Japan is unlike anywhere else on Earth. A rich culture has evolved over thousands of years but remained relatively untouched by outside influences. This has allowed Japan to maintain a strong national identity that permeates through its food, art, music, design and popular culture.

This guide will highlight some of best places to eat, things to do and places to stay in some of Japan’s most popular cities, as well as some of the weird and wacky customs, dining traditions and special events that will make any trip here a memorable one.

127 million

population

6,852

islands make up Japan

5.5 million

vending machines

2 billion

comic books sold each year