Perhaps more than any other country on the planet, Japan mixes age-old tradition and culture with cutting-edge technology and fashion. This guide tells you the best places to experience both old and new Japan.
Able to trace its origins back over many thousands of years, Japan has one of the most fascinating histories of any country in the world and a rich, vibrant culture that is still very much alive today. An island chain in the Pacific Ocean, Japan rose to great prominence as an economic superpower during the 20th century on the back of its technological prowess and strong work ethic. It is this eclectic mix of modern technology, proud tradition and historical importance that has made Japan one of the favourite long-haul destinations for both UK tourists and holidaymakers from around Europe.
Honshu the Best of Both Worlds.
The main island of Japan and indeed its largest is Honshu. It is here that visitors can experience the best of both ancient and modern Japan, as the isle of Honshu is home to historic Kyoto, in addition to the futuristic, mega-metropolis that is Tokyo. Kyoto is one of the oldest cities in the country and a beautiful place to visit. Until 1867, Kyoto was the capital of Japan and remains an area of ancient tradition and proud culture with a plethora of historic sites to explore, including countless majestic temples, the 17th century Nijo Castle and the former residence of Japan’s Royal family, the Imperial Palace. With exquisitely kept gardens and ornate palaces, Kyoto is the place to visit to immerse oneself in true Japanese history.
Technology and Teenagers in Tokyo.
In complete contrast, the country’s capital of Tokyo is a frenetic hive of modern-day life, sophisticated stores, neon lights and incredible technology. Despite its vast size and the sheer number of people seemingly ever-present, Tokyo is a remarkably friendly and polite city where public transport is always incredibly punctual. The young people of Tokyo seem to have taken it upon themselves to begin a new Japanese tradition all of their own that of being at the forefront of fashion. The completely unique style of many of Tokyo’s younger generation, mainly centered in the district of Harajuku, is becoming a tourist attraction in itself. Indeed, Tokyo is a city that looks very much to the future and is quickly rising in popularity as a destination for educational holidays, with students looking to further their knowledge in business, history, or even take part in student music festivals.
Whether you are a traveller looking to absorb as much history and traditional culture as possible or you prefer to learn more about the ever-advancing technological wizardry of 21st century life, Japan provides the best of both worlds. For a country that remains at the very forefront of business and electronics, it has never forgotten its proud history and tradition. A holiday to this vibrant country of contrast is truly an unforgettable experience.
Carl Palin is an experienced travel author who writes regularly on the subject for a range of travel-themed websites and blogs. Although not a student himself, he has recently taken an interest in the rise in popularity of educational holidays and worldwide student music festivals.
Photo Credit – pascocountyflattorney.com