Immerse yourself in Japan's diverse culture, as you stroll a seafood market in Tokyo, stay at a ryokan (traditional inn) in Hakone, savor a foodie tour in Osaka, witness sumo wrestling in Nara, and enj
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This large, bustling port is the starting point for tours to the ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara, the cultural fountainheads of classical Japan. Kyoto's Old Imperial Palace and the shogunal Nijo Castle remain glorious symbols of the power the city held for over 1,000 years. Until 1868, Kyoto was the capital of Japan, filled with elegant timber buildings and, perhaps more than any other Japanese city, imbued with Kami, the divine spirit. You'll sense it everywhere, for there are hundreds of Shinto shrines and over a thousand Buddhist temples, as well as sacred treasure-houses of religious sculpture, painting and exquisite gardens. Nara, City of the Seven Great Temples, lies in an idyllic setting.
Huge department stores brim with shoppers, neon flashes from dusk to dawn, and the entire world pays heed to the slightest fluctuation on the Nikkei Index. From the Imperial Palace and Meiji Shrine to the fabled Ginza district, 20th-century Tokyo is an intriguing composite of East and West. Yuppies sporting Walkmen bow formally in greeting. Women in kimonos and Dior suits stroll side-by-side. Geishas play samisens while disc jockeys play the Top Forty. Japanese houses of wood and paper stand in the shadow of towering steel and mortar. Not far away, one of the world's most impressive sights soars 12,388 feet to its snow-clad peak: Mount Fuji, the majestic symbol of Japan.
The city of Hakone lies nestled in the midst of spectacular Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. About 20 million tourists from overseas as well as from all over Japan visit Hakone every year, seeking the resplendent enjoyments this famous resort area offers throughout the year. In order to both encourage and accommodate the growing number of visitors to Hakone, the latest information on the area's natural wonders is made available and exhaustive effort is made to improve accommodations, local transportation and recreational facilities. Considerable attention has been paid to the preservation of the area's scenic beauty and of its unique cultural heritage.
Kyoto, as publicized in guidebooks and travel magazines, is a very special city in Japan. In Kyoto, the past still lives on in nearly 2,000 shrines and temples, six historical preservation districts and an abundance of beautiful natural scenery. Through close connections with other forms of culture such as the tea ceremony and performing arts and festivals, textile, dye, ceramics, 'sake'-brewing, fans, dolls, and lacquerware industries, which were supported by imperial, religious and political rulers throughout Kyoto's history, continue to thrive as they were passed down through generations. Kyoto's technological prowess continues to attract worldwide attention. Also, Kyoto is also known as a center of educational and research. It is therefore no surprise Kyoto became the first city in Japan to emerge as a major convention destination and continues to be unrivalled in its popularity. Kyoto has preserved and continues to develop those factors which make it the ideal convention destination: history, culture, tradition, academics, technological progress, accessibility and professional experience in conference management.
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