Hokkaido Holiday Vacation

Hokkaido Holiday Vacation, an excellent choice!

Hokkaido is one of Japan’s 4 main islands and is located northern most part of Japan and when translated, Hokkaido literally means “Road

Hokkaido's largest city, Sapporo

Hokkaido’s largest city, Sapporo

of the North Sea”. The island is a very popular destination for tourists on vacation holiday in Japan because of its natural beauty, especially during winter.

The island of Hokkaido is actually a huge land mass and is about twenty three percent of Japan’s entire land mass. Even if you visit Hokkaido in summer, the weather can be very pleasant because of its low humidity.

Before the mainstream Japanese considered the island as suitable for human habitation after the Meiji Restoration, the island was home only to a few exile samurais and the native Ainu people who are the aboriginal tribesmen. The Ainu people are the last of Japan’s indigenous people most of whom are still dwelling in Hokkaido.

In the past, the island’s inhabitants are very concerned about their survival and thought that the island is spooked with the restless spirits of Ainu gods who often belch fire from the mountains (volcanic eruptions) and trampled the earth in anger (earthquakes).

There are many natural tourist attractions since the island is well endowed by the beauty of nature. For instance, you can travel to Mount Daisetsu National Park, which is sometimes called The Roof of Hokkaido and gaze in amazement the snow peaked mountain ranges or visit the Kushiro marshland which is home to many adorable marsh dwelling animals including the sacred crane.

If you are into adventure tourism, then the Shikotsu Toya National Park must be included in your holiday vacation itinerary. You will find many magnificent volcanoes and breathtaking scenic lakes in this national park and if you are tired after your sightseeing trips, go pamper yourself with natural spa treatments at the many hot springs such as in Noboribetsu, Jouzankei and Sohunkyo.

If you are in Hokkaido during winter, then you must make a beeline to Sapporo, which is Hokkaido’s vibrant capital city which is famous for its pulsating nightlife and the extraordinary Snow Festival every February. Sapporo, with a population of about 1.8 million people is a city of fine restaurants and luxurious hotels. If you enjoy winter skiing, you may like to check into some winter ski resorts.

This outback island is sometimes referred to as Japan’s ‘Wild West’ and still retains a distinct pioneer feel. This is the reason why the island is really the land of the backpackers.

Adventure tourists can enjoy exploring the vast wilderness, go winter skiing, even be a trout fisherman or go trekking in countless trails along rugged coastline, through wildflower fields or up the summits of snowcapped mountains.

So if you are going to Japan for your holiday vacation, do make sure you do not miss the beauty of Japan’s Wild Wild West, the island of Hokkaido.

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Adventure Travel For The Audacious Spirit

Travelling feeds the wandering soul, but it also feeds the corporate soul. Even the most top executives no longer travel solely for business

Adventure

Adventure

purposes anymore. Leisure travel has become a preferred method for stressed-out businesspeople to unwind in their downtime. In today’s modern world, active executives take advantage of their vacation time by treating themselves to some well-deserved leisure travel. With this evolution of travel, the idea of what travel entails has changed as well. People are no longer satisfied to visit the same tourist traps, but instead want to explore their world through adventure travel. In the field of adventure travel, bigger is definitely better.

The concept of adventure travel is not entirely new. For as long as standard tourist spots have existed, there have been travelers that have gone out of their way to avoid them. Those travelers became the first adventure travelers. As the world of adventure travel progressed, more people became interested in traveling the road less taken. More travelers are curious about the world beyond the glossy travel brochures, and adventure travel has risen in popularity to become a world premier method of travel.

To learn how to define adventure travel and how to become an adventure traveler, you have to learn more about extreme sports. Some people, no longer satisfied with the typical sports like football, baseball or soccer, decided to look for excitement in more extreme activities such as base jumping and wakeboarding, thereby creating the field of extreme sports. As more people got involved in extreme sports, they would travel to meet up with one another and adventure travel got associated with their extreme lifestyle. These extreme sports enthusiasts incorporated their love of their sports into their traveling, and created a type of travel full of thrill and adventure.

