Japan is a popular tourist destination for many reasons. Its more than 6,800 islands are home to a wide array of sights and attractions that lure millions of visitors from around the world, whether it is summer, autumn, winter or spring. For those who have not been there yet, the following are only five of the many reasons why Japan should be your next destination.
World Heritage Sites
With a history that dates back thousands of years, Japan’s collection of ancient temples, shrines and other structures is impressive. Even though many of them were destroyed in wars and natural disasters through the centuries, many others remain standing to this day and have been recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some popular examples include:
- Castles – Himeji, Nijo
- Temples – Ginkaku-ji, Tenryu-ji, Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Ryoan-ji
- Shrines – Itsukishima, Futarasan Jinja
The Japanese people are known for their courtesy, good manners and conduct. They are well-behaved and disciplined, as evident in the orderly manner they form lines at train stations during rush hour, the cleanliness of their streets, and the efficiency of conducting business at shops, restaurants and malls. Even if they speak very little English, Japanese people are also approachable and willing to help foreigners who need directions.
Japanese cuisine has earned a positive global reputation because of its flavoursome and unique qualities. Whether it is sushi, Kobe beef, Japanese curry, takoyaki, or melon pan, the cuisine has captured the hearts of not only the Japanese people, but also those from other cultures.
Japan is well-connected by several networks of railways from south to north, and east to west. The Shinkansen, or bullet train, has cut travel times between distant cities by half, allowing both locals and foreigners to get around the country faster and cover more places in less time.
Cities also have other modes of transportation that seamlessly link various important attractions and sites. In Tokyo and Osaka, for instance, there are numerous subways, metro lines and bus networks for inter-city travel, while in the more rural areas, usually buses comprise the only transportation.
One of the unique aspects of Japan is how all sorts of odd technology are commonly seen and utilised in the daily lives of its people. Streets are lined with vending machines that dispense food, beverages, toys and countless other products. Many hostels, inns and other establishments use high-tech toilets with various buttons for washing, playing music, and so on. These are just two of the most notable examples of technology that is not common in other parts of the world.