By Vee Smith
Known as the "Land of the Rising Sun" Japan is a country where the past meets the future. Japanese history stretches back thousands of years, yet the latest modern fashions and trends have originated or been taken up by the Japanese. Japan has undergone periods of openness and isolation throughout its history, yet despite this, Japanese culture has retained many native Japanese customs.
Japan is an island situated in the Pacific Ocean. Its nearest neighbours are Korea, China and Russia. Almost 99% of Japan's population is of Japanese ethnicity.
Renowned for their politeness, the Japanese are thrilled to have visitors to their country. They will always offer to help you particularly if you look lost and bewildered.
Japan enjoys four seasons and if you've a flexible travel schedule then the best time to go to Japan is Spring or Autumn. Spring time in Japan occurs in March to April. The temperatures are warm but not too hot and there's not much rain.
Autumn starts in September and temperature and humidity are more tolerable, although the southern parts of Japan are more vulnerable to typhoons in early autumn.
Summer starts in June with the rainy season and by July/August, the humidity and heat of 40 deg C turns Japan into a steambath. The best place to be then is the northern Hokkaido or the mountains of Chuba and Tohoku where it's a bit more bearable.
Winter is great time for skiing or hot-spring hopping. However, beware as some buildings don't have central heating, so it can be miserably cold indoors. Best to head south to Okinawa. For skiing, head to Hokkaido and northeast Japan, but be prepared to be blasted by cold Siberian winds.
The Pacific coast of Honshu, where most of the major cities are located does have milder winters than the Sea of Japan coast. Although just an hour travel apart, it may be snowing in Kyoto yet sprinkling rain in Osaka!
As a UK passport holder you can visit Japan for up to 90 days without a visa. However, you must carry your passport with you at all times. It's not uncommon for random checks to be made and if you haven't got it with you, you could be detained until someone can fetch it for you!
There are three main airports in Japan, Narita Airport (NRT) near Tokyo or Kansai Airport (KIX) near Osaka or Chubu International Airport (NGO) near Nagoya.
Although a significant distance from their respective city centres, they are well linked by rail and bus.
Japan has two major airlines, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways. British Airways flies to Japan from the UK and many other cities.
The way to get the best flight deals is to book early. Another tip is to sign up for the airlines loyalty programmes. As a loyalty card holder you'll be given the opportunity to take advantage of a wide range of offers that aren't available to the general public.
Visit all the travel websites and they will show you all the offers from the major airlines and you'll save yourself a heap or money and time.
Author - Vee Smith - holiday and travel flights deals finder enthusiast
For more information on how to save on flights and holidays to Japan visit my website travel flights deals.