Japan is Manga comics, soft geishas, deadly Samurai swords, eccentric karaoke bars, WWII, used-underwear vending machines, exquisite raw fish, quiet love hotels, staple ramen noodles, trend-setting electronic gadgets, elaborate tea ceremonies, Zen, whaling, cherry blossoms and a whole host of other contrasts. With a history that includes the horrors of Hiroshima and the tsunami on 11th March 2011, Japan has been shaken, but the spirit of its people remains stronger than ever. To get under Japanese skin read,'Kitchen' by Banana Yoshimoto, watch anything by Akira Kurosawa and listen to the sounds of girl band Morning Musume.
Best time to visit: March and April. The average temperature in Japan is 15.1°C. The average high 31°C in August and the average low is -1°C in January.
Japanese cuisine is getting increasingly popular all over the world. Simple, subtle flavours and fresh, healthy ingredients are the hallmarks of Japanese cuisine. Based on combining rice or noodles with fish, meat (less commonly), vegetables, tofu and seaweed, it is flavoured with dashi, miso and soy sauce.
Space-age or punk outfits, Samurai sword, socks, Pokemon paraphernalia, kitchen knives, chopsticks, handmade fans, electronics, kimonos, yukatas, tea, antiques, jewellery, make-up, accessories, graphic novels, anime, Manga comics, cult movies.
The best and easiest way to see the highlights is on an escorted tour, where all your travel, accommodation and sightseeing arrangements are well taken care of. A knowledgeable local guide brings history and culture to life as you travel in the comfort of your deluxe coach.
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