Japan is still shrouded by misconceptions but the truth
about this country is that is a unique blend of
traditional manners and boisterous exchanges.
When you arrive in Japan, you will be pleasantly
surprised by what all there is to do. Some of the activities and sites focus on the Japanese
culture while others are very westernized.
Japan is home to more than 126 million people however,
when the country was in the beginning stages, the
earlier settlers were hunters, fishers, and gatherers
all the way from Korea to Siberia.
Historians also believe the many migrants coming
from Polynesia were a part of the original communities.
Then by 300 AD, sun worshippers from the Yamato
kingdom had somewhat unified the nation through the
course of alliance and conquest.
Unfortunately, when Shinto and Buddhism began to
battle, Japaneseís traditional religion was diffused
due to Shinto deities being manifested as Buddha.
the 9th century, the Japanese empire was
relatively stable. The emperors dedicated most of their time to leisure instead
of pursuing scholarly interests.
Throughout the years, numerous wars broke out,
using the Samurai for defense.
While there are many different periods for the
development and growth of Japan, you will find there to
be five primary ones that include Kamakura, Muromachi,
Momoyama, the Christian Century, and Tokugawa.
During the Kamakura Period from 1185 to 1333, the
Mongol army repeatedly invaded Japan.
However, the Japanese people were able to keep
them at bay although their leadership was weakened. The
Muromachi Period from 1333 to 1576 involved a revolt by
Ashikaga although is effectiveness began to fade,
causing Japan to go into a civil war.
you have the Momoyama Period that ran from 1576 to 1600.
During this time, numerous factions were calmed
and unified. The
Christian Century from 1543 to 1640 was a time when
interloping religion posed a significant threat.
Finally, the Tokugawa from 1600 to 1867 was a
time of Japan being led into national seclusion. The Japanese people were not allowed to travel anywhere
overseas, nor were they permitted to trade abroad.
Anyone entering the country was considered
suspicious and carefully supervised.
Many people these rules are the very reason you
see such loyalty and obedience in the country today.
Even though Japan is more relaxed and modernized,
the children for example are expected to be reverent and
obedient to their parents and teachers, unlike other
countries where children run wild.
by the beginning of the 19th century, things
began to change when the government became corrupt.
Many foreign ships began to penetrate the
countryís isolation and by 1867, Japanís shogun had
the new emperor, Meiji, Japan started into the beginning
stages of industrialization
Although there continued to be forms of resistant
and battles for power, a tripartite pack was made with
Italy and Germany in 1940.
However, when the United States failed to agree
to neutrality with Japan, we were all taken by surprise
when WWII broke out with the attack by the Japanese on
Pearl Harbor. On
that day in Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, Japan made some
strides but soon, the United States counterattacked and
took back control of the war. When the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, the famous
atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were released.
With no other choice, Japan surrendered and
within years, a special recovery program was established
to help rebuild Japanís failing economy.
Before long, the country had become a powerful
exporter of robotics, electronics, computers, banking,
and automobile production.
good news is that by the 1990, the anger and damage done
by WWII had vanished and the country was strong.
Sadly, Kobe was devastated with a massive
earthquake in 1995 and with help slow to arrive, it took
a major toll on the country and its people.
Today, we see a beautiful country filled with
warm and hospitable people.
Art has a strong presence with both Korean and
One of the most spectacular art forms is called
Ikebana, which is a wonderful flower arrangement.
The ink paintings are also magnificent
masterpieces seen throughout the country. Other types of art that come directly from Japan include wood
block prints from the Edo Period and the Buddhist
scrolls that were created to depict hell and all its
you travel throughout Japan, you cannot help but be
overwhelmed with the beautiful architecture.
From the Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples to
incredible castles, the designs are truly breathtaking
and well worth experiencing.
However, the Japanese gardens are by far the most
enjoyable of all things. Each is meticulous and perfect in appearance
and harmony. Another
wonderful aspect of Japan is the music.
Two specific traditions, the Gagaku and Kabuki,
are melodramatic performances in a theater where drums
and other ancient instruments are played.
However, the younger generation prefers pop
music, as well as punk rock.
fascinating aspect of Japan is that when it comes to
literature, the majority of the pieces are written by
reason is that most men still write in Chinese
characters or Japanese script called Hiragana.
For foreigners, the written Japanese language is
considered one of the most difficult and complex to
writing system is extremely, complicated since it uses
three different scripts.
The good news is that the spoken language is
actually easy to learn and easy regarding pronunciation.
one of the greatest things about visiting Japan is
having the honor and pleasure of tasting some of the
finest food in the world.
While you can certainly order dishes that have
been westernized such as sushi or tempura, it goes well
beyond that. Typically,
each Japanese restaurant will specialize in one
particular dish. You
will even find restaurants called Okonomiyaki, which are
cook-it-yourself meals, adding interest to the
these meals consist of seafood, meat, and vegetables
that are stir-fried.
popular dishes include Sukiyaki, thin sliced beef,
vegetables, and tofu cooked to perfection in a rich
broth, Shabu-Shabu, which is beef and vegetables cooked
quickly in broth and then served with special sauces, or
a wonderful soup called Nabemono.
Just as food is an important part of the Japanese
culture, so it drinking.
In fact, just about every adult in Japan drinks,
along with teenagers.
Although beer is a favorite, even dispensed in
vending machines, you will have the chance to sample
other favorites such as Sake, which is rice wine.
This type of wine is served cold or warm but keep
in mind the warm option will give you a quick buzz.
However, the number one drink in Japan is green
tea, which tastes good, also known for its medicinal
traveling about through this country is an experience
like none other. For
instance, you could visit Tokyo, which is a thriving
metropolitan with a high level of energy.
As Japanís capital city, you will find
everything imaginable, 24 hours a day.
Mt. Fuji also makes an excellent destination
while in Japan. As
the highest mountain in this country at 12,385 feet, it
is truly a natural wonder.
This volcano last erupted in 1707 and the peak is
so tall that it is often obscured by clouds. Even so, the view is magnificent and if you love to climb,
you can enjoy packing in the months of July and August.