Japan manages to blend old and new so seamlessly that the result is a dynamic and varied destination waiting to be explored.
Flamboyant pink cherry blossoms, fire-engine red paper lanterns, sunset gold silk, and the vermilion-lacquered galleries of Kasuga Shrine – the brilliant colors of both man and nature reflect the richness of Japan. One of the oldest nations on earth, Japan was inhabited by a Neolithic culture as early as the Jōmon period (14,000-300 BCE) and the first permanent capital, founded at Nara in 710 CE, became a center of Buddhist art, religion and culture.
Japan has deep traditions and vibrant cultures, arts and theater. Volcanic mountains, rivers and seas divide the country into hundreds of small regions, and the thousands of islands that make up the Japan Archipelago. The Japanese have a keenly developed sense of style, from cuisine chosen for color, texture and visual appeal, to the intricately planned gardens such as the famed Kenroku-en Garden, begun in 1676 and completed some 170 years later. Vivacious and energetic, Japan is also very much a hi-tech culture of the present.
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