The "Land of the Rising Sun" is a country where the past meets the future. Japanese culture stretches back millennia, yet has also been quick to adopt and created the latest modern fashions and trends.
Japan is often seen as a land combining tradition and modernity. It can seem full of contradictions. Many Japanese corporations dominate their industries, yet if you read the financial news it seems like Japan is practically bankrupt. Cities are as modern and high tech as anywhere else, but tumbledown wooden shacks can still be spotted next to glass fronted designer condominiums. Japan has beautiful temples and gardens which are often surrounded by garish signs and ugly buildings. In the middle of modern skyscrapers you’ll discover sliding wooden doors which lead to traditional chambers with tatami mats, shoji screens, and calligraphy, suitable for traditional tea ceremonies. These juxtapositions can seem perplexing or jarring to those used to the more uniform nature of European and North American cities, but if you let go, and accept the layered aesthetics, you’ll find interesting and surprising places throughout the country - Wikitravel.
At the very least a visit to Japan isn’t complete without venturing to experience Tokyo’s delights, witness the history of Hiroshima and of course for the able bodied, scale the iconic Mt Fuji which is visible on Tokyo’s southern horizon.
As part of a long weekend stopover after a work trip to South Korea from New Zealand, I took the opportunity to explore Osaka and Hiroshima. I would not spend too much exploring Osaka... Read more >>