Adventure travel certainly does afford adventure enthusiasts the opportunity to intertwine their sports with their traveling. This type of travel gives travelers the same burst of adrenaline that extreme sports can offer, and also gives travelers to see the world from a new perspective. Unfortunately, as with anything that relies on its obscurity to stay fresh and exciting, a rise in popularity spells out the beginning of the end for adventure travel. As adventure travel becomes more popular, the destinations that were once off the beaten path have become tourist attractions. This rise in popularity is best illustrated by the travel agencies that specialize in adventure travel packages for those interested in adventure but not interested in planning the trip themselves.

In addition to the standard travel options that cater to conventional tourists, most travel agencies also offer adventure travel packages for anyone who wants more excitement in their vacation. If you’re looking for a vacation that you’ll never forget, filled with stories you’ll retell for years to come, consider booking your own traveling adventure.

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Family Travel Adventure

In IAM Group Ltd we want to share some useful tips about family travel.

Family is one of the most important things in the world and we should cherish it. How can we show our appreciation for having a good

Family

Family

family? Plan a family travel adventure!

One way of spending quality time with your family is to travel together. It will make the family bond together and get closer to each other. There are a lot of things to do when you travel, you can go to different places, visit those kids friendly park, try new things and a lot more.

Activities

Family vacations should be enjoyable and productive. You should also consider what adventures will suit you and your kids. If your kids love to travel, these places and activities are perfect.

Theme Parks/ Amusement Parks/ National parks

This place never ceases to bring joy and laughter to children. Family adventure in theme parks will not only be fun but will also be educational. There are theme parks that will give additional knowledge to the children. And if you and your children want to experience thrill and excitement, the best family adventure will be trying all the rides in the amusement parks. Anywhere in the world there are numerous amusement parks.

Camping, Hiking, Canoeing, Biking

If your family is very athletic the best adventure is going outdoors in the wild! You can enjoy your vacation by camping in the woods; it releases stress from the work and also from the school. The change of scenery will also be good for the health. But before going to some strange mountains or camping site, you should know what to bring and what to do to ensure the safety of your family vacation. Same with hiking and biking, these are great adventures. If your children are old enough, you can try canoeing or rafting, it’s a water sport that will give you adrenaline rush and a great adventure. Family vacations will never be dull if you try these activities.

Shopping

It’s always a must that when one travels to a different place, there’s always a shopping expedition. It would be a great family adventure to look for souvenirs and items that will remind your family the good times you have in that certain place. Simple shopping with kids will be quite enjoyable even if you don’t have to travel in a far away place.

Golf and Other Sports Activities

It’s also important to know the sports that interest your children, not only it will be a wonderful family vacation, it will help enhance your child’s skill in that certain sport. It will also help their self-esteem to know that you support them.

Going to the Beaches

This is one of the most common places for a vacation. Children can frolic in the sand and parents can relax under the warm heat of the sun. Aside from that, they can also try the different water sports activities, a family adventure that you will never forget.

Wherever you go or whatever you do, the important thing is that the family has the chance to get to know each other, form a bond and be a strong one. Enjoy your travel time with your family and have a memorable time with them.

Your Family Vacation Must Knows When Traveling With Kids

Traveling With Kids – Family vacations are a great way for busy parents to have quality time with their kids. But without proper planning, it can easily become stressful and disappointing for everyone. So, do yourself a favor and plan ahead!

Traveling Family

Traveling Family

1. Ask the hotel about child facilities

Some resorts are built for couples, with lots of spas and romantic nooks. Kids will hate this. You need a resort with plenty of indoor recreational facilities, where they can play safely, and happily. Some hotels will even offer babysitting or child care services, so you can do some shopping or sight seeing on your own, without someone tugging at your knee and saying, “Mommy, can we go now?”

2. Don’t overload the itinerary

Kids get tired more easily, or can rapidly become overstimulated and cranky. Make sure that the itinerary leaves lots of room for resting, snacks, or (if you’re taking toddlers) even naps. Ideally you should only cover two major destinations in one day (one in the morning, another in the afternoon). If you want to see more sights, make arrangements to leave your child to rest in the hotel (see tip number one) and do it on your own.

