Delve into the elegance and energy of Japan on a tailor-made Japan tour. Samurai warriors and sumo wrestlers. Geishas and master sushi chefs. Anime and manga and master gamers. Japan captivates the imagination like no other country. Where bowing is still alive and well, yet Kentucky Fried Chicken is one of the country’s most popular Christmas Eve restaurants. Where the work ethic requires complete commitment to your employer, yet the government has created out of thin air five ‘Happy Monday’ holidays to provide a respite. Where fax machines still screech in offices, yet the country is the world leader in robotics and jinkou chihou (artificial intelligence).
Travellers are transfixed by the island nation’s people and places. In the northern reaches, Hokkaido provides powdery slopes for avid skiers and snowboarders, fields of wildflowers in the spring and enough beer and ramen to please anyone with loose inhibitions. The largest island, Honshu, is home to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, but also lesser-known wonders of Kanazawa, Matsomoto, Nagano and Nikko. The two southern islands, Shikoku and Kyushu, are rarely on tourist radars and lightly populated, making them ideal for getting off the beaten track.
As soon as the tyres depart the tarmac, Japan lingers on the mind like a vivid dream, beckoning travellers to return to its charismatic embrace.
A land of etiquette, innovation and exceptional eats, Japan excels in the details. Ancient, adaptive and advanced, with a culture influenced by both ancient philosophy and modern enterprise, Japan offers a heightened version of the familiar (vending machines that serve cold beer, robot-staffed hotels) and a singular culture that captivates travellers. Learn from soba noodle masters in Tokyo, hike through the foothills of Mt Fuji, meditate with Buddhist monks in Koya San and sing karaoke ‘til the wee hours in Osaka. In Japan pretty much everything – from a slice of succulent sashimi to a soak in a steaming onsen – is done with style and originality.