BIT World Travel Service
Escorted Tour - Japan Overview

Japan Overview


The food in here is incredibly varied and nourishing and there seems to be no end to the culinary discoveries one can make. The combination of a hike in the mountains followed by a long soak in an onsen is also favorable. However, most of all, the Japan is well known the meticulous and careful nature of the Japanese people, reflected in every aspect of Japanese life, from trains that run right on time to sublime works of art. Put it all together and you come away with a country that still intrigues people even after two decades of living there.

Renowned Japan Tourist Attractions
Hokkaido


Located to the north of the country, Hokkaido is the second-largest of Japan's four main islands and remains "off the beaten track" even for most Japanese. Historically known as Ezochi, this is the home of Japan's indigenous people, the Ainu, who have a culture and lineage completely distinct from that of mainland Japan.

Thanks to mountainous terrain and freezing winds sweeping in from Siberia across the Okhotsk Sea, Hokkaido boasts some of the best conditions for snowsports in Japan - if not the world. If you're interested in a skiing holiday in Japan, there's simply no better place to choose!

Hokkaido is well-known for its wildlife, particularly its rare birds. Visitors can take a cruise on the Okhotsk Sea to witness Steller's sea eagles gathering on ice floes, spot Blakiston's fish owls and even watch the graceful mating dance of the red-crowned crane.

Geisha


The distinctive white face, red lips and elaborately decorated hairstyle of the Geisha is an enduring image portrayed throughout the globe as the entrance to a world to which most of us mere mortals are not invited. From somewhat seedy beginnings, the current world of the geisha remains a mystery to most foreigners and Japanese alike. Like most nations, Japan has always had some manner of pleasure quarter offering various forms of entertainment, including (of course) the erotic. As Japan cut off all contact with the outside world during the Edo era, the rich merchants of the cities continued to develop the arts of the country in the major urban areas.

With the many courtesans of the time providing one area of fulfilment, the merchants looked for other types of entertainment, including music, dance and poetry. From these early stages, the world of the geisha developed, providing a service to entertain and charm, working alongside the very desirable, and for most people unobtainable, courtesan.

Cherry blossom


Spring in Japan can only mean one thing: cherry blossom. Sandwiched between the long, bitter winter months and the sweltering humidity of summer, spring is by far the most popular time for tourism in Japan - both domestic and international. The atmosphere at this time of year is infectious, with parks packed with revelers and supermarket shelves stacked with the latest blossom-flavoured snacks and drinks.

The cherry blossom (or sakura) "front" sweeps along the length of the country each year, beginning with Okinawa in the far south in February and working its way along Japan to northern Hokkaido in May. A variety of factors can affect when the cherry blossom comes into bloom: a particularly cold winter can mean that the flowers come out late, unseasonably mild weather can usher them out sooner, and heavy rain can mean that the trees drop their petals much quicker than otherwise. For this reason, the forecast is followed avidly throughout the sakura season!

Kabuki


Kabuki is one of three styles of traditional Japanese theatre that continue to be performed in Japan today. Kabuki is very stylised and performed entirely by male actors, who wear extravagant costumes and very elaborate make-up. This theatrical style is over 400 years old and remains popular, with shows performed regularly at Tokyo's newly restored Kabuki-za Theatre - amongst others.

Bunraku


Bunraku is a form of traditional puppet theatre, founded in Osaka in 1684. Bunraku performances feature wooden puppets and involve puppeteers, chanters, and shamisen musicians. The construction of the puppets and their costumes requires great skill, and various performers and puppet-makers have been designated Living National Treasures in Japan today.

Japanese food


When it comes to food, the Japanese are among the most enthusiastic and passionate of any race. Ask any Japanese person about a recent trip within Japan and the conversation almost always includes talk of the local food. In fact, for many Japanese travelling outside of their hometowns, food is often one of the primary motivators for travelling. For this reason many towns and cities in Japan are known first and foremost for their local speciality, whether it is a type of sweet, fish, noodle, seaweed or tofu etc. Such is the Japanese passion for food that you can turn on your TV at almost any time of the day or night and almost undoubtedly catch a show about food. Careful preparation and meticulous presentation are crucial elements of Japanese cuisine. Food is an art form and even the simplest dishes are often prepared by chefs who have trained for many years.

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