Surrounded by centuries of history, you’ll be overwhelmed by the notion that you’re moving through a living museum, where you can feel, see and touch Japan. Hop on a train and within a couple of hours, you can be sitting in a hot spring high in the mountains, surrounded by the prettiest scenery outside the alpine area of Europe; lost in translation in the fascinating streets of Tokyo; or gazing in awe at the world’s biggest bronze Buddha who just happens to live in the world’s largest timber building in gorgeous Nara, just 45 kilometres from Kyoto.

Stretching for more than 1,000 km and made up of 49 inhabited and 111 uninhabited islands, the name Okinawa translates as “rope in the open sea.” This “rope,” flanked by Japan, China and Southeast Asia, has evolved as a unique blend of Asian cultures, one that is driving its emergence as a tourism destination. Japan is a treasure trove of holiday highlights waiting to be discovered.