The crazy toilets topped our list and gave us an hour of unparalleled laughter and fun! In sharp contrast, is the tea ceremony: Apart from the all-important matcha tea itself, other key aspects of the tea ceremony include those quintessentially Japanese features such as traditional calligraphy on a hanging scroll, flower arranging, and clothing. The many rules and steps involved in chanoyu embodies what today is known as “slow living”: an intensely aesthetic, artful experience where food and drink are savoured slowly, objects and interiors are admired thoughtfully, and people behave respectfully and reverently. There’s no better way to experience classic Japan than by staying in one of the country’s thousands of traditional Japanese inns (ryokan). Shibuya is a sea of childlike pastel clothing and nostalgic toys...bowing is performed when you’re saying hello and goodbye, thanking someone, apologising, congratulating and asking for a favour...not to bow is considered impolite not to return a bow to the person that has bowed to you. A fascinating country....

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Japan: Kyoto

Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu. It's famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district.

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Japan: Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding woods. The Imperial Palace sits amid large public gardens. The city's many museums offer exhibits ranging from classical art (in the Tokyo National Museum) to a reconstructed kabuki theatre. Buzzing Harajuku is renowned for colourful street art and youth fashion, with quirky vintage clothing stores and cosplay shops along Takeshita Street.

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