Japan is ancient and futuristic. The main religions are Shinto and Buddhist; the people are universally welcoming, born of a strong, unique culture. This is a country where 35 million inhabit the perpetual fervour of the capital, Tokyo, and no one loses their temper. Read more...
Say konnichiwa to Fuji-san
Japan's mountainous landscapes, hidden valleys, traditional gardens, onsens (hot springs), and ancient temples are bewitching. (Hanging out naked in hot springs with strangers may be confronting initially but it's supremely relaxing once you, well, relax!) Kyoto is stacked with 17 World Heritage sites, 1600 Buddhist temples and more than 400 Shinto shrines: it's a cultural gem. One of the best times to plan a holiday to Japan is in March–April: it's not too hot and cherry blossom season delights all who witness it. 'Golden Week' is late April–early May and everyone takes a holiday domestically then, so steer clear of that period if you can.
Not sure about the language barrier? You'll find where there's an adventure, there's a way – no matter what you speak.