Many people think of four major islands when they think of Japan, but as one of the largest island countries in the world, there are hundreds of inhabited islands that offer some of Asia`s most fabulous beaches. Beaches and islands can be found off the coasts of every major island, from Hokkaido down to the Ryukyu island chain, which includes Okinawa and Miyakojima, perhaps the two most popular beach destinations in Japan.
Honshu is the largest of the four main Japanese islands, where over 100 million people live. Historic castles and temples, traditional districts with geishas, skyscrapers and neon lights, relaxing hot springs, and nature scenes are all experiences you can enjoy while on Honshu.
Hokkaido is one of Japan`s best-kept secrets. The northernmost of Japan`s four major islands, it is very sparsely-populated and geographically diverse. The most agricultural part of Japan, Hokkaido is considered `Japan`s breadbasket`.
Kyushu is the westernmost of Japan`s four major islands, and is well-known for its outdoor vacation experiences and gorgeous landscapes. One of Japan`s geothermal hot spots, Kyushu is dotted by a number of hot springs and even more volcanoes.
Shikoku is the smallest of the four main Japanese islands, separated from Honshu by the Inland Sea. It is perhaps best-known to tourists for its 88-temple Buddhist pilgrimage route, which runs for 895 miles adjacent to Shikoku`s coastline.
The islands of the Ryukyu Archipelago, like Okinawa, Miyakojima, and the Yaeyama Islands, are known for their rich history and culture; beautiful beaches and cliffsides; outdoor activities like kayaking and ziplining; and an all-around laid-back atmosphere.
Japan is particularly well-known for its castles. Today there are over 100 open to the public. From Hokkaido to Okinawa, the castles of Japan educate visitors on what life was like during the late feudal and early Tokugawa shogunate eras.
The most authentically Japanese accommodations that are offered are called ryokan, a traditional Japanese-style inn. Many ryokan also have onsen, a blissful and uniquely Japanese spin on the thermal spring.
There are tens of thousands of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines across Japan, and they can be found even in the remotest towns and villages. One of the most accessible ways to learn about Japanese culture and customs is to visit a temple or shrine.
Japanese cuisine is one of the world`s most popular cuisines, and definitely one of the most delicious. You will find certain regions are cities are known for the best of the best of certain Japanese delicacies and staples.
There are so many experiences you can enjoy that are unique to Japan, such as attending a kabuki theatre performance, being a spectator at a sumo wrestling match, watching geishas administer the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and the list goes on!
Experiencing the beauty and culture of Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and many travelers decide to make their trips even more special by choosing Japan as their honeymoon destination. Japan is a great country to experience as a couple.