The city of Aomori, Japan owes its development to its unique position as transportation and distribution hub for the north of Japan. This vital factor also holds out great promise for continued urban development as Aomori heads into the 21st century. With a population of about 290,000, Aomori is an attractive modern city, bordered on one side by the Hakkoda mountain range and on the other by the sea and a fine natural harbor. Aomori enjoys mild weather throughout the year regardless of season.
Beppu is one of Japan's most famous and most touristy hot spring resorts. It is a good place to try out different types of hot springs including sand baths. In addition, there are a few spectacular hot springs, called the "Hells of Beppu", which are for viewing rather than bathing.
This ancient city is known as "The Spring City" for the long summers that keep it green and blooming year-round. See the Five-Ram Sculpture in Yuexiu Park, then take a cable car to the top of White Cloud Mountain to discover why the city's beauty is made of "the white cloud and the pearl sea."
Just off the southern coast of the Korean peninsula lies an idyllic isle that just may remind you of Hawaii. Cheju island (Cheju-do in Korean, and sometimes spelled Jeju) is a volcanic island dominated by Halla mountain and replete with spectacular waterfalls, sandy beaches, lava formations, citrus groves and warm tropical water. What more could you ask of Korea's favored destination for honeymooners?
Buildings that reflect Chinese, Japanese and Russian architectural styles attest to Dalian´s strategic importance as a northern ice-free port. The city´s artisans reproduce pictures with shell fragments, while glassblowers fashion fanciful crystal animals. Dalian also sports several popular beaches and a large seaside park.
Not only is it incredibly fun to say, but Fukuoka (that's Foo-koo-oh-ka) also boasts incredible sights like the country's biggest hotel, longest bar and largest cinema complex. This cosmopolitan center has spent the last few years transforming into a vibrant, modern city just for you - or, at least, just for worldly travelers like you. Dive into all the shopping, dining, sports and culture you can imagine, with plenty of helpful information offices and efficient subway stations along the way.
Hagi used to be the capital of the Mori daimyo (feudal lords), who played a central role in overthrowing the shogunate in the late 19th century. Visit the old samurai residential quarter or shop for local pottery that ranks among Japan's finest.
Hakata is a bay in the northwestern part of Fukuoka city, on the Japanese island of Kyushu. It faces the Tsushima Strait, and features beaches and a port, though parts of the bay have been reclaimed in the expansion of the city of Fukuoka. The bay is perhaps most famous for the Mongol invasions of Japan of 1274 and 1281 which took place nearby; both invasions are sometimes referred to as the "battle of Hakata Bay."
The port of call for Japan´s northern island of Hokkaido boasts a Western-style castle built in 1855, and a superb view from its Mt. Hakodate. The island´s mountain and forest parklands may also be toured.
Set on a bay in the Inland Sea, Hiroshima was the infamous site of the first atomic bomb explosion of August, 1945. Its tragic results are reflected in the sobering photographs of Peace Park. However, perhaps the best reason to visit Hiroshima is the enchanting island of Miyajima with its famous Itsukushima Shinto shrine, considered one of Japan´s three most beautiful sights. Its famous ´torii´ stands just offshore, a tall, vermilion- colored symbol of Japan, which appears to float during high tide.
Inchon is the port of Korea's booming capital, a shopping paradise which vies with Hong Kong. Itaewon District offers everything from eelskin to excellent designer imitations at bargain prices. But historic Seoul also brims with treasures. Begin with a bird´s-eye view atop Namsan Hill. Visit Kyonbok Gun, the Palace of Bright Happiness, and the 14th-century Changdok Palace, home of the royal family. Stroll through its beautiful Secret Garden, 80 acres of ponds, tea houses and pavilions.
Iwo Jima is a volcanic island in Japan, part of the Volcano Islands (the southern part of the Ogasawara Islands). It is famous as the site of the Battle of Iwo Jima in February and March, 1945, between the United States and Japan during World War II. Iwo Jima was occupied by the U.S. until 1968, when it was returned to Japan.
This cape is noted for its rugged, scenic beauty. Izumo Taisha, Japan's oldest shrine, is said to be the annual gathering place of Shinto's eight million Kami (Shinto gods), famous for bringing good fortune to people who are looking for marriage partners.
Tucked into the protrctive arms of a large sea inlet, Kagoshima is on the southern flak of Kyushu Island. The city has long enjoyed a pleasant climate and productive crops due to a warm marine influence. And her towering Sakurajima volcano causes to compare Kagoshima geographically to the Italian city of Naples.
