Destination: Japan
Viewing Japan
Viewing Japan
Time Line
Peace & Quiet
Famous People

Volcanic Land
Perhaps the Japanese obsession with stability stems from the country's physical instability. A young country geologically, it is peppered with active volcanoes, which provide the universally loved hot springs (onsen), and earth tremors occur somewhere almost daily.

Mount Fuji

Japan still has that element of mystery about it - rather surprisingly for one of the most thoroughly modern countries in the world. A little bit of Japan, after all, in the form of electronic technology, or of a car, is in almost every home in the developed world.

There are perhaps two principal reasons for this special quality. Firstly, Japan's seclusion from the outside world between 1600 and 1867 fostered an inward-looking mentality that has not made the country's culture readily accessible; and secondly, Japan has yet to become a major tourist destination since it is still thought of as being too expensive and too 'difficult'.

Japan need not be inaccessible. Getting there, it is true, will not be cheap, but once in the country a bit of planning can keep costs at a reasonable level; and although not being able to speak Japanese is a disadvantage, local people do make considerable efforts to be helpful.

As a holiday destination Japan has some distinct advantages - it is well organised, clean and, above all, very safe, as honesty is generally highly valued. At the same time there is still that element of 'exclusion' about Japan, which makes it an exciting country to explore.

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