The Japanese archipelago stretches for 3,500 km arc from north-east to south-west. Of the 4 th of its constituent islands, the largest of Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. Space Japan 372,2 - ths. km.
The symbols of the country, millions of replicated at all the postcards and booklets about the country, are the biggest "holy gates (" torii ") in Japan - a wooden gate (1875) Itsukushima shrine to the" sacred "island Miyadzima standing directly in water in a small Bay (the monastery, one of the most revered shrines in Japan, too, stands on stilts right in the water), as well as the famous Mount Fuji (Fuji, 3 776 m) - one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world, surrounded by no less picturesque neighborhoods. Similarly, the symbol of the country and is considered the bridge Seto-Ohashi (1988), thrown over the Inland Sea (Seto) from Honshu to Shikoku. Japan produces the world's best pearls, so many "pearl farms" are also important tourist attractions that are visited by up to half a million foreign tourists a year.
Tokyo (before 1868 - Edo) - one of the largest cities in the world, founded in the mid XV century. the image of the ancient Chinese capital Chanyan (now Xi'an), the Tokugawa shoguns. To this day, this giant metropolis has preserved many old wooden buildings and temples, giving him, in contrast to the-art quarters, charm.
Center city is Coquet Imperial Palace (formerly Edo Castle, in 1456, was reconstructed several times), surrounded by parks Higashi-Guéhenno and Kitanomaru. Be sure to visit the temple Tosegu, the Orthodox Cathedral of the Resurrection Nikolai-do, Tokyo National Museum, the new museum of the history of Edo-Tokyo, National Museum of Science in Ueno Park with its beautiful virtual exhibition, the Historical Museum Shitamashi, the temple of the goddess Kannon (Cannon, XVII century. restored in XX century.), the National Theater of Japan with the ideas troupes "Kabuki," "but" and "Bunraku, Tokyo TV tower (1958, 333 m.), a complex of ultramodern skyscrapers" Three Towers "on the island and most Harumi big Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. There are over 30 museums, among which are especially interesting Tenri Gallery, Bridgestone Museum of Art, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of kite (more than 4 thousand exhibits), the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, the Idemitsu Museum with a collection of paintings and calligraphy, the Museum of Ota with the exposition Japanese prints "ukiio-e", Museum of Metro, as well as many small, sometimes very unusual museums - the Museum of glasses, lighters Museum, Museum of the aqueduct, Museum Bicycle Museum of bags, etc.
Tourist attractions are and Tokyo are the old parks - Rikushen, Hibiya with regular exhibitions of chrysanthemums, known for its pagodas and temples Shiba Park, Ueno (Ueno-Koen, created as a garden temple Kaneydzi, now here are concentrated the main museums of Tokyo), "the heart of old town, Asakusa with Temple Sensodzi and unique library of ancient manuscripts, Meiji with the symbol of the capital - Shinto Temple Meiji-Jingu, as well as one of the oldest and largest entertainment district in Tokyo - a rich gift shops, restaurants and theaters yourself a historic Asakusa district.
Also, all the tourists trying to visit the main shopping street of the capital - Ginza (Ginza), representing nearly two-mile string of the most expensive shops and restaurants. The oldest and most famous shops of the capital (Mitsukoshi, Marudzen, etc.) are located in the Nihon-bashi, considered along with the Marunouchi area, one of the major financial and trade centers of the country. District Sindzyuku (Shinjuku) - historically entertainment district, built at the present time with many skyscrapers, which are well-known night clubs.
Noteworthy Tokyo Disneyland (1983), an area about 48 hectares, an observation deck on the 45-storey skyscraper, governor of Tokyo and "Bridge of Japan" Nihonbashi (1603, in 1911, replaced by a stone analogue, from him for many centuries been calculated all distances in the country), famed for his design of the Olympic complex Yoyosh (Yoyogikoen), as well as numerous churches and religious buildings Shiba Park.