In feudal times, Kanazawa was the wealthiest domain in all of Japan. Today, it's a city of beautiful rivers and parks, old samurai and geisha districts, and famous silk makers.
Kaohsiung is a city located in southern Taiwan. Kaohsiung is Taiwan's second largest city (at 1.5 million inhabitants) and largest port. The city has high concentrations of heavy industry including steel works, shipbuilding, and other exports which have led to Kaohsiung's noticibly higher level of air pollution (though the situation has improved in recent years). Unlike Taipei, Kaohsiung is a planned city with wide streets and slightly less traffic congestion. In recent years the city has made great strides in transforming itself from a primarily industrial city to a modern metropolis with several new city beautification initiatives and new infrastructure. The city is often known as Taiwan's "Harbor Capital" because of it's close connection and heavy reliance on the ocean and maritime transportation.
The lush greenery of the port of Keelung is only a half-hour away from Taipei, the island nation´s political, economic, and cultural center. Explore the National Palace Museum which houses the world´s largest and most valuable collection of Chinese art; the Confucius Shrine, built in honor of the revered religious leader; and the 200-year old Lung Shan Temple.
Kiska island is considered a National Historic Landmark (the highest level of recognition accorded to historic sites in the US) and is protected under government law. It is also a part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (AMNWR) and contains the largest colony of Least Auklets (over 1,160,000 birds) and Crested Auklets. Research biologists from Memorial University of Newfoundland have been studying the impact of introduced Norway Rats on the seabirds of Kiska since 2001.
It may be hugged by a beautiful bay and misty mountains, but Kobe's roots run a lot deeper than its natural good looks. Japan's busy harbor town first opened its doors to the international trade world in 1868. As a result, the city is teeming with multicultural charm and one-of-a-kind urban experiences. Today you can snack on dumplings in Chinatown. Practice your swing on the greens of Japan's first golf course. Admire the awesome beauty of a mosque. Unwind in an authentic Japanese hot spring (onsen). And no doubt, dine in some of the most amazingly diverse restaurants in the country. Oh, and if you visit in the springtime you'll get an extra bonus - cherry blossoms!
The Malaysian port city of Kuantan is warmed by the waters of the South China Sea. It is the growing capital of the state of Pehang, the largest of Peninsular Malaysia. Travelers searching for unspoiled destinations journey here for the deserted beaches. Others come in search of colorful bitiks and delicate silver, both cottage industries passed from mother to daughter, father to son.
Kurashiki is a city in Okayama Prefecture, a few kilometers west of Okayama City. During the Edo Period, Kurashiki was a center for storing rice harvested in the surrounding, fertile regions. Literally meaning something like "storehouse town", Kurashiki was direcly administered by the Edo shogunate for its economically strategic importance. Several dozens of storehouses (kura) can still be found along a picturesque, tree lined canal in the historic city district, Kurashiki's main tourist attraction.
About 1,000 years ago, Korea was ruled by the Shilla kings and this was their capital city. Walk around this open-air museum - now a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and see the temples and palaces where the Shilla kings once worshiped and ruled.
Kyoto is considered one of the most historically significant cities in Japan. It is the only major Japanese city spared from the bombs of World War II, leaving it the country's most preserved urban area. This former capital is brimming with more than 2,000 temples and shrines, a trio of palaces and dozens of gardens and museums. It's well-preserved architecture and relics are what put Kyoto on the sightseeing map, but one could spend years exploring it's hidden treasures and still keep turning up more surprises. Once you've had your fill of temples, you can easily go for a hike in the surrounding mountains, browse the shops or best of all enjoy some of the finest food in all Japan.
Matsue is the capital of Shimane Prefecture. It is known for the original Matsue Castle, its location between two lakes and the Sea of Japan and its former resident Lafcadio Hearn. The city is also a good base to visit nearby Izumo Taisha, one of Japan's most important shrines.
Miyajima (literally "shrine island") has been celebrated as a sacred island and one of Japan's three most scenic views. It is most famous for Itsukushima Shrine, which, together with its large wooden torii (gate), stands in the ocean during high tide. Deer move around the island freely, and so do monkeys on top of Misen, the island's highest mountain. The island becomes very romantic in the evening when the tourist crowds return to the mainland and only the visitors who stay overnight stroll the calm streets in their yukata and geta, enjoying the sight of the illuminated shrine.
On Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, Muroran sits on a peninsula at the edge of an ice-free port. The industrial city offers a busy morning market and an aquarium featuring local sea life. Nearby is Sapporo, site of the 1972 Olympics and the volcanic Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
Nagaski is built on the hills surrounding a picturesque harbor. The city blends Western and Japanese cultures, a legacy of its history as Japan´s only window on the world for 200 years.
