If you’re an avid traveler but haven’t yet had the chance to visit the exciting Land of the Rising Sun, you might want to change that and put a Japan trip on your bucket list as soon as possible.
With travel becoming more and more available in recent years, now is the perfect time to explore distant countries that you never thought of before. But if you’re asking “Why Japan?”, then you might want to stick around and read the following six reasons why you should visit this country and all its wonders in 2019. They might just convince you to book your tickets right away.
It offers relaxation like you never heard of
Nowadays, many of us want nothing more from our holiday than to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle for a short time and enjoy unadulterated relaxation. Japan, as a country priding itself in its unique approach to life, is a perfect choice for a relaxing holiday spent among the greenery. For instance, one of the up-and-coming practices that have proven very beneficial for city-dwellers who feel like they have lost their essential connection with Mother Nature is shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, so if you feel like your concrete surroundings are stressing you out, consider this option.
Of course, an essential part of the Japanese way of life, onsens or hot spring resorts must be mentioned as well. Thanks to the many natural hot springs scattered around the country, you can choose from many resorts, but one thing they all have in common is that they are extremely relaxing once you get over your initial perplexities concerning this practice. The hot water relaxes your muscles while the minerals in the water are absorbed and are said to improve your health. But all in all, the whole setting and experience can in themselves give you your well-deserved relaxation.
A booming music scene
You might already know that Japan is a country of festivals – different religious and cultural happenings that involve delicious bites and spectacular fireworks spiced up with traditional decorations and clothing dot the calendar throughout the entire year. However, you might be surprised to hear that Japan also boasts a good number of music festivals throughout spring and summer, with both Japanese and international acts to choose from.
If you do your homework in advance, you might be able to catch some world-famous artists such as Jason Mraz or the Cure at Fuji Rock Festival. On the other hand, go for Ultra Japan if you prefer electronic music since this is the country’s biggest EDM festival, or discover your new favorite at Summer Sonic while checking out local acts such as Alexandros, King Gnu, and Radwimps.
It’s perfect for active holidays too
If it’s also a bit of movement that you’re looking for in your holiday beside the obligatory relaxation, worry not, as Japan has the best of both worlds. Hiking enthusiasts will find Hakone a good challenge that rewards those who summit it with a perfect view of the impressive Mt. Fuji, or if you wish to venture out a bit farther from Tokyo, the Japanese Alps present beautiful day hike options. You will definitely be charmed by the expansive mountain views all over.
Another amazing active vacation opportunity that you can explore in Japan is skiing. A large part of Japan boasts heavy snowfalls and the perfect conditions for this winter sport, making Japan one of the top ski destinations in the world. Besides skiing, of course, you can also try your hand at snowboarding and other winter activities too while taking breaks to have some delicious food or relax at an onsen. The perfect combination! All you have left to do is choose from the many outstanding ski resorts such as Niseko, Hakuba or Furano.
Art in every aspect
The art scene in Japan, both the traditional and the modern one, is noteworthy in every sense. Starting from the beautiful architecture that you will see while visiting temples, shrines and parts of cities where traditional townhouses were preserved for future generations all the way to modern museums that showcase how the development of technology does not mean abandoning old values, your eyes will be spoiled by all the artistic beauty in this country.
If you want to explore visual arts in more detail, make some of the best museums part of your itinerary. The lately very popular Mori Building Digital Art Museum should definitely find its place on your list as this innovative museum offers a unique experience. However, traditional art should not be neglected either, and whether you want to see classic woodblock prints or the abstract artworks of Yayoi Kusama will entirely depend on your preferences but what’s sure, everyone can find something they will like.
It’s a foodie’s paradise
There’s no denying that almost all of us are excited at the thought of trying out new tastes at a destination we haven’t been to before. Japan is a real playground for foodies with a unique cuisine that will amaze your palate. From small traditional dishes served with drinks at izakayas through authentic delicacies on street markets all the way to luxe Michelin-star restaurants, everyone can find something to their taste.
If you’re not about to save money on this, a delicious Wagyu dish will certainly linger in your memory for a long time, but if you’d rather go for fish, make sure you choose a good sushi restaurant. Those with a sweet tooth have something to be excited about too; you will find a myriad of Matcha desserts in cafes all over the place, and if you want to take it home, you can stock up on Matcha snacks before you head back!
Tokyo’s varied landscape
A city that will make you feel like you have traveled in time, Tokyo is undoubtedly one of the most advanced cities out there that is so vast that you will need a good amount of time to see at least a portion of it. Your best bet is consulting multiple guides and creating your own tailor-made list of must-visit spots so as not to miss anything that interests you. In the spring, you definitely want to visit Ueno Park and see the blooming cherry blossoms – as the park boasts over a thousand of them, but you will certainly like the lively and friendly atmosphere of this park too and you might decide to take a walk around the Ueno Zoo as well.
However, let’s not forget about the futuristic face of this city and the breathtaking night views you can get of the cityscape. The Tokyo Tower is a must-visit if you want to take the whole city in, but you can also see the spectacular bright lights if you know where to go. Make sure you don’t miss out on the famous Shibuya Crossing either, which perfectly represents what this city stands for.
Essentially, every previously mentioned reason why you should visit Japan is more or less closely related to Japan’s unique culture in some way, which in itself can be a good enough reason to delve deeper and get to know the Japanese culture better. A trip to this country can be as colorful and fun as you make it: relaxing and serene or active and noisy, you decide. However, there is no doubt that the beautiful nature, varied arts, and music scene, delicious food, and interesting traditions make this country well-worth visiting.