At 150 km. north-east of Tokyo is Nikko National Park with scenic lakes (the most beautiful - Tyudzensi or Chuzendzhi), and Shirakumo Kegon waterfalls, gorges and hot springs "Onsen" framed by beautiful sanctuaries Tosegu, Futaarasan, Ritsuin and Tayyuin. Here was the residence of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, and his tomb, and today is a place of pilgrimage for many tourists. The Pearl Resort is a temple complex Tosegu, including 23 monuments of architecture, including the famous five-storied pagoda and the temple Yakusido. A water flows thrown numerous picturesque bridges, the most beautiful of which is considered "sacred bridge" Cinque. On the western slope of Mount Nantai, location of the renowned Buddhist temple Tachi-Ki-Kannon, the break is at the top of which there are caves Kazaana ( "Wind Cave"), of which twice a year - spring and autumn - a strong wind blows. There is growing number of trees, flowering which gives such pleasure to the Japanese, so the spring (and at any other time of year) is a popular tourist destination. And Omii (30 km. North-east of Tokyo) interesting unique Park Bonsai (traditional Japanese art of growing miniature trees).
At 32 km. the south-west of Tokyo is the second largest city in the country - Yokohama (actually he had already merged with the "big Tokyo). In the past, repeatedly raze earthquakes, these days it is the largest port in Japan and the largest center of foreign trade of the country. The town amazes with its cutting-edge architecture and the rapid pace of life, for which he received a semi-official nickname of "the city that never sleeps." The main sights of Yokohama are landscaped park and outdoor museum Sankeyen, which from across the country collected samples of traditional wooden buildings, temples and residential houses. Of interest are located on a hill overlooking the bay and is literally surrounded by old buildings and museums Park Minato-no-Mere-eye-Cohen, Yamashita Park, connecting the coast Bay Bridge Bay Bridge, Skyscraper Land Tower (height 296 m), an international business and cultural center of Minato Mirai 21 ( "Port Future 21"), "street theater" Isedzaki-Cho - the largest and best known commercial and entertainment district of the city, a water park Hakkeydzima with Island entertainment and Maritime Museum, as well as many other monuments and structures. Because of the strong levels of air pollution and extremely high population density to stop in Yokohama for a long time is difficult.
Between Tokyo and Yokohama is a city of Kawasaki, and (also merged with Tokyo), which necessarily must visit the Museum of traditional Japanese architecture in the open air Nihon Minka-en in the Ikuta. It collected more than 20 buildings of the Edo period (XVII-XIX cc.), 15 of whom are considered national relics.
Nara - the first imperial capital of the country (710-784.), This open-air museum, which are the most important Buddhist buildings such as the temple Kofukudzi the pavilion Hokuendo (720), the temple Todaydzi with "Hall of Great Buddha Daybutsuden (VIII cent.) - one of the largest wooden buildings in the world (height of 57 m.), one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha in the world - the Great Buddha (Daibutsu, 16 meters in height, 452 tons), the temple Horyudzi (based in 607), as well as the park, where the lives of more than 1000 hand-deer, which are considered as "divine messengers". Around the temple there are many other pagodas, two prayer halls in the VIII., Numerous houses of the monks, gardens and a small museum, which exhibits by Chinese and Korean craftsmen. Also interested in South Gate with statues of heavenly prison, temples Yakushiji (VII-VIII cc.) Tosedaydzi (VIII cent.), Kasuga Taisha (768), the Shin-Yakushiji (VIII cent.), The Museum of Oriental folk art, museum Bunkakan Yamato, Nara National Museum with a collection of Buddhist art, Art Museum, Nara, Art Museum Neyraku etc. Located 70 km. from Nara temple Horyudzi listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Kyoto was founded in 792-794 years. and up to 1868 under the name of the Heian period (the "city of peace and tranquility") is officially considered the capital of the country and the residence of the emperor. This is an unusually colorful and romantic city, a recognized center of international tourism. Here are some 2000 temples and churches (17 of them are under the protection of UNESCO), hundreds of parks and dozens of ancient palaces. The special charm of Kyoto gives a unique harmony of all its many buildings with the surrounding landscape. Temples and palaces as it grows from the waters of lakes and slopes of the hills, only emphasizing a natural beauty of the landscape. No wonder these places are considered higher phase of development of the famous Japanese craftsmanship "merging with nature."
The historical center of town is the elegant Imperial Palace Goes (founded in 794, the current building was constructed in 1855) with a ceremonial hall Sisinden, palace Sanna-den, living apartments of the Emperor Seyreden and adjacent courtyard, covered with white pebbles and surrounded on two sides galleries . Not far from the Imperial Palace, Nijo Castle is located (in 1603, the area - 275 thousand square meters. M.) with an inner palace Ninomaru features a unique system of "naruita or uguisu-Bari" ( "Singing floor" - a kind of security system) as well as classical Japanese gardens - Ninomaru and seiryu-en.
