1. Cherry blossoms
Every spring, the cherry blossom season in Japan attracts visitors for its sakura flowers, whose fleeting beauty is a symbol of the seasons changing. Sitting beneath the cherry blossoms for a picnic is a leisurely pastime and an age-old tradition for Japanese people.
Known as the national fish of Japan, this colorful carp called koi is famous for its ornamental beauty. Incredibly pleasing to the eyes, Japanese koi can be seen swimming in the ponds of Zen gardens and temples in Japan. They can grow up to three feet long, appearing in combinations of red, white, orange, and yellow.
3. Anime and manga
Speaking of geek cultures, we can’t ignore one of Japan’s greatest contributions to global entertainment: anime and manga. Anime is a term that describes Japanese animation, while manga refers to Japanese comics or graphic novels.
Sushi, a staple rice dish of Japanese cuisine, consisting of cooked rice flavored with vinegar and a variety of vegetable, egg, or raw seafood garnishes and served cold. Sushi is rich in Omega3 fish oils, which are classed as essential fats, as the body can’t make them.
2. Miso Soup
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a dashi stock into which softened miso paste is mixed. In addition, there are many optional ingredients that may be added depending on regional and seasonal recipes, and personal preference.
Onigiri, also known as omusubi, nigirimeshi, or rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes and often wrapped in nori. Traditionally, an onigiri is filled with pickled ume, salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu, tarako, mentaiko, takanazuke or any other salty or sour ingredient as a natural preservative.
Tokyo is known for being a lively and futuristic metropolis. It features a unique mix of the old and modern that blends perfectly with ancient temples hidden among large, modern architecture. Over 14 million foreigners visit Tokyo each year. It has been a well-traveled destination for decades. Cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, and sushi grace the postcards and photographs.
Before Tokyo stole the limelight as Japan's capital, Kyoto had been the country's cultural center for about a thousand years. A visit to the Imperial Palace attests to the city's former political importance. Aside from this, spiritual dignity and power emanate from the many Shinto and Buddhist temples that adorn the city’s map.
Also called Nation's kitchen, Osaka is well known for its delicious food, contemporary architecture and dazzling nightlife. The city is a perfect blend of historical attractions and modern architecture. Eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the entire world, Osaka has a huge influence on the Japanese economy.
A trip to Hiroshima is best kicked off with a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which contains a museum, the remnants of buildings destroyed by the 1945 atomic bomb and monuments to the people killed by this nuclear attack. Understanding Hiroshima's relatively recent devastation is key to fully appreciating its beauty and culture.
Sapporo is the capital and largest city on the northernmost major Japanese island Hokkaido. It is an ordinance-designated city with the fifth largest population in Japan. Sapporo is known for having hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, and for its annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which draws more than 2 million tourists from abroad.