The Land of the Rising Sun offers plenty of the past. Especially the fabled city of Kyoto, where Shinto priests share the sidewalks with genuine geisha, the urban forest is spangled with Shinto shrines, and visitors can watch kabuki theater or learn how to wield a samurai sword.
Yet contemporary Tokyo is just as compelling, a cutting-edge modern culture that created the neon-studded Ginza district, Akihabara “Electric City” with its gadget shopping, anime action figures and manga comic book stores. The rowdy nightlife of Shinjuku and the Harajuku Girls who set the fashion world on fire.
Beyond the big cities, Japan also boasts an amazing array of outdoor attractions. Hiking in the Japanese Alps or climbing snowcapped Mount Fuji. Wildlife safaris to photograph the famous snow monkeys who lounge in hot springs or the brown bears and crowned cranes of Hokkaido. Skiing or snowboarding the Winter Olympic slopes of Sapporo and Nagano.