Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category


Monday, October 8th, 2007

Tokyo is one of the premier as well as breathtaking tourist destinations in Asia. A part of the Kanto Plain, Tokyo is the capital of Japan, located in the island of Honshu, in eastern part of the country. Formerly a fishing village known as Edo, Tokyo has now become one of the prominent global cities in the world. According to the Japanese Law, Tokyo is a metropolis, with a plethora of cities, towns, and villages. Its administrative area has been categorized into three areas: Central Tokyo comprising 23 special wards, the Trama region consisting of majestic hills and mountains, and the southern islands of the Pacific. Further, Tokyo is now regarded as an Alpha City, along with world’s other top cities such as London, Paris, and New York. Discussed further in this article are some of the top attractions in Tokyo.

Meiji Shinto Shrine is perhaps the most prominent among the attractions of Tokyo. Dedicated to the souls of the Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken – the shrine was constructed and completed by more than 100,000 volunteers in 1920. Later, it was rebuilt as a result of its destruction during the Second World War. The centerpiece of the shrine is the huge torii or gate, which is erected with 1,700 year-old cypress trees brought from Taiwan. It is believed that passing through the torii purifies the heart of worshippers. Other highlights of the shrine are Naien or the inner garden coupled with a museum housing the artifacts of the emperor and the empress, and Gaien or the outer garden, which is home to attractions such as the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, the National Stadium, and the Meiji Memorial Hall, which is now a venue for Shinto weddings. Additionally, the shrine is noted for its spectacular areas filled with more than 100,000 trees of about 360 varied species.

A must-see attraction in Tokyo is Ueno Zoo – a zoological garden located within Ueno Park. Earlier, a part of the Kanei-ji – a family temple of the Tokugawa Shoguns, the zoo consists of two sections: the East Garden, where you can find such exotic animals as specialties as giant pandas, Asiatic elephants, and snow monkeys, and the West Garden, which is inhabited by African hoofed animals including giraffes, hippopotamuses and zebras. Also, within the zoo is a section exclusively for kids, where a variety of domesticated animals, apart from wild ducks, geese, and cormorants, can be seen.

Another popular attraction of Tokyo is the East Garden of Imperial Palace, which stands on the former site of Edo Castle. Maintained in a faultless form, the garden is stunning, especially during the months of March and April when cherry and plums blossom.

Attractions in Tokyo also include Hamarikyu Japanese Garden, Kabuki theatre, Tsukiji Fish Market, Mingeikan -Japan Folk Craft Museum, and Kabukiza Theatre.

Tokyo is also a shopper’s paradise, with more than 30 department stores and countless number of boutiques as well as specialist stores. Further, the city is truly a gourmet paradise, boasting of about 1, 00,000 restaurants, each of them serving an array of delightful cuisines from across the globe.

In short, Tokyo is one among those cities that people dream of touring one day!

The Fascinating Island Nation – Japan

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Japan is a fascinating island nation, situated on the Pacific Ocean, in East Asia. Al though a small country with an area of 377,835 square kilometers, Japan comes with an incredible variety of vacation spots, such as historical sites, museums and monuments. The country has the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea to the south, the Sea of Japan on the west, and the Pacific Ocean on the north.

The country abounds in scenic beauty, and places to see here range from ancient temples and shrines to castles and museums. Each and every region in Japan has its own specialty. When some Japanese regions are renowned for its historical prominence, some others may be famed for breathtaking natural attractions covering lakes, mountains, and beaches. Perhaps most fascinating of the Japanese attractions would be Tokyo, the capital city, which comes with a spectacular array of destinations such as historic spots, innovative cityscapes, and cultural entertainments. Just few to mention are Ginza offering great shopping experience, the Imperial Palace with its breathtaking moat, Tsukiji Fish Market which has been here since 1500s, West Shinjuku that is highly famed for its Gothem City skyscrapers, and museums including Hara Museum of Contemporary Art. Also, a great draw of Tokyo is the Asakusa-Kannon Temple – an exciting Buddhist complex.

Largest Buddhist Temple in Japan

Discover the wonderful natural beauty of the country by taking excursion to such unique destinations as Tohoku, whose attraction is spread across three national parks. For a great cultural experience, visit lively Japanese destinations like Sendai, which hosts great events including Tanabata Star Festival. Another exciting travel destination is Nara where the largest Buddhist temple in the world is situated, which in turn is declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. A visit to Japan is incomplete without taking an excursion to Kyoto, which is especially known for its numerous Buddhist temples as well as Shinto shrines, apart from attractions including Kawai Kanjiro’s house, Nijo-Jinya, and Sho-sei-en.

Acknowledged as ‘the Manchester of Japan,’ Osaka is also a great destination in Japan. From Umeda Sky Building and Tsutenkaku Tower taking after the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Osaka Historical Museum and Expo Memorial Park, Osaka’s attractions are immense.

Japan’s attractions also include an amazing host of natural wonders including 86 active volcanic, of which most significant is the Mount Fuji, which is noted for its exceptional rock formations, waterfalls, and trees. Equally well-known is Japan’s hot spring resorts, such as Toyako Onsen on the shores of the spectacular Lake Toya, Hakone on the shores of the Lake Ashi, Nikko at the foot of the Mount Nantai, and Nyuto Onsen in the mountains of Akita Prefecture.

In a snap shot, all of Japanese specialties including Kimono – the traditional costume, sumo wrestling, ryokan – the traditional guest houses, the country’s bullet train – shinkansen, and cuisines including soba and ramen noodles, are really worth mentioning.