i.e. Tokyo-Kyoto-Kanazawa-Hiroshima-Osaka-Takayama

Japan, The ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ is an island state in Asia with 125 million inhabitants. People speak Japanese and follow Shintoism and Buddhism. Japan respects its ancient traditions and at the same time is a modern world power. From north to south the country is 3,200 km long and the climate varies from continental to subtropical with a great deal of precipitation, snow-capped mountains and vast forests. There are four seasons and a lot of precipitation throughout the year, with snow in the winter. Only 11% of the territory is inhabited, and there the population density is extremely high.

In the 2nd world war Japan occupied countries including Indonesia and Burma and bombed the American fleet on Hawaii. In 1946 Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by atomic bombs, Japan then surrendered and was occupied by the Americans from 1945 to 1952. Almost all the cities had been bombed and the reconstruction went hand in hand with industrialisation. Japan exports cars, machinery and electronic equipment and is now the 3rd largest economy in the world.

The capital Tokyo is home to 13 million inhabitants, or 37 million if you include the suburbs. In Chiyoda you will find the imperial palace and ministries; Shibuya is the district for shopping and nightlife and in old Tokyo there are temples and national museums.

Some other towns and attractions include Himeji, in west Kansai, where there is a huge castle. It is an ancient city, was used as a film location for ‘The Last Samurai‘ and has been on the World Heritage List since 1993. The Kokoen Garden is a Japanese model garden. In the city there are several museums, a zoo and temple complex.

Kamakura is a smaller town with temples and a relaxed atmosphere. From 1185 – 1333 it was the temporary capital of Japan.

Kyoto was the capital between 794 and 1868. This city was not bombed in the 2nd world war.

The Japanese port of Nagasaki allowed foreign ships to enter from the 16th century, and Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese influences are noticeable in the area.

Daisetsuzan, on Hokkaido, is a nature reserve in a mountainous area. Yakushima is a World Heritage Site, with ancient cedar trees and a cloud forest. Mount Fuji (3776 m) is the highest mountain in Japan. It is a sacred place that must not be entered lightly.

Japan has few resources and uses nuclear power. In 2011, the Fukushima nuclear power plant was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami.

Japanese traditions include the tea ceremony, architecture with wood, straw mats and paper walls. Hokusai and Hiroshige were Japanese artists who exerted great influence on European artists at the beginning of the 20th century with their woodcuts. Manga comics are internationally popular. The Japanese also love music. A famous salsa band is Orquesta de la Luz, and karaoke is a favourite hobby, which is now practiced more than traditions like ikebana (flower arranging), origami (folding figures) or tea ceremonies. Japanese haiku poetry is highly respected.

Would you like to experience a tea ceremony, see samurai weapons and costumes, admire Mount Fuji and dance salsa? You can do it all in Japan!


Capital Tokio
Population 126.800.000
Language Japanese
Currency Japanese Yen
Visa required www.visum.nl
Vaccination(s) No
Voltage 100 V
Traffic Left-hand traffic


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