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  • Hakone

    hakone.jnto.m_155563One travels to Hakone to soak up the mystique of iconic Mount Fuji and the striking landscapes of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Whether sightseeing by train, cable car or an idyllic cruise on Lake Ashi, visitors will be captivated by the snowcapped dormant volcano and the wonders of the park. An overnight at the exclusive Gora Kadan Ryokan ensures continued bliss.

  • Hiroshima

    Sworn to burn until all the world’s atomic weapons are banished, the “Flame of Peace” still awaits extinguishment at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. The UNESCO World Heritage Site documents the annihilation of more than 200,000 people during the World War II atomic bombing of the city on August 6, 1945. The park and museum are somberly dedicated to “No More Hiroshimas.”

  • Takayama

    Step into Takayama, tucked away in the Hida Mountains or “Japan’s Alps,” and be immersed in Old Japan. Actors recreate the traditional lifestyle and culture of centuries past in the Hida Folk Village. Among its transplanted thatched-roof farmhouses and shingled-roof private houses, Hida folk craft workshops and museums feature demonstrations of wood carving, lacquer art and other regional crafts.

  • Kanazawa

    Friendly, hip Kanazawa was ruled in feudal times by the wealthy Maeda Clan, who fostered a great center of learning and culture through the profits of its abundant rice fields. Its Kenroku Garden, meaning “the garden of six qualities” that create perfection, is recognized as one of the three finest landscaped gardens in Japan. Its Naga-machi (Samurai) district reveals the Samurai lifestyle.
  • Kurashiki

    Picturesque Kurashiki is home to one of Japan’s best preserved neighborhoods. The quaint 17th-century merchant district of Bikan is lined with restored examples of kura, historic warehouses painted white with black-tiled roofs along the koi-filled canal. At the Ohara Museum of Art, Japan’s first Western art museum, European masterpieces including Monet, Gauguin, Renoir and Picasso are displayed.

  • Kyoto

    kyotojntoFor more than 1,000 years, gracious Kyoto served as the imperial capital, developing the genteel arts and traditions recognized as the cradle of Japanese culture. This UNESCO World Heritage site encompasses more than 1,500 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines such as magnificent Kiyomizu-Dera Temple and gold-leafed Kinkaku-ji Temple. In the Gion district, lovely Geisha still enchant guests with the ancient tea ceremony. Handicrafts produced here are beyond compare.

  • Nara

    Nara.jnto1Established in the 8th century as the first permanent capital of Japan, Nara is acclaimed for its national treasures as well as hundreds of free roaming deer. Not to be missed are the elaborate shrines and sacred temples Todai-ji with its enormous bronze Buddha, the Kasuga Shrine with its red painted corridors and the Great Treasure Hall of 7th-century Horyu-ji Temple.
  • Nikko

    m_157081Visitors are awestruck by both the natural and manmade grandeur of Nikko. Tosho-gu shrine, decorated with extensive use of gold leaf, monkeys, dragons and red lacquered corridors, is the elaborate 17th-century tribute to the great Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa. By contrast, the surrounding National Park offers blissful serenity and natural wonders such as the 318-foot Kegon-no-taki waterfall and sparkling Lake Chuzenji.
  • Okayama

    Okayamo-jo Castle and Korakuen Garden are the treasures of cosmopolitan Okayama. Dating from 1686, the garden entices strollers with its “Kaiyu” or scenic promenade design that presents a new view of manicured lawns, koi-filled ponds, traditional tea houses and cascading streams at every turn. The garden is acclaimed as one of Japan’s three best gardens.
  • Tokyo

    Tokyo.jnto2With over 12 million people in one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Greater Tokyo is often described as eclectic, electric, bustling and intense. Travelers begin their journey into all that is Nippon in this former castle town of Edo, exploring diverse districts from Shinjuku’s skyscrapers and Ginza’s boutiques to precious pockets of serenity like the Imperial Gardens. While it’s rarely dubbed lovely, Tokyo is always fascinating.