Dazzling Japan holidays
Holidays to Japan are your window to ancient traditions, captivating beauty spots, and cutting-edge fashion and technology. This island country in East Asia stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north, right down to the Sea of China in the south, and it’s made up of almost 7,000 isles. Most are uninhabited, and there are four main islands – Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu.
Experience the exhilarating rush of neon Tokyo, then seek out pockets of tranquillity in the hushed calm of a Buddhist temple or by contemplating the transience of the cherry blossom in an immaculate garden. From the snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji to the geishas that stroll the streets of Kyoto, Japan’s beauties are many and varied – prepare to be intrigued and delighted in equal measure.
A large portion of Japan is mountainous, while the countryside is given over to rice fields and woodlands. There are 34 national parks to discover here, the most popular being Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, where Mount Fuji – Japan’s tallest peak – towers above ground at 3,776 metres high. First climbed by a monk in 663, it’s considered to be sacred, and there are a number of shrines and temples on and around its slopes.
Tokyo, Japan’s capital, needs little introduction. The world’s most populated city, it’s a thrilling metropolis of soaring skyscrapers, candy-coloured shopfronts, and quiet, outer neighbourhoods with modest lantern-lit homes. One of Tokyo’s biggest calling cards, though, is its varied food scene. Fantastic dining experiences are guaranteed here, whether you’re splashing out on Michelin-starred sushi or joining the locals in a pared-back udon noodle bar. An efficient subway system will get you from A to B.
The celebrated cherry blossom season falls in spring, with the ‘sakura’ trees usually blooming in late March and early April, although it varies across the country. While there are countless places to see the spectacle on your Japan holiday, Mount Yoshino, Kyoto Botanical Garden and Himeji Castle draw most of the crowds (and for good reason).
Travel in springtime and you’ll be treated to Japan’s cherry blossom season in all of its candy-hued glory. An autumnal holiday brings the red and gold of the maple trees sweeping across the country from north to south. Summer is hot and wet, but there are some great festivals to experience across these months. Winter brings snow to the northern parts of the country – watch Japanese macaques warm up in steaming onsen, tuck into a warming bowl of udon noodles, and admire the spectacular creations at Sapporo’s annual Snow Festival.
Flight time from the UK to Tokyo is around 13 hours.
Japan is nine hours ahead of GMT.
Japanese is the official language, although it differs greatly from the east to west of the country. Some English is spoken in large cities, but you may struggle to find many English speakers in rural areas. On our Japan holidays, you’ll have a guide with you who speaks Japanese and can translate when needed.
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