The Land of the Rising Sun is a treasure trove of exotic sophistication. The ultramodern Tokyo and the picturesque province, the snow cap of Fuji and the blooming sakura tree, the magnificent beaches of the Okinawa Islands and ancient monuments of Shintoism are all Japan. Why is there so much inexplicable charm in the Land of the Rising Sun? The main reason, perhaps, is that the Japanese have always been able to find harmony in everything. Every aspect is unique here - cities, language, culture. Everyone who has ever been to Japan claims that they have never seen anything like it in any other country in the world. Japan combines tradition and modernity. Ancient pagodas and gates of spirits in Japan neighbor mirrored skyscrapers, pompous "five" - with cozy rivers, untwisted spa centres - with national ofuro baths. This almost fantastic mix of Oriental heritage and Western achievements is the main thing that attracts guests from abroad. But besides the incredible atmosphere, there is something to enjoy here: many people are interested in the unique architecture of Japan - the world-famous "Golden Pavilion" in Kyoto, the Imperial Palace, a great number of ancient temples. Japan is represented by the best entertainment parks for children: "Disneyland", "Disney Shi", "Universal Studio" and others.In general, Japan is visited by a diverse but steadily wealthy clientele: mainly tourists who have already visited many countries, as well as businessmen. Only in one thing the country has "pumped up", prices are high here, and the concept of "low season" does not exist at all, so for a budget traveller it will be a little unpleasant . As for the number of sights and museums, there is nothing wrong with it: Japan will find something to surprise its guests, even if this is their 20th visit.
Japan is a country in East Asia, located on 4 large islands (Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu and Hokkaido), Ryukyu Islands and more than 4 thousand small islands. Their coasts are washed by the Sea of Okhotsk, the Pacific Ocean, the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan.
The landscape of the country is predominantly mountainous, rather strongly dissected. There are numerous active and extinct volcanoes, including the highest point of Japan - Fujiyama volcano (3776 m). The coastline is cut by numerous coves and bays.
The Kanto region, which occupies part of Honshu Island, is considered the most highly developed part of Japan. The Kanto plain is surrounded by mountain ranges, which together with the Tokyo Bay form the borders of the region.
The Kinki region and Kansai. Kinki occupies the southwestern part of Honshu Island. Most of the region has mountains and plateaus, and the largest lake in Japan, Biva, which is in the north-east.
Shikoku region occupies the area of the whole island, although this island is the smallest of the four main ones in Japan. Shikoku and Honshu Islands are connected with each other by a highway
Yushu is the third largest island of the Japanese archipelago at the Pacific coast of Asia. The island is considered to be the birthplace of Japanese civilization according to one of the versions.
Tohoku region is located in the eastern part of Japan on Honshu Island. In the north, it is separated from Hokkaido Island by the Tsugaru Strait. The coast is washed by the Sea of Japan in the west and the Pacific Ocean in the east.
The Tyubu region is located in central Japan on Honshu Island. The Japanese Alps divide the region into two parts - facing the Pacific Ocean, with clear winters, and facing the Sea of Japan, with snowy winters.
The Okinawa region is crystal clear seawater, white sandy beaches and colorful underwater life. Okinawa is located in the subtropical belt, and at any time of year beautiful flowers bloom here.
The Tugoku region is located in the western part of Honshu Island. The area of the region is occupied by hilly lowland plains to the north and Tugoku mountain range to south. The southern part of the region is called Sangyo. The names of this part of the country are related to the concept of yin and yang.
The Hokkaido region is located on the island of the same name in Japan, which is the second largest island in the country, also the territory of the region includes smaller nearby islands.
As in any other country, Japanese culture is based on its language and writing. The Old Japanese language was formed by borrowing the system of hieroglyphs and writing in Ancient China. Gradually transforming, however, it has always remained extremely difficult to learn.
Shintoism and Zen Buddhism, which for many centuries have been the main religions in this country, It settled a certain attitude towards life and art. Shinto is a kind of ancient mythology that describes the life of gods and spirits, which were unconditionally worshiped by ancient Japanese. Under the influence of religion in the country are established very strict relationships within social groups, formed the cult of leaders and the cult of the dead.
The arrival of Buddhism in Japan and its rapid spread are still a mystery to scientists, but nevertheless, from the 5th-6th centuries it began to have a serious impact on the minds and psychology of the population.