3. Bring a “child care pack”

This includes lots of water (kids get dehydrated more easily), an extra change of clothes, and small toys to amuse them at restaurants.

If you are going to a warm place (like a beach or a tropical country) remember that kids are more vulnerable to sunstroke and sunburn. Bring sunblock, a handheld battery-operated fan, and sports drinks (which will help them retain water). Avoid bringing them out in the hottest times of the day.

4. Choose a kid-friendly itinerary

Consider your child’s age. A toddler will not be able to appreciate a historical tour of the country’s Medieval churches, and even a seven year old may not be able to stay still in a museum.

Look at the places you plan to visit and think, “Will he be able to understand this?” Compare the length of the tour with the average amount of time he can concentrate on one activity. Do this even before you choose a destination.

 

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5 Tips For Easy Air Travel

Tips For Easy Air Travel. There’s no denying that it has become more and more difficult to fly without running into snags or problems with the airport or the airlines.

Airport

Airport

Enduring the line at the security check point in some airports is enough to put some passengers in a bad mood. However, despite all of the inconveniences that come with flying, it is a necessity. There are several things that can be done to make flying easier and more hassle free, and all that is involved is a little bit of common sense and planning.

1. Get to the Airport Early

Arriving at the airport early is a no-brainer, especially when the airlines tell passengers to arrive at least two hours prior to a flight’s departure time. However, there are many people who refuse to heed this request, and arrive at the airport just several minutes before a flight is scheduled to leave. If there is a line at the check-in counter or at security, this can create a very stressful situation. Not only may the flight be missed, but a new flight must be booked, and the passengers will probably have to travel stand-by on a later flight with no guarantee of a seat until the very last minute.

2. Take a Morning Flight.

Leaving on an early flight does not necessarily mean a 4 a.m. flight must be chosen. However, flights that leave first thing in the morning are less likely to be running late, and they are less likely to be affected by weather problems across the country and/or other planes that may be delayed at other airports. Also, if for some reason the first flight of the day is canceled or delayed, there will probably be several other flights throughout the day that, if necessary, can be taken instead.

3. Try Not to Fly During “Rush Hour”

Airports, like highways, have rush hours. Typically, rush hour in the morning is from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., and in the afternoon from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. These are the hours when airports are the most crowded with people waiting for flights. Crowds mean longer lines at the security check points, more people in the restrooms, more people waiting in restaurant lines, and more people taking up seats in the waiting areas. Flying at a NON-rush hour time of day can alleviate the need to stand in lines and sit with crowds.

4. Try to Take Non-Stop Flights

Obviously, when a non-stop flight is taken, there is less risk of being delayed. Taking off and landing both take quite a bit of time, so avoiding having to do this twice is recommended. There will always be destinations when a non-stop flight is not available, but there are plenty of cities where non-stop flights are just as common as those that stop. It may even be worth a few extra dollars to book a non-stop flight to avoid an unneeded hassle and the possibility of being delayed.

5. Book Connections with Enough Time

If a non-stop flight is not available to a desired destination, make sure to schedule enough time in between flights. When airlines book flights, they often have a layover requirement of 30 or 45 minutes between connections. However, this is often not enough time if the original flight arrives late. In order to avoid this stress, try to schedule connecting flights with at least an hour to spare between the arrival time of the first flight and the departure time of the connecting flight.

 

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14 Tips For A Stress Free Fligth

In IAM Group Japan we can share a few Tips For A Stress Free Fligth:

Happy Flight

Traveling can be a stressful event and airplane travel is tops on the list of the stressors that we experience on what is supposed to be an exciting and fun event. A few simple steps can remove most of the stress of air travel.

Things to do before travel day:

1) Pack your bags. Make sure all your packing is done at least the night before and that you have all your bags in one central location for easy and complete loading into your car or taxi.

2) Have all your travel paperwork organized and in one central location.

