This week, take a trip to the Far East as ACE-FX guides you through a trip to the island nation of Japan. Shrouded in mystery for centuries and still perhaps one of the most enigmatic countries in the world, Japan is a land of contradiction, beauty, and bustling commercial activity. If you've ever dreamed of an Asian holiday-- or simply wish to return after too long away-- there's never been a better time for a trip to Japan.
To help you achieve your Japan holiday, we've compiled the ACE-FX Top 6 List of places to visit in the Land of the Rising Sun. We're quite sure you'll find one to your liking.
Japanese Religious Sites
The first two sites on our list are of the religious variety. Japan is home to thousands of beautiful churches and temples, but we've chosen these two for their beauty, popularity, and staying power.
First up is the Kinkaku-Ji Buddhist Temple in Kyoto. Sometimes known as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, this three-story Zen Buddhist structure integrates three different styles of classical Japanese architecture and is one of the most visited buildings in all of Japan.
A part of the larger Rokuon-Ji complex, the Kunaki-Ji acts as a shariden, or a temple where artifacts of the Buddha are stored. The Temple has survived in its present form since it was reconstructed in 1955 after an act of arson by a mentally ill monk nearly destroyed it. Lastly, the Kinkaku was immortalized in the great Japanese writer Yukio Mishima’s classic novel The Temple of the Gold Pavilion. This distinction alone makes it well worth the visit.
The second religious site on our list is the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine. Also located in the metropolis of Kyoto, this magnificent set of structures together comprises the main shrine of Inari, the Shinto god of rice, agriculture, and industry. Though the main temple was constructed in the 15th century, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine has existed in one form or another for over 1,400 years.
The Main Shrine, which is located only five minutes from the Kyoto Train Station, stands at the base of the Inari mountain. Visitors are encouraged to walk along one of several ornamental Torii path to reach a number of smaller shrines at the top of the mountain. Although the trek can be up to a 2-hour workout, The Fushimi Shrine remains a place of respite for villagers and travelers alike.
Of course, no trip to Japan is complete without a visit to the breathtaking capital city of Tokyo. Here are two destinations you won't miss while you're there.
For a wide-ranging sample of classical Japanese culture, spend an afternoon at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park. Established in 1872, this is the oldest (and largest) national museum and home to a dazzling array of over 100,000 artifacts, including traditional Japanese works of art and archaeological finds from all over the Asian continent. Wait, did we suggest you spend only an afternoon here? Perhaps you'd best plan on a day or two.
Next, we suggest an evening at the National Noh Theatre in Sendagaya, Shibuya. One of the most elaborate forms of classical drama in the world, Noh Theatre features lavish productions, musical performance, and expressive ornamental masks. On a typical evening, you can expect a good 3 hours of fascinating entertainment, with two dramatic plays and a single comedic one being typical.
Western Style Attractions
Japan has imported a great deal of Western Culture for the past half century, especially from the United States. Hopefully, you'll sample some native culture as well, but here are two destinations with a more western flavor.
If you'd like to transition into the East slowly, spend a day at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. It's a westernized treat that's appropriate for the whole family, a massive amusement park where tourists encounter rides and attractions based on a variety of American and Japanese film and video games. The theme park is divided into areas named for cities like New York and Hollywood, as well as zones devoted to specific movie franchises such as the Harry Potter series and Despicable Me/Minions films.
To finish up, we offer you the Old World charms of Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki. Huis Ten Bosch is Dutch for 'The House of the Forest' and presents a remarkable recreation of Medieval Europe on its sprawling grounds. There are museums, hotels, restaurants, and other familiar attractions at Huis Ten Bosch, all of them surrounded by one of the most impressive collections of flowers you'll ever encounter.
Published date: 23/08/2017