Tsukuda district, Tokyo

Exploring Japan: Distinctly Different Destinations

December 05, 2008
by findingDulcinea Staff
Japan, the beautiful island nation in the Pacific Ocean, feels ancient and modern at the same time. Think of Tokyo, the bustling city known for its bright screens of advertisements covering the sides of buildings and people moving in a dozen directions. Less known are the hundreds of islands scattered off the coast of mainland Japan, providing an opportunity for quiet contemplation and discovery. Get a taste of Japan's apparent contradictions through gorgeous photos available online.

Must-See Mainstays

Yahoo Travel presents a slideshow of photos from Tokyo, Japan and provides resources and tips on traveling to Tokyo. Find nearly 200 excellent photographs collected from around the Web that provide a peek into Tokyo's varied features, such as the futuristic Tokyo Tower, cherry blossoms at the Shinjuku-gyoen Garden, the trendy Ginza district and a giant Buddha statue of Kamakura. You’ll also find weather information, maps and recommended hotels, restaurants and things to do.
Outdoor Japan, an excellent Web resource for anyone interested in learning more about Japan, offers live Webcam broadcasts. Watch the days and nights pass at some of Japan's best-known destinations, such as Mount Fuji, Lake Shirakaba and the city of Sapporo. The site also offers an extensive archive of columns and features on people and landmarks in well-known places and obscure corners of the country. Don’t miss the site’s stunning professional photographs, which capture the beauty and variety of Japan.

Off the Beaten Path

For a taste of something quite different from the hustle and bustle of urban Tokyo and the usual tourist stops, head over to the The New York Times Travel section for a slideshow and article on Japan's Yaeyama islands, a picturesque archipelago that few foreigners know about. Part of the Okinawa chain scattered off of southwest mainland Japan, the Yaeyama islands are far removed from the historic wartime battles that characterize Okinawa--and provide a home for a fiercely independent culture.
Visit Greenpeace's site to explore the flora and fauna of Japan and some of the projects the environmental organization is involved in there, such as a coral reef off the coast of Okinawa. Learn what a U.S. military base means for the wildlife in the area, and how the local people have responded. There are three great slideshows with brief captions that provide insight into the region, its people and Greenpeace's role in the area.

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