3) Make a checklist of all the things you want to check to secure your home before you leave and walk through your home checking off each item. Do this at least an hour before you leave your house. Do this and you will never worry if you left your stove on or any of the other little nagging worries you might have while on your travel.

4) Be sure your pets are taken care of. Make any kennel reservations well in advance of your trip to be sure you have a reserved spot at a kennel you trust.

5) Call the AIRPORT and airline the day before to see how early the recommend you should arrive for a smooth, stress free check in. If they tell you to arrive three hours early and you arrive just 30 minutes early, you will probably feel great stresses about missing your flight. Also ask if there are any parking restrictions you should be aware of. Ever since 9/11, when we have a heightened threat level there may be car searches before you can park.

6) If you are just taking carry on luggage, many airlines let you pre check in right on the internet 24 hours before your flight. That means that you can get and print out boarding passes right from your home. And when you get to the airport, you can go right to the gate and your boarding area without getting into the long check in line. If you have to check baggage, you will not have this option available to you. But if not, it is a great time and stress saver.

Travel day:

7) Leave home in plenty of time to anticipate busy traffic or accident situations. If it is an hour trip to get to the airport, you may want to leave an extra half hour early just in case there are road problems.

8) If you are checking in bags, be prepared to wait in line. If it is a busy time of day at the airport and you are traveling with a popular airline, there could be a significant line. Don’t worry about how long the line is. As long as you arrive when the airport recommended, you will have plenty of time to make it to the front of the line and get checked in. It may look impossible but it will happen so just relax and be patient.

9) Make sure that any “carry on” baggage really is carry on. Otherwise you may get stopped at the gate and have your bag taken away to be stowed with the regular luggage. It will delay and stress you. And it will delay everyone else.

10) When boarding the plane, find your seat and stow your carry on baggage quickly. And then sit down and stay out of the way. There are lots of people trying to do the same thing and we’ve all encountered the folks who block the aisle for a long time fussing about something or other while a harried line of boarders is forced to wait. You don’t want to be one of those people. So just get your business done quickly and efficiently and sit down. You’ll have plenty of time to get up once the plane is in the air.

11) If you have to change planes, it can be a real challenge, especially in the larger airports. If you know the gate you will have to go to, ask the flight attendant for advice to reach that gate quickly. In some airports – like Atlanta – a Delta connection can be a huge adventure taking 30 minutes to get from one gate to another. If you know in advance how you have to get to your next airplane, it will be much less chaotic when you get off the first plane. And a much more relaxing walk (or run) to your next gate.

12) When the plane lands, patiently wait your turn. Whether you push or just wait, you usually won’t get off the plane any quicker. People tend to let the folks in the rows before them get up and go in a pretty orderly fashion. Trying to rush it will only get your blood pressure up and will not be looked upon favorably by your fellow travelers.

13) If you just have carry on baggage, you have successfully completed a pretty stress free flight.

14) But if you have carry on luggage, there is one more step – waiting for the luggage. Just pick a place around the conveyor belt and wait. Expect your bag to be the very last one to come out and be pleasantly surprised when it comes out early.

By following these simple steps, you will find that your stress levels from your air travels will be much less. A well planned trip agenda ensures that those little stress points stay little stress points and don’t balloon into a full blown crisis. Try it any you will be amazed how just a small amount of up front planning dramatically improves the enjoyment of your travel.

Smart And Safe Travel Tips For The Business Woman

Business woman

Women today travel constantly and that too all over the world. Most manage to successfully juggle a professional life with a private one. Statistics reveal that almost 50% of business travelers are women and the number continues to grow each day. Travel at short notice means being organized and ready to go. Be smart and plan well ahead.

1. Keep on tab a list of baby sitters who would be willing to pitch in, even overnight if required. Keep a small book handy in which you jot down things like what the kids eat, their schedules, important phone numbers, likes and dislikes, as well as numbers of the doctors and list of medications including known allergies.

2. Keep a travel bag always packed and ready to go. Pack a combination of clothes so that they will tide you over irrespective of the weather in your destination. Wear easy to maintain and dark colors on trips. They don’t show stains, are wrinkle free and will drape well.

