The country has breathtaking scenery made from natural landscapes and exquisitely crafted gardens, best explored by a river cruise that can include exploration of islands, remote stretches of coast and inland waterways dotted with timeless villages. The sea port of Osaka is a good starting point for a voyage inland to some of Japan's most popular cities including Kyoto, now forever associated with the issue of climate change and global warming. In the city of Hakodate you can discover the history of the first Japanese port opened to international trade and feast on the fresh seafood for which the city is famous.
Japan is an ancient land of myth and mystique that's full of hidden treasures rarely seen by Western travellers. Japan is a nation with a history, culture and beauty all its own, with ancient castles where the shoguns once ruled, opulent Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, and the iconic towns of the nuclear age, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And in the cosmopolitan port of Kobe explore the fashion museum, go shopping in the markets and boutiques and drink a glass of Sake from one of the wineries. You can visit the majestic and tranquil Nara, a former capital in ancient times and home to some of Japan's oldest Buddhist temples.
The modern capital, Tokyo, is a strange mix of modern living and a way of life steeped in traditions, from the most advanced technology and fashionable shopping to ancient tea drinking ceremonies and Kabuki theater.
In Tokyo's Harajuku district, you'll find Japan's most splendid Shinto shrine, set in a tranquil garden away from the downtown hustle and bustle, and the Ota Memorial Art Museum, where masterpieces of Japanese wood block prints reside.
Nagasaki has the Peace Memorial Park, while the island of Okinawa, scene of one of the most bitter Pacific battles in World War II is renowned for tranquil fishing villages and temples dedicated to the gods of the sea. Kagoshima is home to the coastal Nagisa Park, where the ground is a lava field from Mount Sakurajima, Japan's most active volcano, and Sengan-en - a fabulous classical Japanese garden.