Because Japan is quite popular and many have visited it before, I've heard how amazing it is from virtually everywhere. However, I tried not to make any assumptions or get too excited as I wanted to avoid the disappointment I'd experienced while visiting some other overhyped destinations. That's the reason why I was not that thrilled before going there - which seemed pretty strange among my friends. Indeed, I get way more excited when traveling to totally weird places like Azerbaijan, Greenland or Turkmenistan rather than to those that everyone's talking about.
And how did Japan turn out? It both surprised us in the best possible ways and also shocked in others. But it was an amazing adventure, totally worth it! The nature is absolutely stunning - diverse, lush green and - you might be surprised, but most of the southern islands (Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu) have a subtropical climate (despite the famous four Japanese seasons). Don't miss the cherry blossom - in the posts below you can find one place where we believe is the best spot ever to admire this natural phenomenon - take a look if you're planning to see it!
Japanese culture and architecture is also magnificent. Just perfect for photographers - Japan is one of the most photogenic places in the world thanks to the mix of great architecture and beautiful natural scenery.
The cities are also fascinating - our favorite are Hiroshima and Osaka - a bit less touristy and less exhausting than massive Tokyo. During our 2-week stay, we managed to see multiple places in the main islands (except the northern Hokkaido) as well as the Okinawa island which boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in Japan.
Have a look at the articles below to find some inspiration on what to see and learn what what surprised us: