Those visiting Japan are often taken aback learning that Japan is one of the world’s most industrialized and advanced nations. This small Asian archipelago is shadowed by a rich, glorious history that dates back to more than a hundred years. Japan, simultaneously was mastering the art of architecture by building world-renowned temples, attracting pilgrims, skillful decor and art as well as initiating the trade of porcelain, ceramics, and silk that enabled the Japanese to tread off the path of success.
The Japanese strongly believe in Kintsugi, a tradition where instead of discarded or disguises broken ceramics, join and fix the pieces together using lacquer and powdered gold. This symbolizes the breakage or damage as the history of the object and does not look upon it as a discarding factor. Japan’s rich tradition was crumbled during the devastating Nagasaki and Hiroshima attacks. However, the Japanese picked up the broken pieces of Japan and rebuilt the entire country, going by the philosophy of Kintsugi.
Japan is the epitome of the culmination of ancient traditions and modern life. The meeting of the two is so seamless, it almost feels as though it is natural.
Nakano is an area one must explore if in Tokyo. It is a small district located only a 10-minute train ride away from the urban jungle, yet, it embodies a totally different local feel and character from the rest of the city of Tokyo. The Sun Mall is iconic to Nakano. A space bustling with cheap eateries and shopping, this street is so lively at all times of the day. Within the Sun Mall, make sure to visit The Watch Company, a one-stop destination for all watch needs. The Watch Company is known to display and sell and a wide range of watches from the well-recognized brands in the world.
A little away from Sun Mall is the Nakano Broadway that radiates of Japanese otaku and anime culture. The Araiyakushi temple is a peaceful abode that must be visited during the flowering season to view the most beautiful sights. Nakano is also home to some of the most pleasant parks. The Edo Era Park entails elements of traditional Japanese culture like pagodas and cherry blossoms. The Shiki No Mori Koen Park is an ideal location for a picnic with friends or family. Nakano also boasts of a vibrant nightlife. Make sure to visit the quaint back alleys, lined with cheap restaurant and bars. Grab a meal that will not be too harsh on the wallet.
An absolute must if you’re a history buff, this ancient capital of Japan has housed the emperor and his family for over a 1,000 years. The streets of Kyoto brim with culture, walking through the various museums and art galleries will transport you to a different time through many ancient sculptures, paintings, outfits, and cuisine.
The architecture in Kyoto highlights the old Buddhist roots the nation imbibed, many buildings carry Buddhist influences and there are many well-preserved temples you can visit, 30 of which are still in use. The Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaki-Ji, is the best-known temple in the city due to the intricate gold leaf work that decorates its exterior.
Other popular sites to visit include the Kyoto Imperial Palace, built in 794 AD it is the seat of the Japanese royal family. If you wish to experience the beauty of nature be sure to visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, a highly picturesque park only a few minutes away from the city center.
Japan’s tallest mountain peak towering at 3,776 meters, can be seen from Tokyo, a 100 km away. Japan’s great natural structure attracts a large number of locals, nationals, and foreigners every year. Mount Fuji, is celebrated for its unique art and literature over many centuries now.
In fact, in the year 2013, Mount Fuji was so important that it was recognized by the UNESCO as a significant world cultural site. Mount Fuji is climbed by over a million people every summer. Some climb from the base for an annual pilgrimage while tourists often begin their climb from halfway for about 6 hours to view the enigmatic sunrise. Another thrilling experience of paragliding is offered at the 5th base, which can be reached via bus.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
A spot that once experienced great horrors is now a space dedicated to peace. The vibrant area in Hiroshima where the memorial sits was once the center of 1945’s nuclear blast but now serves as a symbol of nonviolence. The park is home to a number of monuments, memorials, and museums which commemorate the many lives lost in the world’s first nuclear attack.
The highlights of the park are the Peace Memorial Museum that is dedicated to world peace, the Atom Bomb Dome which are the remains of a government building that sat in the center of the explosion. Apart from these radiant monuments, the park is home to gardens covered by cherry blossom trees which promise a memorable and touching experience.
Japan has a rich and a unique culture. One has to visit experience the hardships the country has gone through and how the Japanese have risen to make it a truly timeless place.