Bushbaby Travel: Inspiring travel for life
Himeji Castle in Spring, Courtesy Shutterstock

Japan, Asia

A key destination for 2019, this nation of islands, that stretch across the Pacific coast, is home to contrasting sleek futuristic cities and ancient villages evocative of another time and place from long ago.

Himeji Castle in Spring, Courtesy Shutterstock

Don't miss the opportunity to share a tea ceremony with the charmingly polite locals, hike through fields of wildflowers during summer, bathe in hot springs or relax on the tropical beaches of the south. There's even world-class skiing on offer in the winter months.

High on most visitors wish-list, is a ride on on the swish high-speed trains for which Japan is famous - the holy grail of train travel is surely the bullet train for any enthusiast, regardless of age! It is of course the perfect way to travel from one end of the country to the other; across mountainous peaks, past paddy fields, to arrive in an urban metropolis of cutting-edge technology, futuristic fashion and must-have gadgets. There are conrasts at every turn and plenty to keep all the family happy; teens will inhale the neon pop culture and crazy fashion vibe whilst little ones will love the immaculate but oh-so-Japanese theme parks and futuristic museums. For wildlife, it's hard not to fall in love with the snow monkeys who also enjoy bathing in hot springs. It goes without saying that a family karaoke session is a rite of passage for any reputable traveller! Whether you are drawn to the buzz of citylife with its bright lights and gleaming sky-scrapers or whether you prefer the tranquility of the stunning national parks, UNESCO world heritage sites, delicate blossom trees and ancient shrines, prepare to be enthralled by Japan's unexpected beauty at every turn. 

when to go

There is a wide variation in weather depending on the season. For picture-perfect, delicate cherry blossom and vibrant colour, the best time to travel is during Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) when the skies are clear and temperatures are mild. For hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, the summer offers lovely conditions in the Alps and the wild National Parks, whilst the rest of the country can be hot and humid. During the winter, the snowy north is host to lively festivals and events with ski-ing undoubtedly the main attraction.


travel essentials

Flights: Japan’s largest airports are Osaka, Nagoya and Kyoto, on the southern island of Honshu. Here you’ll also discover the country’s capital, Tokyo, which has its own international airport. For more temperate weather fly to Sapporo on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. Not surprisingly, a large number of airlines fly to Japan and journey times vary according to the destination airport and stopovers. British Airways runs daily flights to Japan out of London Heathrow, flying direct to Tokyo and Osaka. The flight time to Osaka is 11 hours 30 mins and to Tokyo just 10 minutes more. Perfect for an open-jaw itinerary!

Time Zone: GMT + 9 hours

Health: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/japan/health

FCO travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/japan

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