June 23, 2014

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3 Fascinating Japanese Tourist Attractions

Shinjuku

We’ve spoken already about the tourist attractions of Tokyo, however the most visited tourist attraction in Tokyo is Shinjuku. It is in fact a districshrinet rather than an individual tourist attraction.

It is the skyscraper district and it hails from the 1970s. It’s an extremely crowded commercial area and has a whole host of sites, and you can lose one or two days there without any trouble at all. There are fascinating shopping zones, for example some extraordinary basement food halls sporting all sorts of strange Japanese cuisine. There are some beautiful parks including the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

This is a stunning garden which was originally the residence of one of Japan’s most famous families in the 1600s, after which it became a garden under the management of the Imperial household agency of Japan. It is now a park operated by the National Ministry of the environment.

Extraordinarily this park and garden totals almost 59 hectares with a circumference of around 3 1/2 kilometres. It features French formal gardens, an English garden and a Japanese traditional garden together with a traditional Japanese teahouse.

It is particularly stunning during the cherry blossom season. Should you wish to view the garden it’s worth remembering that it is normally closed on Mondays except during the cherry blossom season and chrysanthemum season, which are from late March to late April each year as well as early November. Otherwise the garden is open seven days a week. There is a stunning greenhouse which is also well worth a visit.monkeys

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Also extraordinary is the Jigokudani Monkey Park. This is located in a hot spring area near Nagano. Steam and boiling water bubble out of the ground, which is frozen, and there are extremely steep cliffs and forests surrounding the park. The major attraction of the park is its population of wild snow monkeys that come down into the park during the winter. [...]

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June 23, 2014

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Tokyo, One Of The Worlds Most Livable (And Expensive) Cities

tokyo2No visit to Japan is complete without a visit to Tokyo. In fact chances are you will fly into Tokyo and so you will be right there.

However it’s essential that you set aside at least a week for a stay in Tokyo, there is so much to do and so many things to see.

Tokyo is one of the most populous cities in the world. It is of course the capital of Japan and also its the center of the greater Tokyo area. The Japanese government is found in Tokyo as well as the Imperial Palace which is the home of the Imperial family of Japan.

Japan is made up of 47 prefectures, and Tokyo is officially a “metropolitan prefecture” which makes it unique in Japan, as it has elements of both a city and a prefecture.

The city is broken up into 23 wards, each of which is governed as an individual city. [...]

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June 23, 2014

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A Brief History Of Japan

japan12Japan is an ancient country, and there is evidence of habitation in what was known as the Japanese archipelago from around 30,000 BC. This has been called the Japanese Palaeolithic period and was the period when the very first stone tools were used in Japan, as has been found by the evidence.

There is controversy about whether or not Japan was inhabited prior to around 30,000 BC, with some archaeologists supporting the view that habitation goes back 5000 years further. The earliest human bones that have been discovered in Japan have been dated back to around 15,000 years ago.

Subsequent to the Palaeolithic period Japan was inhabited by a hunter gatherer culture and their genetics can be traced through to the contemporary Yamato people of Japan. It is known that they had rudimentary agriculture as well as rudimentary dwellings. There are also some simple examples of very early Japanese pottery from that period.japanese-woman

The first written evidence of the Japanese was around the third century when a Chinese historical text called the Records of the Three Kingdoms makes reference to the Japanese area. It is known that Buddhism was introduced into Japan around that time.

By the period commencing around 600 A.D. Buddhism was well established in Japan.

Similarly as was the case with many other cultures there have been epidemics which have killed large numbers of the Japanese population and one of these was around the year 735 A.D. when a smallpox epidemic killed, according to some experts, somewhere around one third of the population. [...]

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