Located on the Pacific coast in the Chubu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports. It is also the center of Japan's third largest metropolitan region.
Nemuro is a city and port located in Nemuro, Hokkaido, Japan. Lake Furen is known as the lake of swans, and you can spot more than 300 kinds of birds at Lake Furen and Syunkunitai.
Okayama is the capital of Okayama Prefecture and a major transportation hub of the Chugoku Region. The city is most famous for Korakuen, known as one of Japan's three most beautiful landscape gardens.
An ancient kingdom of glittering seas, lush green islands, and fields of sugarcane, Okinawa enjoys a measured pace of life that's far removed from any hectic city routine. A sub-tropical climate keeps Okinawa pleasantly warm even when the rest of Japan is shivering, and in the scorching summer months it is a kaleidoscope of brilliant flowers, dazzling white beaches and stunning coral, making the islands perfect for diving, water-skiing, sailing and every other form of ocean recreation. Okinawa also has a proud artistic and musical tradition, and is home to many unusual and beautiful species of flora and fauna.
Osaka is the second largest city in Japan, and is known to be a friendly, easygoing city. The nigthlife is extensive and it is an excellent place for shopping. The variety and quality of restaurants is perhaps the best in the country.
Otaru is a small city of 150,000 people situated in the western part of Japan's northern island, Hokkaido. It's a far cry from the neon lights and technology driven culture of Tokyo and Osaka. This is the place where the Japanese come for their local holidays to experience the gentle, quaint and peaceful rural culture of their country. The Japanese call Otaru the 'Venice of Japan'. It's a tenuous comparison, but there are certain similarities the locals like to play up. For a start, Otaru has a lovely canal running through its centre, testament to its heritage as a thriving sea port. When sunset falls, lamps light up along the canal creating a warmly romantic atmosphere.
Korea´s "museum without walls" is akin only to China in its depth and cultural wonder. From Pusan, you can journey to this ancient Silla capital, a dynasty which reigned in Korea for almost a thousand years. Today this small provincial town is virtually a museum without walls, dotted with many splendid ruins. Nearby, the forested mountains and valleys shelter hundreds of beautiful Buddhist shrines including the renowned Sokkuram Grotto, and Tongdosa and Pulguksa Temples.
Qingdao is one of China's major cities. Located on the north east coast of China, Qingdao is well known as a very beautiful coastal city and a holiday resort in China and the world.
You wouldn't go all the way to China for beaches, but you'll find them - and spectacular ones at that - in the shoreside city of Sanya. Located on a peninsula at the southernmost tip of Hainan Island, Sanya boasts a dazzling white-sand shoreline, bright-blue surf and a colorful underwater world. The visibility of Sanya's South Sea waters and its protected coral reef accounts for its growing popularity as a dive site.
Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido and Japan's fifth largest city. Muroran, your gateway to Sapporo and the island of Hokkaido offers adventures into the Japanese countryside. Here, you´ll find volcanoes, hot springs and caldera lakes surrounded by dense virgin forests.
Sendai has a myriad of fascinating attractions for visitors from abroad; the longer you stay in the city, the more you will find. It is now the largest city in the area north of Tokyo with a vibrant population of about 1 million. It offers a wonderful urban experience for visitors.
Because of its ancient history, and in spite of numerous occupations by other countries, South Korea enjoys a distinct cultural identity - with the capital city of Seoul as its crowning jewel. This international metropolis is dotted with modern skyscrapers and sophisticated centers (like the 1988 Olympic Games complex), ancient palaces, Buddhist temples, tranquil gardens and plenty of cultural charm.
Shizuoka, with its principal seaport, Shimizu, is known as the home of Mount Fuji. This revered mountain is the most recognizable symbol of Japanese scenic beauty. Shizuoka is blessed with a bountiful natural environment, including towering mountain ranges, glimmering lakes and an eternal stretch of coastline.
Taipei is a city of opposites. There are ancient temples and neon-laden clubs. The world's tallest building and tiniest markets. The bustle of millions of people and the peace of botanical gardens. And if you are a gourmet, Taipei offers the greatest variety of Chinese food in the world. This capital of the Republic of China and Taiwan's largest city is one destination that will leave you feeling a more fulfilled person.
Takamatsu is the capital of Kagawa Prefecture, Japan's smallest prefecture. The Matsudaira Clan, relatives of the Tokugawa, controlled the former castle town and surrounding region, then known as Sanuki, during most of the Edo Period.