Nature occupies one of the main places in almost all the works of ancient painting in Japan, which is considered the embodiment of divine origin in terms of religion.
Japanese literature is considered surprisingly early. While Japanese men were writing using Chinese characters, women who were forbidden to learn foreign languages were writing in Japanese, creating amazingly beautiful works that realistically reflect the world and are performed with national color. The Tokyo National Museum provides an opportunity to see a rich collection of exhibits that allow us to trace the relationship between the different facets of Japanese culture and their development over many centuries.
The unique layer of culture of this country is connected with the traditions of the Samurai. Usually, samurai are called military feudal class of small noblemen. There was nothing similar in Europe, although it can be compared to medieval chivalry. Samurai originated in the 7th century, and in the 10-13th centuries it was finally formed. By that time the main clans were not just in the service of aristocratic families, but gained political weight. The samurai ideology was based on Zen Buddhism, which formed the basis of the Bushido doctrine, a code of honor that the samurai strictly followed.
Education was also welcomed in this environment: influential families sought to teach their children all existed arts, not just military. The appearance samurai also differed from the rest, a special hairstyle and two swords were obligatory. The image of a samurai, a bushi, was shaped in the 18th century. The history of the samurai class ended in the 19th century, but the spirit of bushido continues to live in the Japanese culture, which became quite obvious during the Second World War. To better understand samurai traditions, way of life and way of thinking, it is worth visiting the same Tokyo National Museum. In its halls there are many unique showpieces that give an idea of the life of Japanese military nobility and nowadays those artifacts have the status of a national treasure in Japan. In particular, the special interest is the collection of samurai swords, the oldest of which dates back to the 11th century.
Seeking for harmony in all aspects of life, generally accepted as the main direction that characterizes the Japanese art.
The desire to find the brightest strokes that best emphasize the individuality of the object depicted, regardless of the way the information is presented, makes the art of this country relevant always and everywhere. It is must say that many kinds of art came into the daily life of the world from Japan, like the art of folding a variety of figures out of paper called Origami becoming more popular.
The art of making bouquets - Ikebana - has long and firmly entrenched in the arsenal of all professional florists of the world, and the creation of bonsai, that is, the cultivation of dwarf trees and combining them into a composition, is becoming increasingly popular among the inhabitants of modern close metropolitan areas. In 30 km from Tokyo, in suburb of Omia, there is a bonsai park. Its collection of dwarf trees is unique. Here you can see bonsai from 10 cm to 120 cm high, all of them equally elegant, despite the very different appearance. It is in this park that it becomes clear that bonsai is, first of all, is an art, and then technology.
The art of organizing a tea ceremony is also of the old tradition that is becoming popular. Nowadays, this is not a strictly painted ritual, held under the guidance of a tea master in a special tea pavilion, but rather an occasion to see friends. But, as before, pedantic observance of all stages of this action leads its participants in a peaceful, contemplative mood, which is what modern human so often lack.
Precise balance of the finest color transitions combined with exquisite lines in the works of painting distinguishes the paintings of Japanese masters. All of them, including quite utilitarian works used in everyday life, are full of hidden meaning and force a new look at the surrounding reality. Inseparable from painting is the art of calligraphy, which consists not only of the ability to write hieroglyphs beautifully, but also to select precisely those of them that will best convey the mood of the author. In the Gallery of Applied Arts at Tokyo, 1-1 Kitanomaru-koen you can see a lot of products by Japanese craftsmen. There are works from glass, paper, metal, plastic, ceramics, and bamboo. The most outstanding samples are kept in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art at 8-36 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo.
It is impossible not to mention the Japanese design. First of all, it is the design of household appliances and other industrial goods. Elegance, harmony and the highest degree of functionality distinguish almost all Japanese products from others. A lot of outstanding works of Japanese designers of the present and past centuries are presented in the halls of the National Museum of Modern Art, and ordinary samples can be found in stores that have Japanese goods in their assortment.
Despite the fact that world cinema is clearly influenced by Hollywood, Japanese cinema has given the world a lot of magnificent movies, awarded by the most prestigious festivals and triumphant screenings all over the world. Directors such as Akira Kurosawa (who, by the way, was born into a family of hereditary samurai) and Kaneto Shindo are among the most outstanding figures in world cinema.
