Sunday, 2 June 2013

What a beautiful ride this would be..






Japan, officially called Nippon, is an archipelago of 6852 mountainous and volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by the Sea of Japan, East China Sea and Sea of Okhotsk. The four largest islands, namely Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, consist of 97 percent of 377,873 square kilometres of the total land in Japan.

The name 'Nippon' means the sun’s origin and Japan is nicknamed as the 'land of the rising sun'. Japan was first inhabited in 30000 B.C. by hunters. The migrants from China and Korea brought along agriculture and metallurgy to Japan. The country was one of the allies in World War I. However, during the World War II Japan had to witness incidents like Pearl Harbour and nuclear bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.



Japanese is the official language and most of the population follows Buddhism or Shintoism. Tokyo, Yokohoma, Osaka and Kyoto, the former capital of the country, are the four major cities of Japan. Though a roughly homogeneous population resides here, it is home to many old and diverse forms of art and culture.

The country has the world's oldest unitary constitutional monarchy. It is the third largest economy in the world, with a population of 127 million which is the tenth largest in the world. Two third of the economic output is generated by the service sector, while a technologically advanced industrial sector specialises in consumer electronics.



Japan is popular for sumo wrestlers and various martial arts like Kendo, Judo and Karate. Moreover, the ancient culture of Geisha and the modern narrow gauge bullet trains have played a major role in forming Japan's identity. Mt. Fuji, an active volcano, has become a well known symbol of Japan and is visited by thousands of tourists every year.

While Kabuki and Noh are popular styles of theatre, the Bunraku puppet play is also famous. Japanese flower arrangements called Ikebana, paper folding art called Origami and Japanese tea ceremony have become household names all over the world. The culture of Ninja and Samurai also find their origin in Japan.



Japan is ideal for tourists who look for futuristic cityscapes, traditional heritage and a culturally rich experience. Japan has four distinct seasons and the best time to visit the country is the cherry blossom season of November and April. For sports lovers, the winter season from January to March is ideal for skiing in the northern regions of Japan.