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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

GUIDE Japanese Anime & Manga A brief look into two of Japan's biggest cultural exports

Covering a range of themes and content, both anime and comics are popular across generations and around the world

"Japonism," a boom in the popularity of all things Japanese, started after a presentation at the 1867 World Expo in Paris. Quickly sweeping through Europe, ukiyo-e paintings became an inspiration to Impressionist painters. And now in the 21st century, worldwide attention has shifted its focus to anime and comics, the contemporary versions of these 19th-century ukiyo-e prints.

Japanese comics (manga)

Developing apart from American comics and French “bandes dessinées,” Japanese comics are enjoyed by kids and adults, men and women alike. They cover a range of themes, including sports, school life, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, war and even social issues of the day. Manga artists and writers are considered of the same status as more traditional authors. Still known and read to this day, “Astro Boy” and “Sazae-san” are two of the first popularized and widely-published comics of the modern age.

Japanese anime

Developing alongside the comics culture, anime has been continuously evolving to produce more refined stories with both adult and child themes. You don't have to look further than “Pocket Monsters” ("Pokémon") or “Dragon Ball” to see the worldwide influence anime has had. And don't pass by Studio Ghibli's many masterpieces, including Oscar winner “Spirited Away.” Check out “Kimba, the White Lion,” “Paprika” and “Akira,” and see if you can't spot the similarities to “The Lion King,” “Inception” and “Looper.”

The fans

When discussing anime and comic culture in Japan, you can't overlook the most fervent fans, the otaku. People who can be described by this moniker have exhaustive knowledge about the subject matter and are always on the lookout for related products. But perhaps even more importantly, otaku engage in creating and expanding on the universes of their favorite properties. They write and illustrate expansions and side stories to their favorite comics. They enjoy cosplay (dressing as their favorite characters) and exchanging tips on how to make their costumes better. And above all, they just enjoy spending time immersed in their favorite worlds and stories, by themselves and with like-minded fans.

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