Japan Travel is…“…At one moment so familiar and the next so alien…”

The big city of Japan from above seems like any large city in the world…

Virtuoso’s Annual Report Names Japan #1 for Emerging Travel Destinations

Travelers are turning their attention east to the 6,852 islands known as Land of the Rising Sun. Japan tops the list of emerging travel destination for 2019, according to the annual Virtuoso report for travel.

Why are people so interested in visiting this country?

“It’s fascinating! At one moment so familiar and the next so alien…”

A mixture of local experiences can include 5-star hotels for affluent travelers and country Ryokans with Onsens (Japanese hot springs) for an authentic and immersive experience that only Japan can deliver.

The Appeal of the Traditional Japanese-Styled Inn

Tradition remains in the countryside of Japan…

Ryokans. You can enjoy the perfect country stay in this traditional Japanese inn. Just as western travelers enjoy a country escape to decompress from the busy-ness of city life, Japan’s city dwellers also retreat to rural ryokans to relax and rejuvenate. The inn’s grounds are peaceful. They highlight nature, beautiful gardens, and many include views of surrounding streams and mountains.

Most people associate ryokans with the countryside of Japan, but ryokans are not reserved to the countryside. Kyoto, Tokyo and other Japanese cities are also home to some beautiful, traditional ryokans. It’s an “urban” ryokan experience.

While a weekend getaway may be familiar to many of us…what about the things in Japan that are not so familiar? In an area so different from your own, what’s the key to fully enjoying the trip?

One seasoned travel suggests, “The key for traveling to an area with a culture very different from what you may be familiar with is patience, a sense of wonder, observation and awareness of what those around you are doing, respect for the local traditions, and the ability to ask questions about what you should be doing or should expect.”

Japanese Street Food…Yes Please!

Japanese people…care!

There is an order in nature that is mirrored by the order of Japan…

“Japanese people just…care”

That’s the sentiment of many travelers when they talk about Japan.

This “caring” is in reference to everything from design of their buildings and facilities, the cleanliness of their restrooms, and their level of customer service. Their lifestyle and culture have been called “mesmerizing.”

Noted by one traveler, Japan has “more culture than you can shake a stick at.” Its’ history and traditions go back thousands of years and seem to be well incorporated into “modern” living. Some call is a perfect blend of culture, history and present-day comfort.

The cities are big…and busy. You can find your mix of hopping restaurants, karaoke, red light districts, beer, and people watching. And yet Tokyo, the city of cities, has been described as “chaotic, crowded, safe, and…delightful!”

Natural Beauty and Marvelous Wildlife in Japan

Where innovation of the city touches the corners of nature…

Beyond the flashing lights of the city, the natural scenery and wildlife are “marvelous.” The country enjoys all four seasons spread over a diverse landscape. Huge mountains invite the adventurer to ski the slopes, hike the trails, and take in the vistas. Coming down the hills, you will find some amazing beaches and in between, tranquil forests await.

Like many travel destinations, enjoying the local food and drink is a highlight. Beer and saki, Japanese tea, sushi (of course), okonomiyaki, ramen, tsukemen, dons, ankos, anpans, soba noodles, Kobe hamburger, and more.

Because Japanese culture is unique and different from the western world, traveling this part of the globe invites us to experience a glimpse of life’s possibilities. What can this ancient culture’s way of living teach us about living our best life?

What Are Other Japan Travelers Sharing about this Top Destination?

Japan Travel Resources:

Japan National Tourism Organization – English Travel


Government of Japan: Visiting Japan Resources


Japan National Tourism Organization


Official Tourism Guide for Japan Travel


Ryokan Experience


Japan’s Cherry Blossoms