Twelve reasons to visit Japan

Kofukuji Temple, Nara

I have major wanderlust at the moment, specifically Japan-lust. Here are twelve reasons why…

Shinjuku crossing

1. The way that Tokyo is so hectic, yet so organised, friendly and polite that you feel peaceful in the middle of the chaos.

Japan 2009 - Tokyo
Lunch at Kairas

2. A country with a love of all things kawaii, from panda coffee to smiley face cookies.

Temple in the forest
Kiyomizudera temple

3. The stunning Kyoto mountains, studded with hidden temples

Cats chilling
Nekobukuro cat cafe entrance

4. Cat cafes. Need I say more?

Mt Fuji from the train
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5. Taking the bullet train cross country from Tokyo to Kyoto, catching a glimpse of Fujiyama on the way

Shojin ryori

6. THE FOOD. From high-end world cuisine to handmade tofu and shojin ryori feasts, Japan does mouthwatering eats like nowhere else. I was worried about being a vegetarian in the land of sushi, but the sheer range and quality available in Japan would satisfy anyone’s tastes.

Deer

7. The beautiful deer of Nara. Japan’s old capital city is now home to around 1,200 deer and some of the most beautiful temples and scenery in the country.

Maiko on the Philosopher's Path

8. Catching a glimpse of some maiko running errands, and remembering how Japan is the perfect combination of ancient and new.

Rainbow in the mountains
A rainy walk in the hills

9. The changing seasons, from sakura blossom time in May to the colours of autumn in Kyoto’s forests. Even the rain is pretty!

Nishiki market
Drinking umeshu

10. Discovering fun and cosy nightlife spots in the markets and backstreets

Retro games

11. A love of retro videogames from the culture that gave us Nintendo and Sega

Pavement eating

12. Blue Hour, the magical twilight that bathes Tokyo every evening as the lanterns come on, people leave work and the street food stalls open up.

This post is a competition entry to win a blogger trip to Japan – keep your fingers crossed for me!