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Visit Japan, Where the Modern Meets the Old

Visit Japan, Where the Modern Meets the Old

Japan may be in the technological forefront, but amidst all the sky rises and modern technology is one of the countries who has kept their culture and traditions intact. Timeless would be the perfect way to describe this beautiful country full of breathtaking countryside views. Take a trip outside Tokyo and you'll soon discover exactly what we mean. From traditional bathhouses and geisha dances to sleeping in old farmhouses and learning to prepare matcha (powdered green tea) there is much to Japan than meets the eye. Download the Japan Travel Guide and Offline Map and start your cultural trip!

1.     Tokyo

Strolling down Tokyo's bustling streets you'd think you were transported into a sci-fi film set. It's neon lights, sky rises, and edgy designer boutiques are the makers of its futuristic vibe. Visit the world's tallest tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree's twisting spire draws inspiration from ancient building techniques making it an exemplary example of how Japan seamlessly mixes the old and the new together. Tokyo may be the forefront of advancement, but its traditions still stay strong, whether it be witnessing sumo tournaments or relaxing under cherry blossom trees.

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2.      Kyoto

Kyoto is Japans hub for traditional architecture and culture. With 2,000 something temples and shrines and stunning Zen gardens, it is your gateway to whole new level spiritual relaxation. As the cultural capital of the country it comes to no surprise that many traditional arts and crafts still live long in Kyoto. From sublime gardens to traditional teahouse and even geishas about, this place really takes you back in time to old Japan.

3.     Cherry-Blossom Viewing

In early April, people from all over the world visit Japan solely for cherry-blossom viewing. One of the most popular parks for locals and tourists alike is Maruyama-kōen. There's plenty of strolling to be done around its gardens and ponds and if you're ever in need of a drink or meal it has restaurants and even souvenir shops abound. For two weeks in early April expect hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) parties under the trees.

Amazing Japan, Visit Japan

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Kon'nichiwa! Visit Osaka, Japan’s Kitchen

Kon'nichiwa! Visit Osaka, Japan’s Kitchen

Osaka is Japan’s third most populated city. Though it takes a backseat to Tokyo and Kyoto when it comes to popularity with tourists, Osaka has its fair share of wonderful things it can offer. Here are a few reasons Osaka deserves a spot in your bucket list of places to visit. And for your convenience, don’t forget to download the Osaka Travel Guide and Offline City Map once you get there.

Best Food in Japan

Osaka was nicknamed The Nation’s Kitchen thanks to its status as Japan’s rice trade hub during the Edo Period. Today, it is known all over the country as the gourmand’s paradise with okonomiyaki as its most popular dish. Okonomiyaki which literally means ‘grilled as you like it’ is a flavorful version of Japanese pancake, made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, and meat, and topped with a variety of condiments. The customer can customize it with a selection of meat, seafood, or noodles. Other staples include:

·         Kitsune udon - thick noodle soup blanketed by fried tofu

·         Hakozushi - sushi pressed flat in a bamboo box

·         Takoyaki - ball-shaped octopus fritters

·         Tessa -- sashimi made from poisonous fugu or globefish

Osaka Cuisine

Flashy and Warm at the Same Time

Osaka maintains a certain level of country charm in spite of having over 3 million residents. If you prefer a city atmosphere, check out the Namba department stores and compete with countless housewives in a bargaining battle. Come nightfall, you can go to the Umeda neighborhood and enjoy a dazzling nightlife. If you prefer a small-town vibe, there are numerous ethnic restaurants and traditional sushi shops scattered across the various districts and alleys.

Osaka Shopping

¥500 Blast from the Past

For a measly ¥500 ($4.50), you can enter the Open Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses in Osaka's Hattori Ryokuchi Park which houses 11 authentic farmhouses from the Edo period. These were originally located in various parts of the country, disassembled, brought to the park, and then reassembled.

Spa World

Spa World is referred to by locals as the amusement pool. It has various sections, each resembling a traditional spa from a certain location.the European Spa section houses baths inspired by Ancient Rome, Greece, Finland, and even Atlantis. The Asian Spa section contains baths inspired by Persia, Bali, and of course, Japan. Spa World also has its own salon, restaurant, and hotel. You gain full access to all amenities at just ¥2,700 ($24.30) per day.

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