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Japan and The Far East

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Flight Time to Japan from the UK
Approx 12 hours to Tokyo.

Japan, a country of islands, extends along the eastern or Pacific coast of Asia. The main islands, running from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu (or the mainland), Shikoku, and Kyushu. Naha in the Ryukyu archipelago is over 600 kilometres (375 mi) to the southwest of Kyushu. In addition, about 3,000 smaller islands may be counted in the full extent of the archipelago.

Japan is the 18th most densely populated country in the world. About 73% of the country is mountainous, and unsuitable for agricultural, industrial, or residential use, due to the generally steep elevations, climate, and risk of landslides caused by earthquakes, soft ground, and heavy rain. This has resulted in an extremely high population density in the habitable zones that are mainly located in coastal areas.

Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, at the juncture of three tectonic plates, gives Japan frequent low-intensity earth tremors and occasional volcanic activity. Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunamis, occur several times each century. The most recent major quakes include the 2004 Chuetsu Earthquake and the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. Hot springs are numerous, and have been developed as resorts.

The climate of Japan is predominantly temperate but varies greatly from north to south. Japan's geographical features divide it into six principal climatic zones:
- Hokkaido: The northernmost zone has a temperate climate with long, cold winters and cool summers. Precipitation is not heavy, but the islands usually develop deep snow banks in the winter.
- Sea of Japan: On Honshu's west coast, the northwest wind in the wintertime brings heavy snowfall. In the summer, the region is cooler than the Pacific area, though it sometimes experiences extremely hot temperatures, due to the Föhn wind phenomenon.
- Central Highlands: A typical inland climate, with large temperature differences between summer and winter, and between day and night. Precipitation is light.
- Seto Inland Sea: The mountains of the Chugoku and Shikoku regions shelter the region from the seasonal winds, bringing mild weather throughout the year.
- Pacific Ocean: The east coast experiences cold winters with little snowfall and hot, humid summers due to the southeast seasonal wind.
- Southwest Islands: The Ryukyu Islands have a subtropical climate, with warm winters and hot summers. Precipitation is very heavy, especially during the rainy season. Typhoons are common. The main rainy season begins in early May in Okinawa, and the stationary rain front responsible for this gradually works its way north until it dissipates in northern Japan before reaching Hokkaido in late July. In most of Honshu, the rainy season begins before the middle of June and lasts about six weeks. In late summer and early autumn, typhoons often bring heavy rain.

Japan is home to nine forest ecoregions which reflect the climate and geography of the islands. They range from subtropical moist broadleaf forests in the Ryukyu and Bonin islands, to temperate broadleaf and mixed forests in the mild climate regions of the main islands, to temperate coniferous forests in the cold, winter portions of the northern islands.

Information provided by Wikipedia

Flights to Japan | Japanese Resorts and Hotels | Car Hire in Japan

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Hayes and JarvisHayes and Jarvis - www.hayesandjarvis.co.uk

Operates holidays to more than 50 worldwide destinations including luxury package holidays to Japan - ATOL (No 1275), ABTA (No V1464).

The British might love a cuppa, but in Japan the preparation and drinking of tea is a true art form. We love stepping into a peaceful chashitsu, a room designed solely for tea-drinking, to take part in a chanoyu, the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Since the 1500s, this intricate, spiritual ritual has promoted harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity; all from the sharing of a bowl of green tea.


LastMinute.comLastMinute.com - www.lastminute.com

Package and last minute luxury and budget holidays to Tokyo and Japan.

lastminute.com offers a fantastic array of incredible Japan travel deals. Whether booking a hotel, flight, holiday or car hire, lastminute.com is your one stop travel shop.


Thomas CookThomas Cook - www.thomascook.com

Cheap Family holidays & last minute deals.

A fusion of past and present, Japan is a harmonious blend of ancient traditions, indigenous cultures and modern Western customs. On the eastern edge of the Asian continent, Japan's archipelago of islands houses awesome natural landscapes of misty mountains, verdant forests and glistening lakes. Its oriental opulence is highlighted in the architectural elegance of golden temples, secluded shrines and tranquil terraced gardens, while futuristic, cutting-edge cities illustrate the ultra-modern aspect of this fascinating land. You'll find that although culture differences are vast, the people are friendly and welcoming, and the delicate cuisine of noodles, fish and Japanese tea truly merits its world-renowned reputation.


eBookerseBookers - www.ebookers.com

Cheap Flights, Hotels, Airline Tickets, Car Hire and Holiday Packages.




