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Fascinating culture with unique traditions

You’re bound to have a bit of culture shock in Japan. Eating raw fish. Taking a bath with strangers in a hot spring. Or marvelling at the minimalist beauty of a Japanese garden. Experiences that seem strange to begin with, then utterly natural once you fall in love with the country – from manic cities like Tokyo to tranquil forest trails. 

A beguiling mix of contrasts with unique customs and cuisine – steeped in tradition yet ahead of its time.


Capital city: Tokyo.

Currency: Yen (in ¥1000, ¥2000, ¥5000 and ¥10000 notes).

Cuisine: Mastering (or struggling to grasp) the art of eating sushi with chopsticks is one of Japan’s culinary joys. You’ll also find a huge variety of rice dishes, noodles and broths to enjoy.

Tipping etiquette: Tipping is not expected.

Saying hello: “Konnichiwa” in person; “moshi moshi” over the phone. 


Japan has four distinct seasons, and temperatures vary across the Japanese archipelago. Hokkaido in the north has large snowfalls in the winter months, which makes it a favourite for skiing. If you’re here in the spring, you’ll be able to see the famous cherry blossom. Peak holiday seasons for the Japanese themselves are April and mid-August, but you can easily travel around the country at any time of year. 

If you’re out on the town and you miss the last train, don’t worry. Many bars and clubs stay open until the first train of the morning, normally at 5am. 

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