12 interesting facts about Japan (written by tourists who visited Japan during the 20th century)
- There are 2 seasons when it is best to visit Japan. Spring during the first two weeks of April (the cherry blossom period) and May (the azalea blossom period) when the scene is magical. In the spring, tourists should see “Azuma Odori” (play in honor of the cherry blossom), which combines beautiful decor, Japanese traditional costumes and direction. Japan should then be visited during autumn when the trees turn into strange golden and purple embers. It is simultaneously chrysanthemum season and rice harvesting period.
- The capital city of Tokyo is made up of different colorful parts. Here you can choose an international cafe and restaurant style or a traditional Japanese style serving home-made food and drinks (and Kobe ox meat. The ox is fed with beer and massaged so that the fat penetrates the meat). There are also typical Japanese restaurants where you eat sitting on your heels. Guests eat food served in small containers that look like small gardens. In restaurants for vegetarians, food is served in small lacquered porcelain dishes. In teahouses, meals are served with the presence of geisha and the prices are high.
- Always take a guide (if you don’t know anyone in Japan) – visit the imperial palace garden, the botanical garden (over 6,000 plants and trees), the Tojo-i temple with all its treasures, the National Museum (weapons, ceramics, painting, sculpture, costumes, embroideries, etc.), Gokoku-ji temple (the largest and most interesting in Tokyo).
- It is recommended to visit the Tokyo district of Asakusa for tourists who like vividness. Watch the people going on a pilgrimage to the pagoda.
- Visit the fish market if you are in Tokyo at 10am on a Sunday. You will see fishermen returning from hunting for tuna and various fish at the stalls on the quays. The fish market in Tokyo starts at 9 and it is very interesting the way of arranging fish and the way of selling them.
- Walk in the evening through the small streets of Tokyo that are lit up with lanterns. Allow an hour or two to visit Shibujo (warrior night club) which is decorated with barbed wire, sandbags, flags and where the waiters are dressed as soldiers, with machine guns under their arms. Check out the small, very colorful bars in this Tokyo neighborhood.
- Visit the Opera House in Tokyo and the play “No” (lyrical drama over 700 years old and in which actors dressed in costumes of extraordinary beauty play). In Tokyo, all shows start at 11 a.m. and end at 11 p.m.
- Visit shopping centers in Tokyo (Takashimaya, Mitsu koshi, etc.) and see the terrace, the department with dolls, mechanical toys, kimonos, umbrellas, cages, birds, porcelain, bamboo canes, lanterns and other interesting and useful items. The best places to buy in Japan are suitcases, cameras and other technological aids, dolls, ivory, silicified silver items, lanterns, pearls and rose quartz.
- Recommendation for the first trip-Niko, the Toshogu Temple filled with wooden sculptures is a real treasure. The tori (monumental gate characteristic of the Shinto cult) located under huge cedars – leaves a magnificent impression. Visit Hotel Nanaja for a pleasant meal. Take a ren-a-car and go up to Lake Shuzenzi (1250 meters above sea level). The unusually beautiful road leading to the lake is all serpentine.
- The recommendation for the second excursion is Hakone and go by car next to Yokohama pier. There is a hotel on the lake, while the pier is full of white sailboats. Every tourist should then see the mountain and the peak of Fuji. The white snow peak of Mt.Fuji normally hides under the gray clouds. The park in Hakone is all cherry blossoms and spa baths.
- From Hakone you have to go by car to Numazu – the road is lined with cherry trees – to Nagoya when the tourist takes the blue train (called Lasta). The train ride winds along the sea coast or through vast fields. Nagoya is a relatively new Japanese city where you should visit a Japanese porcelain workshop. Then visit Kashikojima – a place known for its natural beauty. From Kashikojima, take a boat trip to the green islands (pearl hunting centers). Visit the island of the late Mikimoto (discoverer of the Japanese pearl), where the visitor will see how live oysters are born, from which pearls are obtained.
- Visit the Temple of Isis (goddess of the sun). The temple is made of Hinoki wood. The temple is reconstructed every 20 years. At the end of the temple is the “rock of two lovers”. The legend says: The wife could not live without her husband, so she also jumped into the water and drowned. The next day, two rocks emerged from the sea – one large (men’s) and one small (women’s). They connected these rocks with a rope (a symbol of their fidelity). Otherwise, it is difficult to describe Japan with words, because every place, every city, every house, temple and river, and especially every Japanese person, has an extremely unique characteristic that is really worth getting to know and experience.