It’s easy to be swept up by the idea of two opposing Japans. One, a hyper–futuristic vision of neon and next-gen tech. The other, a place of deeply held traditions from Shinto to samurai. In reality, these two worlds happily co-exist. Tokyo’s seemingly never-ending sprawl is a marvel, the ultimate city in which to get lost and enjoy local hospitality in izakayas, before quiet contemplation in hidden temples. Kyoto wears its ancient history with pride, but still finds room for boutique capsule hotels and pachinko parlors. Away from the urban sprawl, rural onsen baths, soaring mountains and remote beaches make Japan a surprising contender as a destination for a break from the pressures of modern life.
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