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Japan

Japan is a country formed by over 3000 islands and located in north-eastern Asia, between the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan. Japan`s four major islands are Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Hokkaido.  Japan is a country of amazing contrasts, with big and vibrant cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo, and countryside and historic villages such as Kyoto and Nara.

REASONS TO GO

The vibrant Tokyo, a heaven for shopping.

Watching Sumo and Geisha Dances.

Cherry blossom parties.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to visit Japan are the climatically stable seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November).

Spring is the time when Japan´s famous cherry trees (sakura) burst into bloom. Starting from Kyūshū sometime in March, the sakura zensen (cherry tree blossom line) advances northward, passing the main cities of Honshū in early April. Once the sakura bloom, their glory is brief, usually lasting only a week but even so viewing pretty sakura flowers is a main reason for many travelers to visit Japan.

Autumn is an equally good time to travel, with pleasant temperatures and soothing colours; the autumn foliage pattern reverses that of the sakura, starting in the north sometime in October and peaking across most of Honshū around November.

Winter in Japan is cold, but it's not so bad. In Tokyo, the temperature hardly drops below 33F. January and February is a good time for skiing. There are many good ski resorts in Hokkaido and the north region on Honshu island.

New Year's is an important holiday for Japanese people. Japanese airports, highways, and train stations are crowded during the last week of December and the first week of January, so try to avoid traveling on this period of the year.

Other peak holiday seasons, particularly Golden Week (late April to early May) and the mid-August O-Bon (Festival of the Dead), are very popular for domestic travel and can be problematic in terms of reservations and crowds. 

GOOD TO KNOW

Capital: Tokyo 

Currency: yen (JPY) 

Area: 377,864 sq km (145,894 sq miles)

Population: 129 million

Language: Japanese 

Electricity: 100V/50 or 60Hz (American plug) 

Calling Code: +81  

Time Zone: UTC+9 

 

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

 

The following are Japanese national holidays and some of the most important other annual nationwide events.

 

January 1 New Year

Second Monday of January Coming of Age

February 3 Beginning of spring

February 11 National Foundation Day

March 3 Doll's Festival

Around March 20 Spring Eqinox Day

April 29 Showa Day

May 3 Constitution Day

May 4 Greenery Day

May 5 Children's Day

July/August 7 Star Festival

Third Monday of July Ocean Day

July/August 13-15 Obon

Third Monday of September Respect for the Aged Day

Around September 23 Autumn Equinox Day

Second Monday of October Health and Sports Day

November 3 Culture Day

November 15 Seven-Five-Three

November 23 Labour Thanksgiving Day 

December 23 Emperor's Birthday

If a national holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will also be a holiday. If a day lies between two national holidays, the day will also be turned into a holiday.

INFO

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng


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