OpodoOpodo - www.opodo.co.uk

Flights, hotels, car rental, city breaks and package holidays in Japan.

Tokyo is sure to surprise, and perhaps shock, even the most open-minded of visitors. It's a city where a rich cultural heritage sits oddly well with cutting-edge technology. Here you can bed down in a themed love hotel; build synthetic sand castles next to the indoor ocean at the germ-free Seagaia Ocean Dome; or rise early to observe early morning training sessions at the ancient Fatagoyama Beya sumo training stables.


NetflightsNetflights - www.netflights.com

Flight deals to Japan and the Far East




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Public Holidays in Japan
January 1-3 - New Year (shogatsu)
Second monday of January - Coming of Age (seijin no hi)
February 3 - Beginning of spring (setsubun)
February 11 - National Foundation Day (kenkoku kinenbi)
February 14 - Valentine's Day
March 3 - Doll's Festival (hina matsuri)
March 14 - White Day The opposite of Valentine's Day
March 21 - Spring Eqinox Day (shunbun no hi)
April 29 - Greenery Day (midori no hi)
May 3 - Constitution Day (kenpo kinenbi)
May 4 - "Between Day" (kokumin no kyujitsu)
May 5 - Children's Day (kodomo no hi)
July/August 7 - Star Festival (tanabata)
Tanabata, also known as the "star festival", takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year
Third monday of July - Ocean Day (umi no hi)
July/August 13-15 - Obon
Third monday of September - Respect for the Aged Day (keiro no hi)
September 23 -Autum Equinox Day (shubun no hi)
November 3 - Culture Day (bunka no hi)
November 15 - Seven-Five-Three (shichigosan)
November 23 - Labour Thanksgiving Day (kinro kansha no hi)
December 23 - Emperor's Birthday (tenno no tanjobi)
December 24-25 - Christmas

Visa Requirements for Japan
Entry requirements for UK nationals: British citizens require a valid passport. If holding a passport endorsed British Citizen or British National (Overseas), no visa is required for a tourist or business stay of up to 90 days. In all other cases, a visa is required.

Japan has one of the world's best transport systems, and getting around is usually a breeze, with the train being overwhelmingly the popular option. Although traveling around Japan is expensive when compared to other Asian countries, there are a variety of passes that can be used to limit the damage.

For sorting through transport schedules and fares, Hitachi's Hyperdia [4] is an invaluable companion, with versions available for most major operating systems, and is also usable online [5]. Jorudan and NTT Townpage both provide a useful English-language web versions. The paper version of this is the Daijikokuhyo (????), a phonebook-sized tome available for browsing in every train station and most hotels, but it's a little challenging to use as the content is entirely in microscopic Japanese.

In Japanese cities, a place's address is useful for mail, but it's nearly useless for actually getting there. Most places are described in terms of the walking distance from the nearest train station, and relative to local landmarks. Business cards very often have little maps printed on the back to make navigation easier (at least if you can read Japanese). In addition, many train stations have maps of the local area that can help you find a destination if it is reasonably close to the station.

Japan in general is one of the safest places to visit in the world. Street crime is extremely rare, even late at night. Of course, little crime does not mean no crime, and is not an excuse to ditch your common sense. Women should take care as they would in their home countries and should never hitchhike alone. Pickpocketing does sometimes happen - if you take your usual precautions in crowded places such as trains and at Narita Airport you should be fine. Women on crowded rush-hour trains should be aware of existence of chikan (??), or molesters. A lot of heavy drinking goes on in the evenings and occasionally drunks may be a nuisance, although alcohol-related violence is extremely rare.

Red-light districts in large cities can be seedy but are rarely dangerous for visitors, however some smaller backstreet bars have been known to lay down exorbitant cover charges or drink prices, so check before entering.