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Japan

Japan is a country of contrasts. The ancient traditions and Buddhist temples against the frightfully advanced and efficient bullet trains; the hubbub of bustling cities like Tokyo against the serene landscapes of Mount Fuji and the Japanese Alps; and the Japanese cuisine that is loved all over the world against the spaghetti and curry dishes that the locals have adopted from overseas.

You will get to see much of this during your tour of Japan, whether you are exploring on foot (and the aforementioned bullet trains) or taking a scenic river cruise to many of the different islands. One highlight will be the chance to climb Mount Fuji, the most pictured peak in the world, and enjoy the breath-taking views all around. This is not your only chance to get close to nature though, as other activities include nature walks on Yakushima Island, a look around Kenroku-en Garden in Kanazawa and watching the famous snow monkeys take a soothing bath in the hot springs of Yudanaka.

History buffs will look forward to taking a look into the past through Buddhist temples like Sanjusangendo, well-preserved medieval towns like Tsumago and poignant World War II memorials like those in both the Okinawa and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Parks. A trip to the latter will really bring home the story of the A-bomb victims.

Finally, one of the biggest reasons why tourists flock to Japan in March and April is to see the quintessential cherry blossom which leaves the country awash with colour. Cruise holidays are marketed to people looking to see the beautiful colours, stopping in ports such as Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Tokyo.

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