Japan - the country with ancient Eastern traditions and art, unique architecture and amazing city of the future. Visited Japan at least once, you will remember it forever, you will certainly wish to visit it again. This is a unique state with its own millennial traditions, and at the same time the most advanced country known throughout the world of high quality, a leader in advanced technologies.
The country is situated on more than three thousand islands, of which we can distinguish four main Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu. These islands occupy 98% of the country. The islands are connected by bridges and underwater tunnels, bringing together the scattered territorial space in a single country overland education.
Japan - a unique distinctive civilization.
For tourists presented all kinds of recreation: tours, beach holidays within Tokyo and VIP-level on the island of Okinawa, business tours (numerous exhibitions and seminars), ski and thermal spas, Car Tours, travel for the purpose of learning the Japanese language. For children in this country has created the best amusement parks: "Disneyland", "Disney-si", a lot of aquariums, "Universal Studios" and others.
The climate of Japan, except for Hokkaido - temperate, with four clearly distinct seasons and two rainy periods: spring and autumn. Spring (March-May) begins with a flowering peach and cherry blossoming from late March to early April is the height of spring. Summer (June-August) begins with the rainy season "Bayou" ("plum rain"), which lasts for 3-4 weeks. In July comes the real summer heat. Autumn (September-November) brings a fresh breeze and a comfortable temperature. This is the time of flowering chrysanthemums and admiration maple leaf. The best time to travel to Tokyo - from late March to May and October-November.
Relief: More than 70% of the land of Japan is mountainous. A significant part of the mountain peaks - volcanoes, they are here, there are about 200, of which 67 are considered "live" - existing or sleeping. For the year in Japan happens several thousand earthquakes, is up to 20 shocks a day. But for the most part a push force is so small that it can detect only precision equipment seismic stations.
Ahead of Moscow for 5 hours.
Japanese Yen / JPY. Banks are open from 9:00 to 15:00 on weekdays and from 9:00 to 12:00 - in the first and last Saturday of the month. Sunday - closed. At Narita International Airport exchangers operate around the clock. During holidays, all bank branches are closed. Exchanging large sums best at the arrival airport, as the hotel does not change more than 300 USD per person per day, and the banks exchange procedure is complicated and bureaucratic formalities. You can pay by major credit card, it must be remembered that in a number of restaurants "credit" will not be accepted.
Buddhism: feature of this religion is to strengthen the role of emphasizing meditation (Zen) and other ways to achieve inner psycho enlightenment (satori). On the basis of cultivated Zen tea ceremony, flower arrangement technique (Ikebana), formed of landscape art. Zen gives rise to special directions in painting, poetry, drama, contributes to the development of martial arts. Zen adherents argue that the essence of Zen can only feel, feel, or survive, it can not be understood by the mind.
Shinto: The national religion that arose on the basis of totemic representations of antiquity, which has taken the cult of ancestors and developed under the influence of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Sintoistkogo cult objects are both objects and phenomena of nature, and the souls of the departed ancestors - the patron of families, genera, individual localities. The supreme deity (kami) Shintoism is Omikami Amaterasu (Great sacred goddess, shining in the sky), from which, according to mythology Shinto has its origins Imperial Family.
Art and Crafts
Painting: The most popular type of painting is ink painting (sumi-e): mascara wand (sumi) pounded on the ink stone (sudzuri) with a small amount of water until until a blue-black ink.
Ikebana: The Art of making flower arrangements (Ikebana) experienced its heyday under the influence of the teachings of Zen in the second half of the XVI century, thanks to the Se-no Rikyu, who invented and tea ceremony. Making flower arrangements depends on the style (vertical, horizontal, cascading, sloping or divergent composition). Depending on the type of vases distinguish two main types of Ikebana: nageirebana (bamboo vase) and moribana (ceramic vase).
Calligraphy: The unique shape of the fine arts, distributed only in East Asia. Beauty hieroglyph, art gradation, line thickness and strength of brush pressure do not depend on the meaning of the character.
Haiku (literature) is specific to Japanese Haiku poem - tercet consisting of rows in 5-7-5 syllables. To compose a haiku, not necessarily to be a poet, but, good haiku - a rarity. To understand the haiku must not only knowledge of Japanese literature, traditions, culture and language, but also very much depends on the skill of the reciter.
Pottery: Japan is famous for its pottery and porcelain. The most famous brand names ceramics are areas where they are burned: Arita, Kutani, Kiyomizu, Satsuma, Bizen.
Gardens: Classic Japanese gardens can be divided into 4 types: heavenly, dry landscape, landscape (landscape) and tea. The overall objective is to create a microcosm, stones, water, bridges and other elements combine to form a symbolic idealized landscape. Paradise and dry gardens are designed for viewing from a single point, and landscape and tea - for walks, meditation and relaxation.
Theatre: Traditional Japanese drama presented Noh, Kyogen, Kabuki and Bunraku. The most famous of them - Kabuki theater, pyshen and bright. Musicians and Choir are located on the sides or behind the scenes. Hanamiti (road colors) is a platform, which stretches between the spectator places toward the stage, is used to exit the actors during the action. Although Kabuki theater was founded by a woman Izumo no Okuni, the presence of women on stage was considered immoral, that's why all the roles it played exclusively by men.
Tea Ceremony: The ceremony came to Japan from China in the VII-th century AD. The very same tea ceremony (tyano th) in its present form developed under the influence of the teachings of Zen in the XVI century Se-no Rikyu.
