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Japan Travel Guide

Japan Top Experiences

Want to learn more about Japan? Read our in-depth articles on a variety of topics.



This centuries-old national sport of Japan is not to be taken lightly—as anyone who has ever seen a sumo wrestler will testify. Sheer mass...


Japanese Martial Arts

Take all that chop-socky stuff in the movies with a grain of salt: the Japanese martial arts are primarily about balance—mental, spiritual,...


Baseball in Japan

Sumo may be the national sport, but without question, the most popular sport in Japan is baseball. It was first introduced in 1872 by Horace...


The Geisha

The geisha—with her white makeup and Cupid’s-bow red lip rouge, her hair ornaments, the rich brocade of her kimono—is as much an icon of Japan...


The Tea Ceremony

The Way of Tea—in Japanese, Cha-no-yu or Sado —is more than a mere ceremonial occasion to have a cuppa: it is a profound spiritual and...


Top Reasons to Go to Japan

Urban buzz: Tokyo’s skyscrapers, pedestrian throngs, clockwork trains, and nightlife. Food: It’s all here, from quick noodles to fresh sushi...


Religion in Japan

Although both Buddhism and Shinto permeate Japanese society and life, most Japanese are blissfully unaware of the distinction between what is...


Japanese Gardens

Oases of calm and contemplation—and philosophical statements in their own right—Japanese gardens are quite unlike the arrangements of flowers...


Japanese Pop Culture

Step onto the streets of Shibuya—or brave the crowds of preening high school fashionistas populating Harujuku’s Takeshita-dori—and you’ll get...


The Ryokan

You’re likely to find Japanese hospitality polished, warm, and professional pretty much anywhere you stay—but nowhere more so than in a ryokan...


If You Like

Architecture The range of climates in Japan and the sweeping social changes over the centuries have left their trace in the country’s architecture...


Top Experiences in Japan

Sumo Sumo pits two extremely large athletes against one another in a ring ( dohyo ). A wrestler who breaches the ring's boundary or touches...


Top Things to Do in Japan

Mt. Fuji Mt. Fuji, the nation's highest peak, rises 3,776 meters. One of Japan's most famous symbols, the symmetrical Fuji-san inspires artists...


Japanese Etiquette

Many Japanese expect foreigners to behave differently and are tolerant of faux pas, but they are pleasantly surprised when people acknowledge...


On the Calendar

Matsuri (festivals) are very important to the Japanese, and around 30,000 are held throughout the year. Many of them originated in folk and...


Onsen and Bathing

A chain of volcanic islands on the fiery Pacific Rim, Japan has developed a splendid subculture around one of the more manageable manifestations...


Performing Arts

Gorgeous costumes, sword fights and tearful reunions, acrobatics and magical transformations, spectacular makeup and masks, singing and dancing...


Japanese Fine Arts

What raises Japanese handicrafts to the level of fine arts? It is, one could argue, the standards set by the nation’s Ningen kokuho : its Living...


Japan Today

Politics After Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi retired in 2006 following an enthusiastic spree of free-market economic reforms, Japan stumbled...

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