3. Always eat lightly and foods that are cooked avoid raw salads and water as well as ice. It is wise to snack before a flight and also to try and sleep during flight. This way you will arrive at your destination refreshed. Be sure to drink plenty of bottled water during travel.

4. Set up a schedule to call home at time zones that work for you and your loved ones. Make it a point to get mementoes for your family members as also the baby sitter and others who pick up the slack while you are away. It shows them that you care.

5. Put safety first always place a “do not disturb sign on your hotel door and if nervous place a chair under the door knob like they do in movies. Keep your cell phone on and fully charged by you at all times and carry protection in the form of pepper spray, an alarm, or if you are trained and licensed a small weapon with its safety on. In most cities the police organize training classes for women to learn how to protect themselves and what one must do in an emergency. Try and make time to attend these.

6. Avoid dark lanes and abandoned roads. Never talk to strangers or accept food or drink from someone you don’t know. While traveling never leave food or drink unattended. Be vigilant at all times.

7. Choose a hotel with care. Choose to stay at well established hotels or small inns and B&B where the proprietors are generally family people. Always e-mail and fax details of your staying arrangements and travel plans to your home as well as office.

8. Always carry important documents, money, traveler’s checks, and passport in a money belt worn around your waist.

9. Always act confident and move around in groups there is always safety in numbers.

10. If unwell go to a state run hospital. Never to a private clinic.

11. Never travel with valuables like jewelry and always carry a small flashlight and medical kit with you.

12. For safety reasons arrange with your family to take appropriate action if you do not get in touch with them as planned.

Avoid room service and eat in the hotel dinning room. Also never reveal details of where you come from or your travel plans to anyone.

Be vigilant and smart and you will be able to travel often and safely.

 

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Planning To Vacation In Japan

Planning To Vacation in Japan? Visiting Japan can be like transporting yourself to another world. Life revolves around ancient traditions and the beauty of nature.

Nagasaki

Be sure to visit the Spectacle bridge near Nagasaki. This gorgeous ancient stone bridge resembles a pair of glasses when viewed with the reflection of water flowing under the bridge and is a popular tourist stop. Visiting the beautiful red and yellow shrine known as Confucius Shrine and Museum of Natural History near Nagasaki can provide you with glimpses of Chinese treasures on loan form Beijing. Chinatown dates back to the seventeenth century and can be a haven for food lovers visiting Japan. Dejima is an artificial island once used to confine Dutch workers and now houses a museum and many historical buildings.

On August 9, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Be sure to visit the museum dedicated to this tragedy when visiting Nagasaki as well as Nagasaki Peace Park. Glover Gardens is an open air museum featuring nine western style homes including Glover Mansion. Nishizaka Hill located in Nagasaki is the site of a religious monument to the twenty six martyrs who were crucified on this spot for practicing Christianity in the 1600′s.

Tokyo

Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is an interesting tourist stop and is a sushi lovers paradise. It is the largest wholesale market in Japan. Asakusa in Tokyo is a popular neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants along with the famous Senso Temple. The East Gardens are located near the outside of the Imperial Palace and are open to the public. Yasukun jinja is the site of a large, torii gate that stands at the entrance to this shrine built in memory of those who lost their lives defending Japan. Many officials still come and offer prayer annually on August 15, anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War.

The Kabuki Theater hosts traditional Japanese Kabuki performances and is located in the Ginza district. The Edo Tokyo Museum displays artifacts and architecture depicting Tokyo’s history. Exhibits include replicas of an ancient Kabuki theater and the original Edo Castle. The Hama Rikyo park is located next to Tokyo Bay and is one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. The Tokyo National Museum is a must see with the largest collection of Japanese artifacts and artworks in the world. It features over 100,000 pieces and room to display only 4,000 so exhibits are rotated constantly. The Mori Art Museum is located in Roppong Hills, is one of Asia’s, largest collections of contemporary art.

