Sightseeing in Japan

Overview by

Tourism and Culture

Different Forms of Tourism

Castles, a reminder of the establishment of the central power until the 15th century. Destroyed en masse at the time of the Meiji and during the Second World War, about a dozen can still be visited.
Many festivals take place throughout the year (festival of the tombs, cherry blossom festival). Open air museums offer visits of the different Japanese architectural styles.
Many Japanese-style gardens, among which the most outstanding are Konrokuen at Kanazawa, Katsura Villa at Kyoto. Some Japanese sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, consult the website to see which they are.
Many temples and tombs. Each city has them. Some of them are really magnificent. Among the temples: Ginkakuji, Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera and Sanjusangendo at Kytoto, Todaiji and Horyuji at Nara. Among the tombs: the one at Ise, Nikko Toshogu at Nikko, Itsukushima at Miyajima.
Hot springs flow all over the country. There are many spas.
Click here to be informed on the Japanese most beautiful beaches as a selection of the Ministry of land, Infrastructure and Transport.
Winter Sports
The 500 national ski resorts have plentiful, good snow, superb countryside and hot water springs to relax in.
Outdoor Activities
Rambling, Diving, Bicycle touring, Golf
Japan is known worldwide for its original mode with its Japanese creators, European brands (Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc.), department stores (Mitsukoshi, Takashimaya, etc.)

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Individual and Civic Freedoms

Political Freedom
Civil Liberty
Freedom of the Press
Japan’s press is private and independent, but the presence of press clubs, or kisha kurabu, is an obstacle to press freedom. Press clubs ensure homogeneity of news coverage by fostering close relationships between the major media, the administration and the politicians.
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2009 report : 17/175
Evolution: 12 places up compared to 2008
For Further Information, Consult Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2009, Reporters Without Borders
Free Access to the Internet
Freedom of Assembly
Rule of Law
Arbitrary arrest and imprisonment are not practiced.
Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights
Relatively widespread
Minorities or Foreigners can suffer from entrenched social discrimination concerning the access to housing and employment opportunities.
Women's Condition
Women in Japan have legal equality, but discrimination in employment is particularly widespread.
For Further Information
Freedom House
Human rights report, US Department of State

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Degree of Freedom
Shintoism and Buddhism are the two most widespread religions (84% of the population). Japanese follow either one or the other, or both.
Role of Religion in Society
Japanese religions play an important role in contemporary social life and in the world vision of the Japanese. But they do not influence economic or political life. Religion is practiced through the ceremonies which punctuate life (birth, marriage, death, various festivals). The holy places are tombs and temples.

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