The island nation of Japan is slightly smaller than the state of California, yet it remains a major contender on the world economic stage. Geographically, Japan consists of a chain of islands in Eastern Asia, surrounded by the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. Its climate ranges from southern tropics to cool northern temperatures. Visitors will find Japan extremely safe, as crime is rare here. The efficiency of this country is evident in its punctual public transit system and dedicated service industries’ employees. One downside to visiting Japan is that it is one of the world’s more expensive travel destinations, on par with cities like London.
The ultramodern city of Tokyo is only one side of Japan’s appeal. For a taste of its past, the city of Kyoto beckons with historic temples and gardens. One hour south of Tokyo one could visit the 37 foot tall bronze Kamakura Daibutsu, or “Great Buddha”, completed in 1252. A solemn look at modern history is reflected in the Nagasaki’s A Bomb Museum. Mountain climbers are drawn to the volcanic symmetry of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. Nature lovers can lose themselves in the forests, mountains, lakes, and volcanoes of Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan’s largest park.