The symbols of the Kyoto considered one of the finest examples of Japanese national architecture - the "Golden Pavilion" Kinkakudzi (1397) with the finest gold-coated plates and unique roof "garden of sand, as well as lying on the banks of the picturesque" mirror "of the lake temple Rokuondzi. No less interesting two-tier "Silver Pavilion" Ginkakudzi (1489), Tofukudzi (temple treasures of the East ", 1236), built on the highest cliff of the mountain temple complex Kiemidzudera tt (" a temple of pure water, 798, rebuilt in 1633) with a ritual waterfall, the ancient temple city - Yasaka Shrine (X-XVI centuries.) with a large fleet, the Imperial Villa Katsura Rikyu with a unique landscape park (1624, entry is restricted), the famous "stone gardens" Renju ( Reandsi) and Sambo-Ying, the beautiful "garden of mosses, temple Sayhodzi (entrance is restricted), the ensemble Katsura Palace (XVII century.) temples Toji (VII-XVII century.) Heian Jingu (1895), Nishi Higashi, Nishi Honganji (1272, stirred at modern place in 1591), Sandzyusangedo (1164) and Tenryudzi (XIV century.), as well as many imperial tombs, gardens and parks.
On the other side of Lake Biwa is the majestic castle Hakone (1603-1623 gg.). Kyoto is also the oldest theater in Japan, "Kabuki" - Minamidza (the city is the birthplace of this art). Worth a visit National Museum and National Museum of Modern Art. Also flourishing ancient traditional crafts - manufacture of lacquer and bronze articles, porcelain, lace, embroidery, religious objects, products of which can serve as a souvenir of splendor. The city holds regular celebrations and numerous religious ceremonies connected with any of the deities or local churches.
Located on the Pacific coast Kamakura - ancient capital of Japan, a place of pilgrimage and popular seaside resort in Japan. In the city of interesting temples Sugimoto-dera (734), Kente-ji (1253) with the oldest bell in the country (1255), Engaku-ji "room of holy relics" Syariden (1282), the temple Tsurugaoka Hachiman (1063), as well as "lotus ponds, Genji and Heike with thrown over them" happy "Drum Bridge. In the Kamakura is also considered to be the second largest in Japan's 13-foot bronze statue of a statue of Amida Buddha, or Daibutsu (1252) and "wonderful" a source in the cave Dzenaray Benten. The mild climate and excellent beaches Sitiriga-ham-ham and Yuyga make this an ideal area for "beach" vacation.
The south-west of Honshu Island is the city of Kobe - the first area of European settlement on the islands and one of the largest ports in the world, a city of international exhibitions and a "pioneer" in the creation of artificial islands. Main sights - The Municipal Art Museum, the old European quarters of the street Yamamoto, International Exhibition Center, the Temple of Suma, Aquarium, and many Christian churches, Buddhist temples and even a mosque, the tomb Minatodzava, Chinatown and the park Sorakuen, huge bulk Island Port Island with complex business districts, as well as Mount Rokko (933 meters) and an artificial island of the same name.
In Nagoya interesting two major Shinto shrines - Atsuta and Isya (roughly - I started to. N. E.) Nagoya Castle (1612) with the original Museum of treasures, and the Tokugawa Art Museum, Gallery Aichi, Botanical Gardens, Military naval arsenal, the temple Tofukudzi (VIII cent.) etc.
In the area of the city Beppu is one of the largest areas out underground thermal waters on the planet. Now on the basis of more than 3,5 thousands of local hot springs opened many excellent spas and in his spare time, you can visit the unique "boiling lake" Chinoike and Umi jigoku jigoku, as well as a geyser Tatsumaki jigoku, or the local zoo and watch the behavior " snow monkeys, also loves to take hot baths.
The second largest island of Japan - northern Hokkaido ( "path to the northern seas"), is considered the most maloneselennym and "green" island of the archipelago. About 10% of the island took more than 20 national parks, making it a recognized center of active tourism country.
The capital of the island since 1869 is the city of Sapporo, often called because of the abundance of snow in winter and mountainous terrain, the Japanese Switzerland. By the Olympics in 1972 there was built a modern center for winter sports (one of the largest in Asia) are also interested in the Botanical Gardens with a unique selection of plants of different latitudes, numerous museums and entertainment district Susukino. From the city sent many excursions to the surrounding mountains and national parks, as well as outputs are organized in the deep-sea fishing.
