The Essential
With its geishas and lolitas, tea ceremonies and karaoke, ryôkan and capsule hotels, and astonishing mix of tradition and modernity, Japan makes a fascinating place for a holiday. Explore the large cities of Tokyo and Osaka, with their imposing and brightly-lit skyscrapers, and rub shoulders with businessmen and cosplay fans, sample street food and soak up the ambience of the cities' trendy bars.
Experience a complete change of atmosphere in the temples of Kyoto, the old Imperial city of Nara, the beautiful unspoilt town of Takayama, or out in the countryside dotted with the bright red temples of Kyushu, all of which introduce visitors to the more traditional side of Japan. The country's natural sites also add to its magical appeal. The bay of Matsushima and the idyllic bay of Kabira, in the Okinawa archipelago, are perfect for lazing in the sun, while the Shiretoko National Park is a great place for hiking. And of course, you can't go home without making a pilgrimage to Mount Fuji, the country's eternally snow-capped holy mountain, which has watched over the archipelago for thousands of years.

Must see

Michelin's recommendations for Japan

Dogo Onsen Honkan Dogo Onsen Honkan
Dogo Onsen Honkan
Mount Fuji Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji
Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route
Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route
Koraku-en Garden Koraku-en Garden
Koraku-en Garden
Todai-ji Todai-ji
Miyajima Miyajima

Our reports

Dogo Onsen and the art of Japanese bathing at Shikoku

Matsuyama, capital city of the island of Shikoku, is home to one of Japan’s oldest spa resorts, the Dogo Onsen bathing house. A magnificent occasion to test the wellness virtues of hot springs according to age-old rituals.
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Japan: Tsukiji, 20,000 leagues across the land

The world’s largest fish market is open to visitors at night, in the electric mayhem of the red tuna auction. This is the place to take the pulse of a country that has turned raw fish into a highly refined culinary art.
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An architectural revival after the great quake of Kobe

Despite the devastation of the earthquake in 1995, the Kobe region has almost regained its former economic vitality. Thanks to government subsidies and the participation of major architects, the city has been entirely rebuilt in line with new anti-seismic norms and is today a modern conglomeration.
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