Fotosearch / Age Fotostock
Japan in pictures - Hokkaido
In brief +
FCO travel update:the FCO advises against all travel to the exclusion zones around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility identified by the Japanese authorities. There may be some continuing disruption to transport and other infrastructure in the parts of north-eastern Honshu most affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
For many, Japan is made up of four main islands and over 3,000 islets. The land of sushis, shrouded in mystery, in a different culture lies at the forefront of modern technology and even art.
Tokyo, the capital is a bustling city. Tall buildings, galore lights, ceaseless movement, thousands of people, Tokyo never sleeps. The town is amazing. Untiring. You will equally be enchanted by the atypical Kyoto and Osaka. And the countrysides of the province, peaceful, quiet offer mountainous, volcanic or linear sceneries.
- The Japanese calendar, like ours, consists of 4 seasons and the best time to plan on a trip there is in the spring or fall. In March and April, the mild temperatures and light rain are what make the cherry trees blossom, putting the whole country in a flutter. In autumn, once the typhoons of September have passed, October and November offer pleasant temperatures and a splendid blaze of fall colours, with shades of red, orange and yellow.
- So as to avoid fully booked hotels, crowded public transport, and shops that are closed, there are 3 key periods to be avoided: the time around New Year's is generally synonymous with national holidays (businesses are closed from the 1st to the 3rd of January); Golden Week groups together several bank holidays from the end of April (starting on the 29th) to the beginning of May (the 5th); and Obon, a festival to celebrate the dead, is a time of migrations between the 13th and 15th July depending on the region but especially in mid-May.
- There are few ATMs in Japan that accept foreign credit cards so make sure you have cash on you, for at least the beginning of the trip anyway. Japan is a very safe country so there is little to fear.
- For unlimited use of the trains in the entire JR network (Japan Railways), which services the whole country, for a good price, make sure you buy your Japan Rail Pass before leaving the UK - it cannot be purchased at the same rate on the spot. Several types are available depending on the length of your stay.
- If an earthquake should occur when you are there, you should notify your family or check in with the local British embassy.
HokkaidoFotosearch / Age Fotostock
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