The characters that make up Japan's name mean “sun-origin”, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the “Land of the Rising Sun”. A journey to this land will never fail to fascinate and travellers can look forward to a trip of endless discovery, packed with gourmet experiences, indulgent spa treatments, modern art, pop culture, and heritage trails leading to towering castles and mist-shrouded mountains.
Japan is a land of astonishing contrasts. From antiquated temples and kimono-clad geisha girls hurrying between traditional tea houses in Kyoto, to lightning-quick bullet trains carrying sharp-suited businessmen between the high-tech cities of Tokyo and Osaka, Japan is a country where the past meets the future.
Although it is the tenth most densely populated nation in the world, with a population of 127 million and 30 million in the greater metropolitan Tokyo area alone – Japan possesses vast stunning areas of rural, unpopulated wilderness.
About 73 per cent of its territory is forested, mountainous, or unsuitable for agriculture or industry, including more than 200 volcanoes – providing vast areas of land for tourism, travel and recreation.
Japan is also often thought of as a small country – however, the largest of the four main islands, Honshu, is bigger than the whole of Great Britain. It is easy to see, therefore, why this land of rolling mountains and 6,852 islands is a tourism paradise.
One misplaced view is that Japan’s position as the world’s third richest nation makes it an expensive holiday destination. In reality, it can be cheaper to travel in Japan than in most parts of North America and Europe.
The “Land of the Rising Sun” is a destination like no other; offering heritage and history one day and hi-tech city living the next.