Symbol of the country
The famous Mount Fuji (Fuji-san, 3776 m) - one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world. Graceful, almost symmetrical silhouette of Mount Fuji, its appearance, changing depending on the day and year vremeni, determining role in the landscape made it not only a symbol of Japan, but also a popular subject for artists. For a few sintoistkih pilgrims in white robes - a ritual for the glory of the sun goddess Amaterasu, the mythical mother of Japan, for ordinary Japanese people - it's just an obligatory point of their life program.
Another symbol of Japan are "Sacred Gate" ("Torii"), a wooden gate Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima sacred island, standing right in the water in a small bay.
Another symbol of the country is considered the bridge Seto Ohashi, (1988), thrown across the Inland Sea (Seto) from Honshu to Shikoku.
Japan produces the world's best pearls, so many "pearl farms" are also interesting tourist attractions, visited by half a million foreign tourists annually.
Japan is located in three climatic zones, with most of the country lies in the temperate and subtropical climates. Hokkaido and northern Honshu summers are dry, similar to the European average. In the southern part of Honshu and Shikoku and Kyushu in the summer is very hot and humid, for weeks the climate is tropical in nature. Winter in Japan also shows a very diversified: from the subarctic breathing in Hokkaido, down south along the west coast of the island of Honshu, it is increasingly losing its severity and brings heavy snowfalls. While Hokkaido and northern Honshu inundated three-meter layer of snow, the rest of the country spared this fate, and in the south and south-west, even sunny and dry. Despite the snowy winter in the north-west, from a geographical point of view, Japan - southern country.
For example, Sapporo is located on the same latitude as Rome. In early June on Kyushu begins during the summer monsoons and heavy rains, but gradually the clouds go north and get to the middle of July to Hokkaido. After the rainy season is hot and humid weather, which is poorly tolerated not only visiting. Therefore, July and August are not the best time to travel to Japan, despite the fact that arose before August typhoons often bypass lately Japan side. The best months to travel in April, May, September and October. We can only choose between spectacular cherry blossoms and indescribable splendor of colors of an autumn forest. Favorable as November and December, just days are much shorter and the nights become cool. Year in Japan is made up of five seasons: spring, rainy season, summer, autumn and winter.
These seasons are still quite pronounced and determine many traditional agricultural festivals - Matsuri. There are two calendars: Gregorian date and to a lesser extent the Chinese lunar. As in Japan, there are two main religion, number of events in two times higher than in other countries. Calendar Japan contains many "red" days that year seems solid chain of formal and traditional festivals, sacred rites and folk just fun. Official Spring declared since the flowering Japanese cherry cherry in the early - mid-April. This is the time when nature starts to warm up and thaw. Across the country, people go to enjoy the cherry blossoms. By the "Golden Week" (April 29 - May 5), many Japanese are attached weekends.
Service and maintenance
Japanese service ", regardless of the field, is very high. This is primarily due to the mentality of the word "no" unnatural for the Japanese. Where would a tourist may be, it will always meet a polite inclination of the head and diligent execution of any suggestions.
In Japanese cuisine is widely used all fresh and raw foods, and it is based - rice, fish and seaweed. The most popular dishes, "sushi" (or "land") - more than 200 species of rice balls with various fillings, "sashimi" - slices of raw fish, served with dressing of soy sauce and green horseradish "wasabi" and "sukiyaki" - roast beef, vegetables and bean curd. In Japan, you can try "marbled meat" - meat bull, whose singing tpivom and especially massage, and enjoy the famous heated rice vodka "sake".
Most restaurants do not have a menu in English. The cost of "typical" dinner 30-70 USD. Give "tea" in Japan categorically not accepted: 10-20% service charge is already included in the bill.
Stores are open every day from 10:00 to 21:00 or 22:00. Private shops and stores at hotels operate on their schedule. There is a network of small shops that are open around the clock, but offer a limited range of goods, including, however, everything you need.
The most expensive shops are located in the district of Ginza, outside Aoyama-Dori, Tokyo's "Champs Elysees". Young people also tend to dress in the Shibuya district, there are many inexpensive trendy shops. Department stores in Japan called "depato" (from the English "department store") - here they are great if more of Paris Gallerie Lafayette and Printemps.
Most major Japanese department stores - "Mitsukoshi", "Matsuzaka", "Matsui", "Isetan", "Cayo" and some others are located in the Ginza and Shinjuku. That is definitely worth buying in Tokyo, so it's jewelry and jewelry. The prices of these products are quite reasonable, a design - stunning. Masterpieces of pearls makes sense to buy in the gallery of pearls "Tasaki." "Electronic City" Akihabara - a mecca of Japanese electronics. Here are trading with electronic equipment, with older models you can buy three or even five times and cheaper than in Moscow, the same trends slightly cheaper.
Twice a year the festival is held in Akihabara - sale Denki-matsuri Festival. In Japan, bargain not accepted either on the market or in shops. New collections of many European designers appear in the first place in Tokyo. Here are the famous Japanese designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Takeo Kikuchi, Michiko Koshino Hiroko and others. You buy souvenirs Oriental Bazaar will be able to trade in the shops on the street Nakamise in Asakusa district, in the "Oriental Bazaar" on Omotesando (Harajuku), or at the airport before departure (the price is not very different from the souvenir shops in the center).
At Narita Airport can take the phone for rent Telecom Square. In hotels 4-5 * You can also take the phone rental, but their number is limited.