Japan is the small island country which has been portrayed in many different ways in many forms of media, be it the baffling but endearing country in Lost In Translation, the dull – almost everyman like surrealism shown in the works of Haruki Murakami – or the wondrous, colourful, bright and dreamlike portrayal in Hayao Miyazaki’s movies.
A visit to Japan promises to be a thrilling and enchanting experience to anyone, be it someone almost entirely unfamiliar with the nation, or someone looking for an opportunity to travel. Following are the top 5 reasons to visit Japan!
- The natural beauty
Japan is a beautiful country, and there’s no doubt about it! Whether it is the giant, snow-topped Mt. Fuji, the tropical beaches of the southern islands, or the lush green forests, the country is a pleasure to behold.
If you’re lucky enough to visit during the fleeting Cherry Blossom season, you will get to see beautiful and vibrant forests of the softest pink, long tree-lined avenues and crowded picnic spots as oases in the middle of the sea of pink leaves. It’s quite an experience and should be experienced at least once in a lifetime, if not more.
- The technology
Japan has been at the forefront of technology and technological development since quite a while. The country has produced some of the largest tech companies in the world, and houses giants such as Sony, Nintendo, Toshiba, Honda, and more.
Any tech enthusiast would be delighted to visit Japan, and experience all the myriad experiences the country has to offer.
- The arts
Japan has a rich history of art, to the point where multiple civil wars started because the ruling class was too engrossed in the art to govern. Whether it is poetry, literature, music, or visual arts such as paintings, dance, or theatre, there is a huge amount of both classic and modern versions to experience.
Ranging from the Haiku’s of Bashō, the ukiyo-e paintings, folk songs sung by a woman with a Shamisen and kabuki plays to jazz, hip hop, the massively popular J-pop, anime and manga, and very well produced and performed theatre, there is something for everyone to explore. Film buffs would enjoy a large history of movie-making, from Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai-Westerns to the rich modern directors, working in both live-action and animation. Bookworms would find long sweeping epics in classical literature and innovative, surreal stories in modern fiction. Enjoyment of any form of art you like is all but guaranteed from a visit to Japan.
- History and Culture
History buffs would find that Japan has a long and rich history, characterised by many feudal conflicts, changing rulers, shifting allegiances, military coups and because of the feudal nature, many views of the same events.
This has led to Japan having a rich culture, with century-old shrines, palaces, and temples everywhere, maintained and restored painstakingly by the government and owners of the shrines. Cities like Kyoto, the old capital, have a lot of opportunities for exploration and study of this country’s rich history.
If you would time your visit around the Golden Week or New Year festivals, you’d get to see quite a spectacle. Giant gatherings and festivals are held at every shrine, with stalls offering traditional delicacies like Takoyaki, and games like catching koi from a barrel. The Japanese wear Yukatas and enjoy a night of festivities, culmination in watching fireworks as the New Year begins.
- The people
The Japanese is one of the most welcoming and hospitable cultures in the world. Japanese people would go out of their way to be polite, and help you in any way they could. They would teach you their languages and customs, and be delighted when you show even the slightest interest. They are known for their hospitality and humility worldwide!
A visit to Japan promises to be a memorable experience, regardless of where you’re from and what your preferences are! This small country is a delightful visit, and has something for everybody. It’s a place that should be visited at least once in a lifetime, and it would be a very fulfilling and enriching trip!