Situated in the Far East the archipelago of Japan is separated from the Asian mainland by the sea and split in four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. The capital is Tokyo and the official language Japanese.

Most of the country is covered with hills and mountains, a few of which are still active or dormant volcanoes, notably Mount Fuji the highest in the country rising to 3,776 m above sea level. The costal line is very long and varied, with deeply indented bays and natural harbors with the backdrop of mountains. Japan is composed of thousands of islands of magnificent natural beauty, with the lavender farms of the isle of Hokkaido in the north and the subtropical beaches of Okinawa in the south.

Japan is also a blend of cultural traditions of the past and modern high technology of the future. Tokyo, the capital as well as Osaka and Sapporo are packed with modern skyscrapers and high-tech gadgets, while the rural villages such as Kyoto and Nara offer century-old Japanese culture and sites, with temples, shrines, splendid rock gardens, community festivals and traditional food.

Other sites not to miss are Miyajima, near Hiroshima, a beautiful island famous for the red Shinto tori gateway, which seems to float during high tide. Here one may visit the Itsukushima Shrine, the tame deer, and the cable car up the central mountain for panoramic views.

The climate is temperate with warm to hot summers from June to September and mild weather during spring and autumn. June and July is the rainy season. Hokkaido is an exception with its subtropical climate. Typhoons can sweep the country during September or October.

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    Himeji Castle

    Himeji Castle is a hilltop Japanese castle complex located in Himeji, in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.

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    Hiroshima Peace Memorial

    Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome or Genbaku Domu, in Hiroshima, Japan, is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

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    Itsukushima Shrine

    Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima, best known for its "floating" torii gate.

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    Nakagusuku Castle

    Nakagusuku Castle is a gusuku in the village of Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is one of a number of castles built on the island of Okinawa during the Ryukyu Kingdom now in ruins.

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    Nakijin Castle

    Nakijin Castle is a Ryukyuan castle or fortress located in Nakijin, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is currently in ruins.

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    Ohno Church, Nagasaki

    Ohno Church, one of the "Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki", a group of thirteen sites in Nagasaki Prefecture and Kumamoto Prefecture relating to the history of Christianity in Japan.

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    The gardens of Shikina-en are located on a small hill to the south of Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa. The gardens were laid out in 1799 to embellish one of the residences of the Sho family, rulers of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

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    Shitsu Church, Nagasaki

    This asset is composed of the Kotabira village, which retains some of the atmosphere of the time of the Anti-Christian Edicts, the Shitsu Church built after the Edicts were repealed, and the former Shitsu Aid Center.

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    Tamaudun is a mausoleum in Shuri, Okinawa, built for Ryukyuan royalty in 1501 by King Sho Shin, the third king of the Second Sho Dynasty.

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    Yakushima is one of the Osumi Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.