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Japan

Despite being smaller than the US state of California, Japan can really pack a punch for every traveller with its fascinating cultures, varied landscapes and iconic sites. Consisting of 6,852 islands which include the four ‘main’ islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, this place is packed with amazing getaway destinations. A population of more than 126 million contributes to the country’s abundance of advancements in nearly every field, particularly technology.


A luxury holiday is guaranteed in this exceptional country with some of the world’s most prestigious accommodations, eateries and businesses located in the capital city, Tokyo. Whatever five-star holiday you’re after, you’re sure to find it here, with snowy regions ideal for skiing, balmy blue oceans for beach lovers and mountainous peaks for intrepid explorers looking for that once-in-a-lifetime view. 


Foodies in particular are going to go nuts for this Far Eastern paradise of culinary excellence. Each of the 42 prefectures is home to a signature dish or style of cooking which locals will proudly claim to be the best. You never have to worry about any two eating experiences being the same between regions, as even the toppings on national dishes such as sushi or Takoyaki (balls of deep fried octopus) are varied from place to place.


Sporting enthusiasts will love everything the islands have to offer. There are more than 500 ski resorts throughout Japan which cater to everyone whether you’re a beginner or an off-piste expert. Diving is also a popular past time with so much of the country surrounded by warm, crystal clear waters and a diversity of marine life. You can even take a dip to visit some of the underwater farms in Okinawa, where the locals make a living growing one of the most sort after vegetations – seaweed!


And to top it all, there is no better place in the world to fulfil your photography dreams than Japan. Every turn of the bullet train, every step on a mountain and every new street in its city centres offers another breath-stealing, incomparable view. Let the neon lights of Tokyo dazzle you as they bring the city alive at night, see the world as never before as you make your pilgrimage to the peak of Mount Fuji or simply gaze in wonder from a café at the multitude of wonderful, varied and fascinating people that call the country home.


WINGED BOOTS WISDOM

Public transport in Japan is among the best in the world with its leaping strides in all forms of engineering and technology. Examples of this are the famous Japanese ‘bullet trains’ which offer high-speed access to even the most remote areas in the country. Winged Boots recommends making use of this public transport wherever possible as it is not only fast and convenient but also a great way to see the country and soak up a key element of Japanese culture.
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Good to know

  • Time difference: UTC +9
  • Currency: JPY
  • Flying time to destination:
    15-hours from London
  • In A Word: New-Age

Best Time To Travel

Average Temperatures
Jan: 5°c   Feb: 6°c   Mar: 9°c  
Apr: 14°c   May: 18°c   Jun: 21°c  
Jul: 25°c   Aug: 26°c   Sep: 23°c  
Oct: 18°c   Nov: 12°c   Dec: 8°c  

Location

Japan Articles

Japan in a Nutshell

Tastes To Try
 
  • Japan has really put itself on the map with its food as its culinary scene is considered to be one of the best in the world. Tokyo alone offers more than 100,000 restaurants and is peppered with a dazzling array of Michelin stars. No matter your tastes, there is a restaurant here for you whether you want five-star French cuisine or top-notch Japanese street food. So go on, grab a chopstick and get stuck in.
     
  • Ryugin is one of the most innovative Japanese restaurants around. Located in Tokyo, this three-Michelin starred eatery is headed by experimental chef Seiji Yamamoto. Titled Japan’s leading ‘molecular gastronomist’, Yamamoto utilises the very latest cooking technology to present a theatrical display of astonishing yet appetizing dishes. Why not try his Minus-196 degrees Candy Apple for example? This ruby red fruit is glazed with toffee and filled with powdered cream but perfectly frozen to turn your taste expectations on their head.
     
  • For sashimi like you’ve never even dreamed of, visitors to the capital have to make at least one stop off at Sushi Sho, the pinnacle of the sushi world. Quite literally perfect, this restaurant has an enduring fame that has placed it firmly in the top 100 Tokyo eateries since its opening. As the food is so mouth-wateringly flawless, the only thing that could possibly make this restaurant any better is its exceptional service. The chefs make each and every customer feel special with personalised recommendations and attentive interaction. They will explain every menu item carefully before helping you choose the right dish for you and preparing it before your very eyes. For an extra exclusive experience, try the bara chirashi which is a dish so exceptional that it is only available to 20 diners a day.
     
Don’t Forget Your Kit

 
  • One of the best but little-known facts about Japan for those not in the know is that it is one of the world’s best destinations for skiing. With snow-capped peaks almost all-year-round in the Southern and Northern extremities of the main island, there are terrains suited to almost every level of enthusiast from absolute beginner to Olympic professional. The best all-round ski slope is Niseko in Hokkaido whereas the best beginner course is Kagura in the Niigata Prefecture.
     
  • Another fact that will make sports fans happy is that Japan is home to some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Near to Tokyo, for example, you can find the world-renowned Lakewood Golf Club that offers a very traditional Japanese experience merged with a state-of-the-art golf course. The Ashinoko C.C. course on the other hand is set in the breathtakingly dramatic setting of Hakone National Park and offers misted views of the sacred Mount Fuji from every corner.
     
  • With so many impressive beaches along every inch of Japan’s coastline, it isn’t surprising that the country is home to some of the best dive spots on the planet. Get your oxygen tanks out and explore some stunning underwater worlds, whether you prefer ship wreck adventures or coral reef photography. The underwater caves of Miyako Island in Okinawa are a must, and the multitude of marine life in Chichijima in the Ogasawara Islands, Tokyo is a marvel not to be missed.
     
After Dark Destinations
 
  • Despite its reputation for tradition and conservative attitude, Japan has a variety of wild spots for a brilliant, if bizarre, night out. Particularly prevalent on the after dark scene is the capital, Tokyo which is considered the evening playground of the young and wealthy.
  • One for the ladies! If you are tired of Kawaii Maid cafés and male-oriented dining experiences, you are going to go wild for the waiters at Macho Café in Tokyo. An ideal spot for a hen night, this eatery serves a whole lot of beef, and not just on your plate. Try to pick your jaw up off the floor as a server the size of a small mountain presents your food with a showmanship flair of rippling muscles. If you choose the pancake option, you will be treated to layers of the tasty dessert with an accompanying display of oh-so-macho can crushing. Aren’t those tiny white waiter vests just so cute?
     
  • If you want to frequent the local drinking district during your Tokyo stay then there’s no better place than the Golden Gai, which is home to more than 200 drinking dens – the favourites of business moguls and salarymen. Each bar has a distinctly personalised look, atmosphere and drinks list so you can come back again and again for an entirely different experience. 
     
  • Branching out into the nightlife of Japan’s younger inhabitants, cosplay clubs are very in vogue in the capital city. For those who, understandably, haven’t heard of cosplay, just think adults dressed as anime or movie characters, complete with make-up, outfits and wigs. So, if you’ve ever had the urge to go clubbing dressed-up as a character from The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, you need to head to Mogra which is the cosplay club in Tokyo.  
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