In the southern part of Hokkaido, in a volcanic crater Noboribetsu Spa (2 km. In diameter), are hot springs Dzikokudane, attracting thousands of tourists for its "unearthly" landscape and medicinal properties of local mineral water and tryazey. Cities Akakura and Retirement - the most famous winter resorts of the country. Also an excellent opportunity for an active holiday opportunities in the tourist center Sunko natsonalnom Daysetsudzan Park, one of the most famous ski resorts in the country - Furano, as well as hot springs and Sirogen Tokachidaki Onsen Onsen.
The best place to relax at sea are concentrated in the area of Miyazaki (beach Sigayya), Okinawa, Ceram, Iwo Jima and the Ryukyus (here as to the best dive sites of the country), as well as on the peninsula of Noto-Hunt, in Gumma Prefecture and Nara area. Numerous national parks, including such well-known as Daysetsudzan, Bandai-Asahi, Nikko, Kirishima with waterfall Senrigataki, Seto-Naykay, Sikotsu-Toya, Chichibu-Tama, Fuji-Hakone-Izu, underwater natural parks, reserves and reserves, although relatively small in size but have an indescribable national color.
Additional Information: Japanese houses are usually small, close and are far from the city center, so the Japanese people rarely invite guests home, and prefer to entertain them in the restaurant. When you have to present a gift, well once again to show modesty, saying something like: "Sorry, that is such a trifle," or: "Maybe a gift you do not like." When guests arrive, they always offer a treat. Even if a man suddenly appeared, it is usually a snack, even if it is just a cup of rice with pickled vegetables and tea. If you are invited to a Japanese restaurant type, there may be unforeseen situations, of which bidden happy to help you find an honorable way. For example, tell when and where you want to take off their shoes. Not necessarily sit in the Japanese manner, cross-legged. Most Japanese, as well as Europeans, quickly tired of it. Men are allowed to cross their legs, women also often more stringent requirements: they must sit, legs crossed under him, or, for convenience, by moving them to one side. Sometimes we can offer a low chair with backrest. Pulling his legs forward pending. When you offer any drink, you need to raise a glass and wait until it is full. It is recommended to provide an answering service to its neighbors. When you use the table with chopsticks, you should avoid the following things: they can not interbreed, or stuck in the rice (it is associated with death) should not push food on a plate and a plate on the table, not brandish or point sticks at someone or something .
Basis of Japanese cuisine - steamed rice, which is absolutely not salted, but is accompanied by a variety of sauces and condiments. It is served in separate dishes for almost all dishes as a garnish, but often used as a separate dish, varying taste with spices. The most popular dish of rice, of course, "sushi" (sushi) - rice balls-rolls with different fillings (over 200 species), as well as rice balls, onigiri, or rice cakes, mochi. Equally popular special variety of rice noodles from buckwheat flour - "soba" (Sobolev), which serves as a cold or hot, fried and boiled in broth with vegetables. Also good and plain noodles "udon".
The favorite food of the Japanese have long been a fish and seafood. Often they are consumed raw or even alive, but a lot of recipes and carefully processed seafood. Such dishes as sliced raw fish, a hedgehog, or shrimp with sauce of soy sauce and green horseradish - sashimi, fish in Batter, tempura, fish cakes, shrimp in pastry, a small live cuttlefish "odori-gooey", a fish-fugu , one of the varieties of sushi - "Chirashi-sushi, pasta from seaweed, fried eel, unagi, rice cakes with raw fish and seaweed" Norimaki "and many other authentic dishes brought Japanese cuisine famous worldwide.
Any meal traditionally begins with a soup ( "Sioux-mono"), which nasschityvaetsya great variety: meat or fish soup "nabe" and its variants - "sukiyaki and shabu-shabu" soup "miso" or "misoshiru" from same name soy paste, potato soup potetto "fish soup" suymono "," ramen "and others from the vegetables most widely used such simple products, such as cabbage, cucumber, radish, bamboo shoots, turnips, eggplants, potatoes, soybeans, etc. ., and it is vegetables are the least processed. Vegetable fritters "Okonomiyaki", various salads, mushrooms, matsutake, Japanese horseradish, wasabi, dried seaweed "nori", edible chrysanthemum leaves, pickled ginger, spinach, goma "and soy cheese" tofu "is quite popular in any season.
