Cherry blossom travel: Tips for the 2020 season

The cherry blossom is an iconic symbol of Japan. Encompassing the renewal of spring, the beautiful cherry blossom is celebrated wherever Japanese cherry trees grow, throughout the world. To truly experience the majesty of the annual cherry blossom festivals, however, one must travel to the heart of it all – to Japan itself.

Before you board your international flight, there are a few things you should know, such as the cultural significance of the cherry blossom, when and where to see them, and how to capture the best cherry blossom photographs.

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Best beaches in Japan for Summer 2020

Did you know that the country of Japan is actually a series of islands? The four largest islands – Hokkaido, the main island of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu – form a long, narrow shape and provide ample coastline against the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sa of Japan to the west. Additionally, over 3,000 small islands surround the Japanese mainland, most notably the southern island of Okinawa and the 150 islands of its prefecture.

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Studio Ghibli Museum: Access and tickets

The Studio Ghibli Museum was established by Hayao Miyazaki, a master of Japanese anime. You may recognize Miyazaki as the animation director behind award-winning, acclaimed childhood films such as My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and Spirited Away (2001). The museum is an interactive experience suitable for the entire family. It identifies itself as “a portal to a storybook world.” Continue reading “%s”

Best cherry blossom festivals and viewing spots in Japan

Japan is famous for its flowering cherry trees. These trees are much sought after around the world. Cherry blossom festivals are held in such diverse regions as Washington, Vancouver, Paris, Stockholm, and Spain’s Jerte Valley. Still, Japan remains the premier location in the world for viewing the cherry blossoms or attending a cherry blossom festival, especially when seeing Japan by train.

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The 7 best temples in Japan

Thousands of Buddhist temples dot the Japanese countryside and inhabit its cities. According to one resource, “virtually every Japanese municipality has at least one temple, while large cultural centers like Kyoto have several hundred.” Many are hundreds of years old, others well over one thousand.

Temples typically consist of a number of halls and structures. Gates mark the edges of the temple grounds. The main hall of each temple is used to display sacred objects, such as statues of Buddha, gods, or goddesses; pagodas are used in a similar manner. Lecture halls are used as places of meeting and teaching. Some temples are still used as monasteries, home to Buddhist monks.

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