Rising sun: Back to the best of Japan


The uncertainty of the pandemic years was challenging if you were hoping to travel to Japan. With the country closed to tourism for years, it was hard to know when you’d be able to go back, and what the country would be like when you could.

Luckily, what makes Japan such a breathtaking destination hasn’t gone anywhere. Truly timeless in its appeal, this incredible country has a long list of greatest hits to beckon both first-timers and repeat visitors.

Now that the country is open again, we’ll revisit the best of Japan – the traditional culture, the exquisite cuisine and amazing outdoor adventures, and highlight why the country should be at the top of your bucket list yet again.

Kusatsu Onsen Otakinoyu Awaseyu Partition Baths 1 - Hai Huynh.jpgFor the ultimate in relaxation, book a ryokan in an onsen town and hop from one glorious hot spring to the next © Hai Huynh / Lonely Planet

Staying in a Ryokan and Relaxation at Japanese Onsen

Stepping into a ryokan feels like you have truly arrived in Japan. The welcoming smell of tatami, the shuffle of slippers down the halls, and traditional yukata robes to look the part. If you want quintessential Japan all in one package, a stay at a ryokan is hard to beat.

Here you can experience Japanese omotenashi (hospitality) at its finest. Think being served tea in your room upon arrival, having your futon magically made for you while you’re away at dinner, to multi-course kaiseki meals, a taste of what gives washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) its place on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

shutterstock_editorial_778718878.jpgStepping into a ryokan feels like you have truly arrived in Japan © Ekaterina McClaud / Shutterstock


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