Japan

Fly in Japan

Located in the Far East, Japan is an archipelago of more than 6,800 islands stretching about 1,800 miles from northeast to southwest. Hokkaido, in the north, is subarctic and boasts spectacular mountain scenery and wide open plains, while southern Kyushu is subtropical and is famous for its balmy weather, beaches, and hot-spring resorts.

Japan is also a modern country in every sense of the word, from its super-efficient bullet trains to its cloud-tickling skyscrapers. From vibrant metropolises to rural retreats, from tropical beaches to lofty mountain peaks, from world-class hotels to traditional Japanese inns, Japan offers has it all.

Lovers of fine cuisine will revel in Japan’s varied styles of cooking, from tempura, sushi and teppanyaki to the feast of all feasts, kaiseki. 

Base cities

Tokio

By Ian Muttoo

One of the world’s most exciting and modern cities but at the same time it remains fiercely proud of its ancient heritage. Lively neighbourhood festivals are held virtually every day of the year, people regularly visit their local shrine or temple and scrupulously observe the passing seasons in lovingly tended gardens. And at this hyperactive city’s centre lies the serene and mysterious Imperial Palace – the inviolate home of the emperor and a tangible link to the past.

Tokyo’s reputation as an expensive city is ill-deserved and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how affordable many things are. Cheap-and-cheerful izakaya (bars that serve food) and casual cafés serving noodles and rice dishes are plentiful, the metro is a bargain, and tickets for a sumo tournament or a Kabuki play can be bought for the price of a few drinks. Many of the city’s highlights are free and simply walking the streets of this hyperactive city can be an energizing experience