Although Japan is noted for its high speed, on-time bullet trains and its extensive network of railroads, Japan also offers various sea routes. Few tourists know about these routes however, as they are not very well publicized in English. Japan, made up of four main islands, has a 200-mile long inland sea as well as a chain of small islands that stretch from Kyushu all the way down to Okinawa, offering several options for the intrepid, budget-minded traveler.
Itâ€™s autumn in Japan and Japanese are crazy about "kouyou," the changing of the leaves. Most Japanese will make a special trip to view fall foliage and Kyoto is the most famous kouyou destination. Surrounded by mountains with Japanese maple trees that turn bright red, amidst a backdrop of temples and shrines, Kyoto makes for a truly memorable experience. Kyoto also offers a unique take on fall foliageâ€”night viewing.
You will say, as you read this, that you're not really a fish market kind of person. It's not that you have anything against fish, but, well, you don't need to be that close to your food. It's enough that fresh fish is delivered to your restaurant of choice and prepared according to your needs. Then, around 4 or 5 a.m. on your first morning in Tokyo, you will rethink this stance. Suddenly, oddly, nothing seems like more fun than heading to the Tsukiji Fish Market.
Somewhere in the Planet Tokyo archives is the evidence: I once underwent a week-long rubber stamp obsession. I think my first stamp came from the Tokyo Stock Exchange -- memories become hazy after time -- and continued, at least, through ten museums and various parks. The goal was simple: visit the venue and prove by placing a rubber stamp in my journal.
We frequently hear from readers who are put off by Tokyo's status as the world's most expensive city. Because of the extreme cost involved many people fear that visiting Japan is one of those life goals that will never actually be achieved. Now, thanks to Google you can see Japan (all of it) for free.