Japan is one of the world's most advanced economic countries. An island nation with a population of over 125 million and 146,000 square miles, Japan is a principal trading partner with the United States, Europe, and Asia, as well as other areas of the world. Its distinctive, sophisticated culture preserves many centuries of achievement, combining influences from China and Korea with native innovation. Modern Japan is at the cutting edge of developments in technology, fashion, music, and art.
Visitors with a taste for the traditional will find much to enjoy. Thousands of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines preserve the religious art and architecture through which Japanese culture flowered. Medieval castles, 18th Century merchant towns, and world-renowned villas and gardens may all be enjoyed within a day's travel from Tokyo. A lively cycle of local festivals marks the key points in every season, and a striking variety of traditional drama, arts, and crafts may be enjoyed throughout the year. To gather ideas for what to enjoy in traditional Japanese culture, visit http://www.jnto.go.jp.
Visitors more inclined toward the 21st century will not be disappointed. Tokyo, the world's largest metropolis, offers a correspondingly large quantity of modern entertainments. Concerts, dance clubs, movies, restaurants, sporting events, amusement centers, karaoke halls, beaches and ski slopes offer unlimited opportunities to relax and have fun. To browse current Tokyo events in English, see http://www.japantoday.com/.
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