If you've ever had a bite of fresh sushi or had a laugh with some quirky cartoon animals, chances are you're more familiar with the island nation of Japan than you realised. A perfect mixture of tradition and technology permeates the culture of The Land of The Rising Sun. It's not an uncommon sight when walking down the streets of Tokyo to find a beautiful traditional Buddhist temple, called the Asakusa Temple, nestled comfortably in between a 10-story high video game arcade and a 10 story high karaoke parlour. There's something for everyone in Japan, from the bright lights of Tokyo, to the smells and sounds of Osaka and back again.
Start your holiday with a bang on iconic Mt Fuji. Snow season in Japan starts in December and runs until April, and there is no end of ski resorts, hiking trails, historic shrines, and hot springs to explore on its world-heritage listed peaks and slopes. The fun doesn't stop on the slopes however, as the bright lights of Tokyo lie only 100 kilometers away and is easily reached by car in a matter of a couple of hours. It's not uncommon to find yourself ploughing through your entire holiday savings in Tokyo, so make sure to budget well!
For a taste of the weird and wonderful, head to the world famous shopping village of Harajuku, a collection of streets famous for its quirky fancy-dress and costume play. Fans of anime and video games should make sure to drop by Akihabara for the best deals on everything pop culture.For something a little bit more upscale try nearby Roppongi, where you'll find no end of classy clothing establishments, from Gucci to Calvin Klein and more. Roppongi is also home to the Tokyo Skytree, the largest observation tower in the world.
After a long day of shopping and sight-seeing you find yourself wanting to mingle with the locals, there's no better place for a night out than Shinjuku. Shinjuku is home to the world-famous Robot Restaurant, an attraction whose ticket office is lined with photos of visiting celebrities, from Hugh Jackman to Katy Perry. If watching a robot show is not to your liking, then you'll be spoilt for choice at nearby Golden Gai, a collection of 6 small streets lined with traditional buildings housing over 200 small bars.
After the thrills and spills of the big city, lose yourself in tranquil Kyoto. Located 5 hours north in the Kansai region, Kyoto is home to roughly 2,000 traditional temples and shrines of all kinds and a stunning 35 percent of Japans protected historic sites. Make sure to visit in July for the Gion Matsuri, the most famous festival in Japan, which runs throughout the entire month of July and features a giant parade on the 17th of the month.
After you've gotten yourself well rested, it's time to gorge yourself on the freshest fish the world has to offer in beautiful Osaka. The Dotonbori canal is one of the oldest trade routes in the world that is still used for its intended purpose, delivering the days haul of seafood directly from the river into the many waiting restaurants. You can recognise the restaurants on the bustling parallel streets by their intricate dragon sculptures, mechanical crabs and giant fish statues adorning the walls. The traveler on a budget should keep an eye out for the numerous street stalls selling Osaka specialties like Takoyaki (fried squid balls) and Okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancakes).
Japan is only so large, but there's so much to explore! Auto Europe offers vehicles ranging from compact to full size to suit your needs. There has never been a better time to explore a country as diverse as Japan, and with the right rental for you, you can explore all this and more, with lush scenic routes to break up your journey between cities. Call 1300 656 601 today to speak to one of our friendly reservation staff, or visit our online booking engine to book your ride today!