While visiting Hiroshima, be sure to see the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. This park commemorates the explosion of the first atomic

Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima Castle

bomb. It houses the Peace Memorial Museum. The Hiroshima Castle and the Atomic Dome are also must see sites when visiting Hiroshima.

 

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The Top 10 Sights Of Kyoto Japan

When people first consider the idea of a holiday in Japan, their thoughts usually turn to Tokyo. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Tokyo – its soaring skyscrapers perfectly contrasting with its sombre temples – but there is a lot more to Japan than the bright lights of its world famous capital.

Take Kyoto, for example. The city is the historical and cultural capital of Japan – a fine mix of urban sprawl and cultural gems. Indeed, Kyoto was home to the Japanese Imperial family from 794 all the way up to 1868 when the Emperor decided to relocate to Tokyo. Kyoto is one of the few major Japanese cities to avoid the destruction of aerial raids during World War 2, and aside from anything else that makes it a fascinating part of any holiday in Japan.

How much time you wish to spend in this amazing city is mainly down to your tastes in sightseeing. Outside of the shopping and purely commercial aspects of the town the main sights are almost entirely made up of by cultural sights such as Buddhist temples and Zen gardens. Because of the quantity of historical and cultural sights, it is very easy to overdo Kyoto sightseeing if done too quickly. Thankfully, walking from sight to sight through the marvelous city tempers this nicely and allows visitors to enjoy the rich contrasts a Japanese holiday in this region can offer. Still, if you only have the time or energy to visit 10 of Kyoto’s cultural and historical treasures, these are what I’d recommend (in no particular order)

Heian Jungu

Heian Jungu

This Shinto shrine is famous for having the largest torii in the whole of Japan. The shrine was built in 1895 to celebrate the 1100th anniversary of Kyoto (formerly Heiankyo), and is dedicated to Emperor Kammu and Emperor Komei. If you happen to be on holiday in Japan on October 22nd, you will have the chance to see the ‘Festival of Ages’ (Jidai Matsuri) which takes place here and celebrates the day when Kyoto became Japan’s capital. The festival includes a huge procession of around 2,000 people which stretches for several kilometers.

Gion

Gion is the district of Kyoto renowned for its geisha houses and is the best area of the city to see geisha and maiko going about their everyday business. Gion was built in the middle ages, but due in part to some areas being declared a national historical preservation district, some of the architecture and entertainment remains similar to how it was when first established.

To clarify a popular misconception – geishas are not prostitutes, and Gion has never been a red light district.

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion Temple)

The most striking feature of Kinkakuji (and where it gets its name) is from the gold leaf that entirely covers the top two tiers of the pavilion. It is a stunning site and one that Japanese holiday makers cannot help but associate with Kyoto. The temple is placed next to a pond, allowing a shimmering mirror image of the structure to be viewed by all who visit, creating a powerful image of a connection between heaven and earth. Although the gold leaf covering makes the temple extremely valuable, its value is not entirely monitory, but also spiritual: within its walls it houses relics of the Buddha.

Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion Temple)

Listing this directly below the Golden Pavilion Temple is slightly misleading, because while the aforementioned temple’s golden covering makes it something of an ostentatious monument, this temple is comparatively minimalist. This is because while the original plan was to make this temple a silver accompaniment to its golden cousin, the plan was never carried out and it remains a delightful example of minimalism and restraint.

The temple itself is a simple two-story building, but its beautiful appeal is found in the surrounding serenity of the two gardens. The first is a pond garden composed of rocks and plants – the aim being to grant a different perspective from every angle. The second garden includes two carefully sculpted sand mounts which offer a sense of perfect serenity.

Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto’s Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) was once the home of Japan’s Imperial family, but when the capital shifted to Tokyo in 1868, the rulers followed. The structure has burned down on many occasions and the present reconstruction was only built in 1855.

