home to the mausoleum of the first and greatest shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu (on whom James Clavell based his famous novel).

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Shirakawa-go

The hamlets of Shirakawa-go, located in the pine tree covered mountains of the Hakusan National Park along the picturesque Shokawa river, is widely-known as one of the most scenic places in Japan. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, the town is famous for its traditional “gassho-zukuri” farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.

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Takayama

Takayama is a small market town located in the Japanese Alps (approx 700m altitude), on the banks of the Miyagawa River. The town is full of well-preserved old wooden houses, which now double up as craft shops, museums and Sake breweries – many of which are open to the public for tastings.

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Directors Choice Destinations

Kanazawa

Located slightly off the main tourist trail on the Western shore of Japan, Kanazawa has been somewhat passed by in the modernisation and industrialisation that has swept across most of Japan.

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Kyoto

It’s fair to say that when you think of Japan: geisha disappearing into hidden doorways, Zen pebble gardens, bamboo groves and incense filled serene temples, your imagination will be realised in Kyoto!

Learn More »

Mount Koya-san

Koya-san is the centre of Buddhist study and practice that was founded around 12 centuries ago by Buddhist monk Kobo Daiashi Kukai as a centre for Shingon Buddhist training. His wish was to establish a monastery deep in the mountains away from worldly distractions where monks could practice and pray for peace and the welfare of the people.

Learn More »

The Kiso Valley

The Kiso Valley is, in our opinion, one of the most picturesque parts of Japan. It is located in mountains of the Central Japanese Alps and is part of an ancient 70 km trade route, called the Kisoji, that was developed along the valley and served as a very important means of commerce in the area.

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Rail Journey

Mount Koya-san

Koya-san is the centre of Buddhist study and practice that was founded around 12 centuries ago by Buddhist monk Kobo Daiashi Kukai as a centre for Shingon Buddhist training. His wish was to establish a monastery deep in the mountains away from worldly distractions where monks could practice and pray for peace and the welfare of the people.

Learn More »

Shopping

Osaka

Osaka is Japan’s second biggest city and the industrial heartland of the country. What Osaka lacks in sightseeing draw cards it makes up for with its flamboyance, fun loving people and amazing food. The unique Japanese youth culture is evident all around with colourful video game parlours and karaoke centres lining streets.

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Tokyo

Pulsating neon, soaring skyscrapers, madding crowds, latest trends and fashions all await you in world’s most populous metropolitan area. The sheer scale of the city can be overpowering for first-timers, but after a couple of days exploring you'll discover the peaceful side of traditional Japan, such as tea ceremonies, blossom filled serene Zen gardens.

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Somewhere completely different

Ise

Ise is one of the most sacred cities in Japan and the Ise Shrine is one of the most sacred shrines in Japan. Here you can visit the Outer Shrine and the Inner Shrine. The Outer Shrine is dedicated to Toyuke no Omikami, the goddess of the harvest.

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Kyoto

It’s fair to say that when you think of Japan: geisha disappearing into hidden doorways, Zen pebble gardens, bamboo groves and incense filled serene temples, your imagination will be realised in Kyoto!

Learn More »

Mount Koya-san

Koya-san is the centre of Buddhist study and practice that was founded around 12 centuries ago by Buddhist monk Kobo Daiashi Kukai as a centre for Shingon Buddhist training. His wish was to establish a monastery deep in the mountains away from worldly distractions where monks could practice and pray for peace and the welfare of the people.

Learn More »

The Kiso Valley

The Kiso Valley is, in our opinion, one of the most picturesque parts of Japan. It is located in mountains of the Central Japanese Alps and is part of an ancient 70 km trade route, called the Kisoji, that was developed along the valley and served as a very important means of commerce in the area.

Learn More »

Wildlife

Nara

Nara is located less than one hour by train from Kyoto and Osaka. In times gone by Nara was the first permanent capital, and as such it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples.

Learn More »