5 Great Reasons to Love Japan and Make it a 2016 Travel Destination

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  • There are many tourist destinations all over the world, but Japan is exceptionally good in all its flavors. Once you visit Japan, you will fall in love with it for so many reasons. Below are only five which may inspire you to visit Japan multiple times.

    1. Traditional Cultural Experience

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    Though Japan possesses various ultra modern facilities and techniques, the country proudly sticks to its own traditions, culture and language. People of the country are self developed in its own language. They call themselves Nipponese, not Japanese.

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    They have their own style in depicting everything; for example, the kimono, Japanese gardens, architecture, ikebana, cuisine, woodblock prints etc. Their beliefs, religious customs and festivals are still well preserved.

    2. Etiquette and Behaviour

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    If you visit Japan even for one day, you will learn four important Japanese words for sure. Those words are konnichiwa, arigato, gommennasai and sumimasen.

    Their meanings and when they are used:

    • Saying konnichiwa (hello) and bowing your head is a sign of respect when greeting people.
    • Leaving a shop, geting out of a taxi or giving way to a pedestrian, then you will hear arigatou (thank you).
    • When asking for help and you don’t know how to speak the language, initially the Japanese may say gomenasai (sorry) for not knowing English.
    • Sumimasen (excuse me) is a similar expression which can be used for sorry too.

    Also, they are very considerate and wear gauze masks to cover their nose and mouth to help prevent others from catching a cold. Their punctuality is praiseworthy. The average delay of bullet trains is said to be less than a minute. Honesty and faithfulness are continually present in Japanese societies. Lost and found counters are present in almost all malls, police box (koban) and railway stations in japan. If you lose anything, in most cases, it will either still be there where you left it or taken to the nearest police box. Being a nation with a low crime rate, Japan is very safe for solo travelers.

    Also, the cleanliness in Japan is a national obsession and it is done in a very organized manner. Even in schools, kids are taught to clean their surroundings themselves as part of an everyday routine.

    3. All Four Seasons

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    Like many other countries Japan also has four distinct seasons. But the specialty is that no matter the season there are many things to do and enjoy in Japan.

    • Snowy winter brings the joys and the experience of winter sports like snowboarding and skiing.
    • The blooming season, spring welcomes you with cherry blossoms (sakura). A pale pink row of cherry trees are the most popular symbols of Japan. As well as cherry blossoms (sakura), plum blossoms, wisteria and tulip flowers also add ecstasy to spring.
    • Humid summer gives you the best opportunity to mingle with their culture. Keep your ears open and you will hear taiko drums from the nearby shrines. It is matsuri time where traditional art-music is ready to entertain you. And in the night, fireworks on the beaches add light to your night. Also, climbing Mt. Fuji can be done in August.
    • And then there’s autumn. Although at times it can spread the feeling of melancholy everywhere, Japanese maple trees with a golden hue from sun rays are a great sight to see.

    Besides the 4 main seasons, there is rainy season in June where you can see hydrangeas hue changing to lilac to deep blue. Unfortunately, the downside is that there can also be bad weather due to typhoons around May through to October.

    4. Glorius Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san)

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    Mt. Fuji, often respectfully referred to as Fuji-san is the beauty icon of Japan and is 3776 meters tall. It is one of Japans ‘holy mountains’ and is listed as a world heritage site. Its mesmerizing beauty in all seasons inspires artists and has made it a subject of many literary works. It can be seen clearly from Shizuoka, Kanagawa and Yamanashi prefectures. Fuji five lakes and Hakone also provide majestic views of it in the background of the lakes.

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    If you are in Japan for summer, don’t miss the chance to climb it and to watch the sunrise (goraiko). The climbing of Fuji-san at night is like a pilgrimage to the Sengan-sama shinto shrine. But its unbeatable beauty is in winter, when it appears just like an inverted symmetrical cone covered with ice. Its charming beauty has been reproduced countless times in Japanese arts.

    5. Delicious Regional cuisines

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    If you are an avid foodie, then your taste buds will explode here. Though western foods are available almost in all towns, traditional Japanese cuisine is highly palatable for food lovers. Washokou, Japanese traditional cuisine won UNESCOs cultural heritage status in 2013. It’s a combo of miso soup, rice, pickled vegetable, noodles and sea food. Being an island nation and because of the temperate climate, Japan can harvest both fish, vegetables and crops. Fresh seafood (sashimi) and vinegared rice with seafood (sushi) are known for its delicacies.

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    Wagashi, its indigenous sweets come in different colors and cute shapes. Various seasoning agents like vinegar, soy sauce and mirin are popular in Japanese cuisine. The art of Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu) is a symbol of spiritual discipline. Sake and shochu are beverages that are unique to Japan. Sweets (wagashi) are mainly mochi and red bean paste. Also, apparently the secret to a sumo wrestlers’ energy is Chanko Nabe, a mixture of vegetables, sea food and meat.

    So there you go, 5 great reasons to visit Japan and fall in love with the country and its people.

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