If you're a foreigner, Tianjin a great place to live for a few years. Prices are cheap, people are overwhelmingly friendly and laid-back, and it has all the conveniences of a big city with the atmosphere of a small town.
Even though Tokyo is among the largest, most frenetic cities in the world, it's still able to maintain a great deal of efficiency and charm. Amid the endless buzzing neon signs and the overhead cable webs, Tokyo is home to some of the world's most impressive architecture, stylish shops and 4-star restaurants. But just a short distance outside the clamor of the city is a whole different world. In the surrounding small towns and villages you'll get a glimpse into Japan's rich culture and traditions. Here you'll discover scores of wooden residential homes, ancient temples, shrines and imperial gardens. From the frenzy-filled metropolis to the tranquil bonsai-tree-lined neighborhoods, Tokyo is truly a study in delightful contrasts.
Uwajima is a city located in Ehime, Japan. In 1595, what is now Uwajima was known as Itajima village.Uwajima is home to an unusual fertility shrine called Taga Shrine, which features a large, realistic phallus carved from a log approximately 9 feet in length, 1 foot in diameter. Next to the shrine is a graphic sex museum, filled with artifacts and paintings from around the world.A mask of Ushioni, the Cow Demon, one of the many used throughout history during the bullfighting festival.The city is renowned for its bullfighting, but they differ from the more widely-known Spanish bullfights in that there is no matador. Two bulls are brought together in a ring, and fight until one bull's knees touch the ground or flees from the ring, marking it the loser.
Military secrets, spies and counterspies once flavored the atmosphere of this strategic Russian city. Long closed to Western eyes, it was a naval base during the Russo-Japanese War and today is the main headquarters for the Soviet Pacific Fleet. The city has a beautiful cathedral and fine pre-revolutionary Russian architecture. With its spectacular Golden Horn harbor, hills, beaches and cable cars, it is often compared to San Francisco.
Xiamen, also known as Amoy, is a seaside village turned international port city in the Fujian Province of China. Sure, it has the skyscrapers and the hustle-and-bustle of many larger Chinese cities, but it's also known as China's cleanest and most relaxed city. With its charming old quarter, scenic countryside, tree-lined beaches and vehicle-free getaway island, Xiamen offers a pleasant respite with all the modern amenities.
Your in-depth exploration of this bustling capital will include that mightiest of human creations, the Great Wall. You´ll gaze in awe at the imcomparable splendor of the Forbidden City, explore the serene Summer Palace and discover the Temple of Heaven with its soaring blue tiled roof.
With a backdrop of lush green mountains, sparkling blue water, and rare flowers and animals, Yakushima is an incredible place to spend a few days. It has activities for all types of vacationers; you could spend your days lying on the beaches, soaking in the hot springs, and driving to the various viewpoints. Or, if you’re an avid and active nature lover, there are also several activities to cater to your interests. There are hikes for all levels, from short paths that take you through the cedar forest and over suspension bridges, to two-day treks to the top of Mt. Miyanoura (1936m), Kagoshima’s highest peak. In the summer months, you can rent canoes and paddle down the great river that runs through the island. Yakushima also contains several flower parks and even a few waterfalls, one of which is ranked one of the Top 100 Waterfalls in Japan. No matter your inclination, there are many ways to enjoy yourself on this splendid nature island.
The Yangtze River (Changjiang), over 6,300 kilometers long, is the largest and longest river in China, and the third-longest in the world, next only to the Nile in northeast Africa and the Amazon in South America. The source of the Yangtze River lies to the west of Geladandong Mountain, the principal peak of the Tanggula Mountain chain in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, southwest of China. The river flows from west to east through provinces of Qinghai, Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu as well as the city of Shanghai, finally emptying into the East China Sea. With plenty of rainfall all year round, the Yangtze River is named the golden watercourse.
Japan´s capital, Tokyo, and its huge port, Yokohama, form a vast urban complex that reflects a unique combination of energy and orderliness. Feel the pulse of one of the world´s great cities in Tokyo´s glittering Ginza shopping and entertainment district. Or sample Japan´s timeless beauty at the city´s many temples and parks.
Zhangjiagang is located along the banks of the Yangtze River. The land surrounding Zhangjiagang is extremely fertile, with large spans of rice paddies as far as the eye can see. Many fish farms are located around the city. The city is the gateway to the ancient city of Wuxi. Located on the Grand Canal, in ancient times Wuxi became rich from manufacturing natural silk and trading its agricultural products with Beijing. Today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China for foreigners and tourists alike.