The complex itself is encased in a long wall and is made up of several halls, gardens and gates. Although the enthronement ceremonies of Emperor Taisho and Emperor Showa were held within this palace’s main hall, the current Emperor was inaugurated in the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

Kiyomizudera

Kiyomizudera (or “Pure Water Temple”) is one of the most famous temples in Japan with both tourists and locals. Founded in 780 by one of the oldest sects in Japanese Buddhism (the Hosso), the temple is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Located in the wooded hills in eastern Kyoto, the temple offers a fabulous view over the city from its wooden terrace. The spring below said terrace is said to have water with healing properties and is the reason the temple has its name.

Fushimi Inari

Inari is the Shinto god of rice, and foxes are supposed to be his messengers. For that reason, the Fuhimi Inari shrine is dotted with many fox statues. The many tori gates make for an unforgettable experience, but if you can manage it, visiting the shrine in the evening is a must – the dim lights and sounds of the wildlife make for a delightfully atmospheric walk through the shrine’s tori gates.

Tenryuji Temple

Tenryuji Temple is considered the most important Zen Temple in Kyoto, and the literal translation of its name is “heavenly dragon temple”. The building started out its life as a private villa of Emperor Go Daigo, and was later converted after his death to a temple in his memory. Legend has it that a Buddhist priest had an uneasy dream where a dragon rose from a nearby river, making him believe that Go Daigo’s spirit was uneasy and that a temple should be built to appease him.

The temple has been damaged by fires an unlikely eight times, though the last instance was over 150 years ago. As a result, the current incarnation of the building is only 100 years old, but the garden is one of the oldest in the country, dating from the 14th century.

The Ryoanji temple has been designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The name means ‘temple of the peaceful dragon’ and it belongs to the Myoshinki school of the Rinzai branch of the Zen sect. The garden itself is regarded as one of the most pure examples of Japanese culture. Perfect in its simplicity, the garden consists of clay walls, raked sand and 15 rocks.

 

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Travel To Japan And Experience The Far East

Japan

If you’re determined to explore Asia but unsure which country to visit, you might want to set your sites on Far East Asia and travel to Japan. Here is some general but useful information that is good to know when you travel Japan. It will help you get a better understanding of Japan before your trip and allow you to experience Japan more comfortably.

About the Country

Japan consists of four main islands and several smaller ones. Together the islands take the shape of a sea horse and occupy an area of 377,435 square kms. Tokyo, the capital city, is very modern and bustling with activity, so when you travel to Japan, be ready for a few crowds. The landscape of Japan, away from the big cities, is mountainous with spectacular scenery; some of the mountains are volcanic. Mt. Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan, and is known for its symmetrical slopes.

About the Climate

When you travel to Japan, it’s important to know the country’s seasons and when they occur during the year. The islands of Japan lie in the temperate and at the northeastern end of the monsoon area. The climate is generally mild, although it varies considerably from place to place when you travel Japan. Summer, which is warm and mild, begins around the middle of July following a rainy season that usually lasts for a month. Except in northern Japan the winter is mild with many sunny days. Spring and autumn are the best seasons of the year with balmy days and bright sunshine.

About the People

Before you depart to travel Japan, it’s a good idea to get a sense of the people and their culture. Japan is one of the most densely populated nations in the world, with some 330 persons per square kilometer (almost 860 persons per sq. mi.). The Japanese are a Mongoloid people, closely related to the major groups of East Asia. However, some evidence also exists of a mixture with Malayan and Caucasoid strains. About 750,000 Koreans and much smaller groups of Chinese and Caucasians reside in Japan.

Religious Beliefs

When you travel Japan, you will be exposed to a new world of religious and personal beliefs. Buddhism is important in Japan’s religious life and has strongly influenced fine arts, social institutions, and philosophy. Most Japanese consider themselves members of one of the major Buddhist sects.

Shintoism is an indigenous religion founded on myths, legends, and ritual practices of the early Japanese. Neither Buddhism nor Shintoism is an exclusive religion. Most Japanese observe both Buddhist and Shinto rituals: the former for funerals and the latter for births, marriages, and other occasions. Confucianism, primarily an ethical system, profoundly influences Japanese thought as well.

About 1.3 million people in Japan are Christians, of whom 60% are Protestant and 40% Roman Catholic.

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