Surprisingly, Oscar bearer Akira Kurosawa, who so subtly presented Japan to the world, was never fully understood in his native country, and one of his best films "Rasemon" (which does not leave the list of the world's best films) was not recognized as a masterpiece in Japan.
Japan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Here you will find a unique combination of traditional temples and buildings of the past, with modern achievements in architecture and technology. Once in this country, tourists can immerse themselves in Japanese history and culture, as well as get an excursion into the future with the help of current science. Many historical monuments are used for their intended purpose while remaining open to the public. The incredible beauty of Japan can be seen at any time of year. A brief overview of Japan's sights is provided, which you should see with your own eyes.
The active stratovolcano on the Japanese island of Honshu, which is located 90 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. The height of the volcano is 3776 m. At present, the volcano is considered to be slightly active, the last eruption being in 1707-1708.
The Emperor's Palace of Tokyo
Palace of the Emperor of Japan is in a special area of Tokyo called Metropolitan Tieda. It is located in the former Edo Castle. It has been used since the second half of the 19th century as the residence of Emperors and the Imperial Court.
Shinjuku-gyeon is a large park with several gardens, located in the Shinjuku and Shibuya urban areas, in the Ministry of the Environment.
Meiji Jingu is Tokyo's largest Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. Location of the shrine: Kamizono Teo Yogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
Shitenno-ji is a Buddhist temple in Japan, in the Tenno-ji district of Osaka City. It is one of the oldest centers of Buddhism in Japan. Throughout the middle Ages until today, it is known as the center of Tendai School. In 1946, he separated from it by founding his own Washu School.
Kenroku-en Park is the largest park in Kanazawa, one of Japan's three famous parks. The name stands for Garden of Six Distinctions. Originally it was the garden of Kanazawa Castle. The park was created in the XVII century and opened to the public in 1875.
Kotoku-in is a Buddhist temple of the Jodo sect in Kamakura city in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. The temple is famous for its "Big Buddha", a monumental open bronze statue of Amitabha Buddha, which is one of the most famous symbols of Japan.
Nijjo Castle is the fortified residence of the Tokugawa Shoguns in Kyoto, Japan. The castle complex consists of many buildings and several gardens. The central structure of the castle is Ninomaru Palace.
Senseo-ji, or Asakusadera, is the temple of the Shokannon Buddhist School in Asakusa District, Taito, Tokyo. The full official name is Konryuzan Senseo-ji. Senseoji is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo.
Sapporo Snow Festival - from 6th to 12th of February
Aomori Nebuta Matsuri – from 2nd to 7th of August
Kanda Matsuri- Saturday and Sunday closest to May 15th. Every odd numbered year
Chichibu Night Festival (Chichibu Yomatsuri) – 2nd and 3rd December
Takayama Matsuri - held in spring and autumn (14th – 15th of April; 9th – 10th of October)
Gion Matsuri- entire July
Aoi Matsuri Festival – 15th of May
The Tenjin Matsuri – 24th and 25th of July
Nada no Kenka Matsuri – 14th and 15th of October
Awa Odori – 12th to 15th August
Karatsu Kunchi – 2nd to 4th of November
99.9% of the local population is Japanese, so the attitude towards foreigners is very special. European appearance is considered very unusual, in the street teenagers can run up to a person with blond hair and blue eyes to take a photo with him.
However, foreigners are very reluctant to be allowed into the country's domestic life - they are loved as tourists, but hardly accepted as Japanese citizens.
The famous samurai honor, Bushido, is still alive in Japan - there are cases when politicians left their posts because they did not keep their election promise.
The Japanese are generally considered a very hard-working nation - it is not customary to take vacations here, and they often stay up late at work.
There is no concept of retirement in Japan. By law, every employment contract is concluded with an employee for life, and the employee can hold a position as long as his or her health allows him or her to perform his or her duties.
Etiquette is sacred to the Japanese, and failure by a foreigner to follow the rules of good tone can cause a storm of indignation among locals.
At homes and a number of public places in Japan are, it is important to take off your shoes. After taking off your shoes, you must turn them to the exit - this is a requirement of ancient custom.
The Japanese believe that it is almost impossible for a foreigner to learn their language, so minimal knowledge of the language makes them delighted.
There are very few curses in the Japanese language. Sometimes the word "fool", spoken with a different tone, can cause indignation if it was pronounced in a respectable society.