Category: Japan.

Alluring charms of Japan

Japan is a fascinating mix of opposites — old and new, east and west. The most modern of countries, it retains its ancient traditions and the rich heritage of thousands of years. It is a country of high modern buildings and ancient castles; of energy, wealth and of serene Buddhist temples. Located on the eastern edge of the Asian continent, Japan’s archipelago of islands is home to awesome natural landscapes of misty mountains, verdant forests and shimmering lakes. Its oriental opulence is highlighted in the magnificent golden temples, secluded shrines and tranquil terraced gardens, while its futuristic cities illustrate the ultra-modernity of this fascinating land. No country does spring better than Japan. The scenic beauty of the delicate pink cherry blossoms blooming on the branches of cherry trees, the beautiful azaleas decorating the hills and fields, the snowy peaks, emerald forests and magnificent meadows, are a reminder of the bountiful generosity of nature in this country. During March, April and May, as the temperature rises, the buds on the cherry trees unfurl and a dazzling ‘cherry blossom front’ sweeps across the archipelago. The blossom front usually hits Tokyo towards the end of March and then travels north through April and May. In Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, you may spot wild mountain cherries in bloom even in June. Tokyo, one of the biggest and most dynamic cities in the world, has incredible life and energy. The city teems with fashionable people, modern malls, cutting-edge art galleries, intriguing museums, skyscrapers, temples, shrines, parks, expensive cars and gourmet food. At cherry blossom time, the parks are enlivened by revellers. Check out the Ueno Park, on the slopes overlooking the Imperial Palace moat at Chidorigafuchi, and on the spreading lawns Shinjuku Gyoen. Following the cherry blossom festival in Tokyo, is the massive Sanja Matsuri at the end of May that ushers in a whole summer season of colourful festivals throughout the land. The ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara are must-visit destinations. Kyoto was home to the Emperor for over 1,000 years, and during that time became the repository of the best of Japanese art, culture, religion and philosophy. Among the important attractions in the city are the world heritage Nijo Castle, the Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji temples, and the cultural Gion Corner where you can view traditional arts and theatre. Nara, 42km south of Kyoto, is the older capital of Japan, and was also a major cradle of Japan’s arts, crafts, literature and culture. It is home to the Deer Park, the Nara National Museum, the Todaiji and Kofukuji temples. Hokkaido, Japan’s romantic northern island, abounds in natural grandeur — mountains, highlands, rivers, lakes, sea and azure skies. It is a land of flowers and by mid-April the sun warms the icy land and the whole region comes into bloom. Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, is located at roughly the same latitude as Milan and Marseille and shares these European cities’ long hours of daylight in the spring and summer. Odori Park, at the centre of Sapporo city, looks magnificent with the pink cherry blossoms on cherry trees, soothing green lawns, fountains and flowerbeds. In May, lilacs, the city’s official tree, blooms in white, pink and purple. In June, the area rocks with the Yosakai Soran Festival, when large teams compete in dynamic dance routines combining the best of modern and traditional. The city’s culinary choices are vast and the ingredients outstanding, especially as most of them come fresh to the dinner table from the surrounding countryside. Helping Indians feel right at home are Sapporo’s excellent Indian restaurants. Japan is an enthralling country like nowhere else. With friendly and welcoming people, the heart-warming hospitality of Japan awaits you!

Japan is a fascinating mix of opposites — old and new, east and west. The most modern of countries, it retains its ancient traditions and the rich heritage of thousands of years. It is a country of high modern buildings and ancient castles; of energy, wealth and of serene Buddhist temples.

Located on the eastern edge of the Asian continent, Japan’s archipelago of islands is home to awesome natural landscapes of misty mountains, verdant forests and shimmering lakes. Its oriental opulence is highlighted in the magnificent golden temples, secluded shrines and tranquil terraced gardens, while its
futuristic cities illustrate the ultra-modernity of this fascinating land.

No country does spring better than Japan. The scenic beauty of the delicate pink cherry blossoms blooming on the branches of cherry trees, the beautiful azaleas decorating the hills and fields, the snowy peaks, emerald forests and magnificent meadows, are a reminder of the bountiful generosity of nature in this country.

During March, April and May, as the temperature rises, the buds on the cherry trees unfurl and a dazzling ‘cherry blossom front’ sweeps across the archipelago. The blossom front usually hits Tokyo towards the end of March and then travels north through April and May. In Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, you may spot wild mountain cherries in bloom even in June.
Tokyo, one of the biggest and most dynamic cities in the world, has incredible life and energy. The city teems with fashionable people, modern malls, cutting-edge art galleries, intriguing museums, skyscrapers, temples, shrines, parks, expensive cars and gourmet food. At cherry blossom time, the parks are enlivened by revellers. Check out the Ueno Park, on the slopes overlooking the Imperial Palace moat at Chidorigafuchi, and on the spreading lawns Shinjuku Gyoen. Following the cherry blossom festival in Tokyo, is the massive Sanja Matsuri at the end of May that ushers in a whole summer season of colourful festivals throughout the land.

The ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara are must-visit destinations. Kyoto was home to the Emperor for over 1,000 years, and during that time became the repository of the best of Japanese art, culture, religion and philosophy. Among the important
attractions in the city are the world heritage Nijo Castle, the Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji temples, and the cultural Gion Corner where you can view traditional arts and theatre.

Nara, 42km south of Kyoto, is the older capital of Japan, and was also a major cradle of Japan’s arts, crafts, literature and culture. It is home to the Deer Park, the Nara National Museum, the Todaiji and Kofukuji temples.

Hokkaido, Japan’s romantic northern island, abounds in natural grandeur — mountains, highlands, rivers, lakes, sea and azure skies. It is a land of flowers and by mid-April the sun warms the icy land and the whole region comes into bloom.

Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, is located at roughly the same latitude as Milan and Marseille and shares these European cities’ long hours of daylight in the spring and summer. Odori Park, at the centre of Sapporo city, looks magnificent with the pink cherry blossoms on cherry trees, soothing green lawns, fountains and flowerbeds. In May, lilacs, the city’s official tree, blooms in white, pink and purple. In June, the area rocks with the Yosakai Soran Festival, when large teams compete in dynamic dance routines combining the best of modern and traditional.

The city’s culinary choices are vast and the ingredients outstanding, especially as most of them come fresh to the dinner table from the surrounding countryside. Helping Indians feel right at home are Sapporo’s excellent Indian restaurants.

Japan is an enthralling country like nowhere else. With friendly and welcoming people, the heart-warming hospitality of Japan awaits you!

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Category: Japan