Meat consumed in the country are always relatively small, so most of the dishes from or borrowed from other cultures, or for a long time considered "elitist". The most popular original omelets (omrays "), stewed meat and potatoes" nick-dzaga ", Japanese barbecue" yakitori "meat" midzutaki "in Japanese chicken, egg strips, tamago, liver in Japanese and others
As soft drink common ground ice with fruit syrup "measles". Japanese Favorite drink - green tea, consumption of which is also accompanied by a special ceremony, cha-no-yu ". Recently became popular and black coffee. Because alcoholic beverages are traditional rice wine, sake and beer, often also from rice.
Allowed duty-free import no more than 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 gr. tobacco, up to 3 bottles of alcoholic beverages (up to 0.7 liters.), up to 2 ounces (56 ml.) spirits, as well as other goods worth no more than 200 thousand yen. Prohibited the export of art and antiquities without the permission of the relevant authorities.
Stores are usually open from 10.00 to 19.00 and closed one day a week (for different shops schedule varies). The other stores are open from 10.00-11.00 to 19.00-20.00.
For movement by rail is convenient ticket "Japan Rail Pass" (valid only for the visitors with a tourist visa, please purchase in advance), which provides the possibility of unlimited travel on trains, buses and ferries company "Japan Railways", and on some trains, private companies, within a certain period (one, two or three weeks). Ticket is, transfer it to another person is prohibited (in the test must present a passport to confirm the legality of the acquisition).
Intraurban lines highlighted in color, have a rather convoluted route, and depart frequently from the same platform, so it stands to scrutinize the background (they also state the information on the costs of travel to a particular station). Fares range 120-300 JPY, tickets are purchased at special ticket machines at stations (part of the long queues) and shall be at the exit of the train station of destination. There are special electronic "orange card" worth 1 thousand, 3 thousand, 5 thousand and 10 thousand JPY, which should be inserted before the trip into a special machine and collect the ticket price, and the amount is automatically debited from the card. In the transition from a branch owned by one company, on a branch of another company, bought a new ticket. You can pay for the ticket and the destination station.
The system bus is extremely well developed and covers all the cities, but is usually extremely difficult for an unprepared person. Most bus lines operate from 7.00 to 21.00, some buses serving remote areas, from 5.30 to 23.00. At each stop, to indicate its name, the route and its number, however, often only in Japanese. Payment is made before leaving the bus. The city trip costs about 200 JPY, outside the city - depending on the distance. There is a one-day ticket costs about 1200 JPY (JPY 600 for children under 12 years), which in some cases also valid for travel on the subway.
Movement of the left hand side, the road constantly overloaded, and the police strictly enough.
Domestic airline of the country perfectly developed, but due to its small distance and relatively high prices for tickets, using them is only for trips to outer islands.
Metro developed only in large cities, but also covers the surrounding localities, resulting in the division lines on the zone. Trains run at intervals of 5 minutes from 5.00 to 23.30-24.00. The payment system is the same as on the railway lines, but fares vary by route, depending on the zone (120-1500 JPY). The cars are painted in different colors depending on the line and have a special place of gray ( "silver seats") for the elderly and disabled, which is better not to take.
Taxis are numerous and readily available, but extremely expensive. Rate starts from JPY 650 in Tokyo (500-580 JPY in other cities), then - on 80-90 JPY for some certain distance. For every minute of downtime - 45-50 JPY. From 23.00 to 6.00 fare more expensive by 30%. In many parts of the city taxi drivers are allowed to stop only at specially designated parking lots. Green light signal means that the machine is busy, red - is free, the yellow light on the empty car means that she goes on a phone call. Doors, automatic machines, the machines are clean and comfortable. Failure of a passenger's itinerary, or legally prohibited, in case of loss of anything in the car, relies almost 100% of compensation for lost value.
Aeroflot performs daily flight from Moscow to Tokyo (9-10 hours), the Japanese airline JAL has two flights a week (in the summer - three). Several airlines offer flights with a change in the various cities in Europe and Asia.
"Vladivostok Avia" has one weekly flight from Vladivostok to Osaka in two and two in Niigata Toyama. Dalavia flies twice weekly from Khabarovsk to Niigata. "SAT Airlines" perform two weekly flights from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in Sapporo and one - in Hakodate.
Marine communication between Russia and Japan regularly. From the Russian ports on the Sea of Japan from time to time in Japan go court, but there is no clear timetable. However, numerous ferries go to Japan from South Korea. Thus, you can fly to South Korea and Japan to cross on the ferry, while the South Korean transit visa is not required.