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Japan is an island nation that not only hosts a rich history in its landmarks, shrines, and temples, but also has cities full of modern architecture and bustling with people. On your next trip to Japan, it’s imperative to take in both.

 

Tokyo

Arguably, the most crucial stop on your visit to Japan is to the capital, Tokyo. The entire metropolitan area is estimated to have over 36 million residents. The bustling city is packed with neon lights, shopping galore, and delectable modern cuisine. And, of course, people.

In fact, Shibuya Station, also known as Scramble Crossing, is packed with people, and organized chaos, everyday. Over 2.8 million pedestrians cross the busy Tokyo intersection on an average workday.

 

Ancient Kyoto

Kyoto is one of the best places to see the historic side of Japan, including Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, and more. Take a guided tour through the sites, with a geisha as your host. Or, travel by bike or public transport to take in more of the landscape.

Parts of the historic city, including some of the older geisha homes, have been renovated into restaurants to introduce newer cuisine to the area, while still keeping the traditional aesthetic on the outside.

 

The Festivals

Japan hosts festivals throughout the year, put on by the different communities. They differ drastically depending on the time of the year and the location. There are hundreds of festivals to choose from. The most famous festival is the Gion Matsuri, held in Kyoto during July. Spectators wear traditional kimonos and watch a procession of customary Japanese houses built on trains.

 

The Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms are synonymous with Japanese landscaping. The breathtaking flowers range in shades of pink with white accents. The blossoming season ranges throughout the countryside. Typically they bloom first in the south and move north.

Residents of the areas typically host parties to celebrate the start of the season where they picnic under the flowering trees, enjoy a drink, a song, or just sit back and enjoy the view.

These are just a few of the things you must see on your visit to Japan. The island is packed with both a beautiful history and an ever-changing modern atmosphere. You can be sure you’ll be back for a second visit.