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The 12 Reasons You Should Visit Japan In 2018

So you’re thinking of visiting Japan? Here are 12 reasons why saying yes to any and every offer to go to Japan is the right thing to do. These reasons are suggested and written by both locals and tourists

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#1 A World Of Contrasts

From bonsai to bullet trains, and tea ceremonies to tashifunin postings, Japan is a country of contrasts in which the ancient and the ultramodern are seamlessly blended. Ancient temples are nestled among business and technology towers, Japanese concepts including emojii, kanban, kaizen and keiretsu are recognized and used worldwide.

Contributors: Sharon Schweitzer from Access to Culture

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#2 Respect

I have visited Japan and love it. I am also a travel agent and love sending families there. Here is the big reason why. They are extremely respectful of everyone around them. This results in a very pleasant and welcoming atmosphere everywhere you go. No one will steal your stuff and they will always provide service with a smile and a bow. This is great for families who when traveling with their kids enjoy not having to worry about safety of their person or stuff.

Contributors:  Vanessa Longseth from Travel Evangelist

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#3 The Food

Everyone always thinks of Sushi when it comes to Japanese food, while the sushi is amazing, so is the barbeque, noodles, even their versions of some American classics are shockingly good. Plus eating in Japan is not as expensive as one might imagine with a vibrant street food scene that will make you want to go back for more.

Contributors: Michael Satterfield from TheGentlemanRacer

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#4 Scrumptious Seafood & Sushi

Most people don’t know that Japan had a 1,200 year ban on meat, during which time the consumption of seafood became the main focus. From the exquisite execution of “simple” dishes like sashimi (raw fish) and uni (sea urchin) to complex broths like dashi and miso, Japanese sea-based cuisine is the epitome of perfection with every bite.

Contributors: Sharon Schweitzer from Access to Culture

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#5 Kabukicho Robot Restaurant

The Kabukicho Robot Restaurant should be one of your top destinations when visiting Tokyo, Japan. Located in Shinjuku's Kabukicho red light district, the Robot Restaurant is a surreal experience and definitely shows the weird side of Japanese culture.

The show lasts for two hours and involves dancing, singing, a psychedelic light show and, of course, robots! Robot battles will take place in the main hall where spectacles of all kinds can be found. The food and drink options are limited here, but this experience is all about the robots.

Contributors: Heidi Thiel from  Ignite Visibility

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#6 Kyoto

I always tell our customers going to Japan that they MUST visit Kyoto, a former Japanese capital city. Steeped in history and tradition, and dotted with a wonderful array of temples, palaces, gardens and shrines, it's a wonderful place to feel like you've stepped back in time and caught a glimpse of the old Japan.

Contributors: Andrea Perchotte from TravelSmarts Luggage & Accessories

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#7 Niseko Village

Niseko Village in Japan is the unique combination of the best snow in the world, low altitude, the best seafood in Japan and some amazing onsens. It has become Asia’s leading alpine destination, as from December to May, snowfall here averages an incredible 54 feet annually. Siberian winds interacting with moisture from the Sea of Japan provides a snow cover for Niseko Village that is among the driest and lightest in the world.

With two luxury hotels, bespoke townhouses, the Niseko Village Snow School, extensive ski trails and lifts, several onsen or hot springs, an amazing culinary scene, slopeside contemporary shopping and dining concepts within the village's main pulse and extensive all-season activities to suit all ages, the 462-hectare mountain resort is the perfect base for travelers with varied interests.

Contributors: Gabriele Sappok from Imagine Communications

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#8 Hike the Nakasendo Trail

Leave modern Japan behind and discover this ancient road through the mountains. The Nakasendo Trail is a 17th-century walking route that linked Kyoto to Tokyo and was traveled by samurai, merchants, pilgrims, and nobility.. It had 69 'post towns' where travelers could rest, which were used for hundreds of years until railroads made the once-buzzing towns obsolete. Several have now been authentically restored for modern travelers. While many people visit these towns as day trips from Tokyo or Kyoto, hiking through the serene countryside and staying in the family-run guesthouses (as ancient travelers would have done) is a much more immersive historical and cultural experience.

Contributors: Kristen Bernarsky from Boundless Journeys

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#9 Cherry Blossom Season

Time it so that your visit coincides with when the cherry blossoms (sakura) will be in bloom (late March/early April). Not only is it a visually stunning time of year and the weather is lovely, but there are so many fun celebrations centred around this beloved flower. Kyoto is particularly spectacular so don't miss a visit there!

Contributors: Andrea Perchotte from TravelSmarts Luggage & Accessories

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#10 Sumo Stable

Watching a sumo match in action is one of the best cultural experiences you can have in Tokyo, Japan. Sumo wrestling is massive in Japan. These competitions are rare, and it can be difficult to get tickets.. There is the opportunity, however, to watch the rikishi (sumo wrestlers) doing morning practice in the sumo stable, also known as a keiko. More stables are now allowing tourists to watch the wrestlers in training. Training sessions are not created for just tourists, therefore should be taken seriously - respect must be shown. After all, this is a chance to get up close and personal with some authentic Japanese sumos.

Contributors: Heidi Thiel from  Ignite Visibility

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#11 Ueno Zoo Escaped Animal Drill

You haven't fully experienced Japan if you haven't been to one of Tokyo's oddest annual events: Ueno Zoo's escaped animal drill. In fact, the drill has become so popular that it has built up a cult following among elementary school-aged children and lovers of the weird and wonderful. The zoo holds annual drills for runaway animals such as gorillas, rhinos, lions and orangutans. The drill is to practice how to re-capture an easily startled animal if it were to escape from its enclosure. Zookeepers dress up in animal costumes and make a break for it, all while 150 of their colleagues, together with police and emergency workers, practice how they would handle the situation if an animal were to really escape. The Ueno Zoo practices this every other year in the beginning of February.

Contributors: Heidi Thiel from  Ignite Visibility

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#12 Public Transportation

Not needing to rent a car is one of my favorite parts of visiting Japan and with Google Maps, using the rail system is easier than ever. From navigating around the city to traveling cross country the Japanese rail system is inexpensive and simple to us.

Contributors: Michael Satterfield from TheGentlemanRacer

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