Lonely Planet Japan (Country Guide) by Chris Rowthorn

By Chris Rowthorn

Observe JapanDodge flying fish on the world's maximum sashimi marketFind your self lively away to Miyazaki's museum of animeMaster the fitting double-clap and bow in your first shrine visitEarn your hold in a Buddhist templeIn This Guide:Japan resident authors, 343 days of analysis, a hundred and twenty special maps, 3 geisha sightingsYou requested for it, we researched it - every thing you want to learn about onsen (hot springs) and snowboarding, and extra language information than everCost-saving guidance even the locals have no idea.

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Finally, there is Ghost in a Shell (1995), an Ōishii Mamoru film with a sci-fi plot worthy of Philip K Dick – it involves cyborgs, hackers and the mother of all computer networks. MIYAZAKI HAYAO – THE KING OF ANIME Miyazaki Hayao, Japan’s most famous and critically acclaimed anime director, has given us some of the most memorable images ever to appear on the silver screen. Consider, for example, the island that floated through the sky in his 1986 classic Laputa. Or the magical train that travelled across the surface of an aquamarine sea in Spirited Away (2001).

Because tournaments take place over the span of 15 days, unless you’re aiming for a big match on a weekend, you should be able to secure a ticket. Sumō tournaments (bashō) take place in January, May and September at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan Sumō Stadium (p178) in Tokyo; in March at the Furitsu Taiiku-kan Gymnasium in Osaka; in July at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium (p244) in Nagoya; and in November at the Fukuoka Kokusai Centre in Fukuoka (p670). Most popular are matches where one of the combatants is a yokozuna (grand champion).

Indeed, there is decent hiking in the mountains within two hours of Tokyo, an hour of Osaka and a few minutes from downtown Kyoto. Nature lovers are likely to be most troubled by the condition of Japan’s rivers and coasts: almost all of Japan’s rivers are dammed, forced into concrete channels and otherwise bent to the human will, and an astonishing amount of Japan’s coast is lined with ‘tetrapods’ (giant concrete structures in the shape of jacks used to prevent erosion). Given the incredibly active nature of the Japanese archipelago – the country has always been plagued by volcanoes, earthquakes, typhoons, landslides and other natural disasters – it’s perhaps not surprising that the Japanese are eager to tame the wild nature of their islands.

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