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  • Top Things to Do in Japan

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

  • If You Like

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

  • 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 religious... Read more

  • Japan Today

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

  • Top Experiences in Japan

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

  • 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... Read more

  • Performing Arts

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

  • 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 of... Read more

  • 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: a... Read more

  • 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... Read more

  • 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 Wilson... Read more

  • Japanese Etiquette

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

  • 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, and... Read more

  • Sumo

    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, mind... Read more

  • 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... Read more

  • 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... Read more

  • Japanese Gardens

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

  • Religion in Japan

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

  • 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 to... Read more

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