Japan is modern, safe, friendly and a country rich in culture.
Tokyo is a great starting point and has a pulse unlike any other. The city is fairly easy to navigate and so much is in English as far as transportation making it easy to understand the rail system. Buying a Japan Rail Pass is a great idea. Taxi’s are also very simple and so unlike what we in the U.S think of taxi’s. Think about the white glove test, yes I am dating myself, but a Japanese taxi given the white glove test would far exceed your expectations. This is a country that is just so clean and well taken care of.
Shopping: While in Tokyo, Shibuya is the Times Square of Tokyo. You will find concert halls, ballet performances, museums, opera, movie theaters and countless shops for you to explore.
The Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, this enormous shopping all has a gigantic cinema, home to FujiTV studios and the largest gourmet zone.
Stay: If you are adventurous and looking for authentic, local type accommodations give a Japanese Ryokan a try. These inns offer tranquil minimalism, impeccable service and cuisine. This is pure Japanese luxury. Typically a Ryokan has 10 to 20 rooms and you will seldom find private bath facilities, they are usually communal, but do offer privacy. They will serve two meals for your overnight stay, offering dinner on the night you arrive and breakfast the day you depart. The food is traditional and absolutely delicious, giving guests the opportunity to try a variety of Japanese dishes.
If resorts or hotels are more your style, there are so many options for you. The Park Hyatt rises above the busy city and offers guests pure luxury in a small hotel. With modern architecture and fine art, you may want to check it out.
See: Japan offers so many adventures and activities. If you visit in April during the short period of time when the cherry blossoms are in season, the country is simply gorgeous.
While in Tokyo you must see the Imperial Palace and Gardens, home to the Emperor and Empress, visiting is free, but must be booked in advance. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building offers the best views of Tokyo. The observation deck knowns as “Tocho” where the views are breathtaking, especially in the morning when the sky is clear.
Experience: Japan has over 550 ski slopes offering great ski experiences. Maybe scuba diving is more your style, the island of Okinawa is a great destination. The water is an average of 78 degrees and you can experience the Yonguni Monument. This peculiar underwater dive site is one of underwater pyramid ruins. The hot springs in Japan are considered to be the best in the world. The minerals are said to have health benefits.
Adventure: If you are looking for a real adventure, climb Mt. Fuji. From Tokyo, you can take a bus from the Shinjuku station to the Kawaguchiko 5th station. Plan to arrive around 9 pm to join other hiking enthusiasts and get ready for your trek. Leaving the 5th station which is about half way up the mountain, you will start your 7 to 8 hour trek. Dress warm with waterproof clothing as temperatures can drop rapidly and it can get wet. You will hike to the summit to watch the most spectacular sunrise you have ever seen. The hike down will take you about 4 hours. If you happen to be on the summit in the evening, look down at the trail, it looks like a trail of ants climbing with their lights.
Another adventure is the Shinkansen high speed train or the “Bullet Train”. You will speed your way through the countryside at a bit over 300 km per hour or 186 mph. It makes travel in Japan exciting and easy.
Ready to go?