Why We Love Japan
Geisha girls, a Shiatsu massage, karate, sushi, cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji are some reasons why we love Japan.
Banryutei Rock Garden at Kongobu-ji TempleExperience spiritual peace at the Kongobu-ji Temple’s Zen meditation garden, located on Mount Koya. The temple’s modern Banryutei rock garden in Japan’s largest, with 140 granite stones arranged to suggest a pair of dragons emerging from clouds to protect the temple. 960 1280
Acura/HondaWe love American-made automobiles, but we also love Japanese manufactured cars, like Acura, the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Honda Motor Company. And this will get your motor revving; Honda has been the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959. 960 1280
Yokohama ChinatownYou can’t leave Japan without Yokohama Chinatown, the largest Chinatown in Asia and 1 of the largest in the world. There are roughly 250 Chinese-owned/themed shops and restaurants scattered throughout the district. You’ll be shocked to know that only a few Chinese people still live in Chinatown with a population of about 3,000 to 4,000 people. 960 1280
Mori Art MuseumExplore Japan’s top tourist attractions, including the Mori Art Museum (pictured), Tokyo Tower, Tokyo National Museum and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Osaka and Kyoto are also our favorite Japanese cities; so, make sure you add these exciting destinations to your travel itinerary if you’re planning a trip “The Land of the Rising Sun.” 960 1280
Shiatsu MassageWe love a relaxing Shiatsu massage. Shiatsu is a type of alternative medicine consisting of finger and palm pressure, stretches and other massage techniques. Practitioners believe it’s a good way to help people cope with issues such as stress, muscle pain, nausea, anxiety and depression. 960 1280
Tokyo's Akihabara DistrictThe Japanese have always been a leader in cutting-edge technology, and what better place to visit than Tokyo’s Akihabara District to check out or buy some of the hottest, high-tech gadgets in the world. Looking for designer fashions, visit Tokyo’s Shibuya District if you’re looking for designer fashions; or go shopping for traditional Japanese crafts at the Japan National Craft Center in Tokyo. 960 1280
Japanese Tea CeremonyNothing beats the pomp and circumstance of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony also called the Way of Tea. This cultural activity involves the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. And we can’t turn down a good, soothing cup of green tea. 960 1280
Sumo WrestlingSumo wrestling is a competitive full-contact sport that originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally. We admire the brute strength of the wrestlers and their ability to force their hefty opponents out of the circular ring, or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet. 960 1280
Cosplay at Nipponbashi Street FiestaWhat’s not to love about dressing up in fun costumes? We marvel at the popularity of Cosplay. Participants dress up in costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Comic books, anime, graphic novels and video games are often sources of inspiration. 960 1280
Imperial PalaceWe enjoy learning about Japanese royalty and their history. Visit Tokyo and see the remarkable Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. Built on the site of the old Edo castle, include the main palace, private residences of the imperial family, an archive, museum and administrative offices. 960 1280
30 St. Mary Axe30 St. Mary Axe in London's Financial District is also known as the Gherkin for its striking resemblence to a small cucumber by the same name. Its 41 floors opened in May 2004, and it became Britain’s most expensive office building when it sold in 2007 for 630 million British Pounds. 960 1280
The Chang BuildingThe Chang Building in Bangkok, Thailand, is hard to miss, and because of its resemblance to a pachyderm, it has become more commonly known as the Elephant Building. Completed in 1997, the Chang Building is made up of 32 floors and seven ifferent sections, including a recreation area with a swimming pool and a shopping plaza. 960 1280
Zizkov Television TowerIt doesn't get much stranger than the Zizkov Television Tower in Prague. Standing at 709 feet tall, the building features six observation pods with the highest offering a panoramic view of Prague at 328 feet. Crawling baby sculptures by Czech artist David Cerny were added to the sides of the tower in 2000 as a temporary installation, but were kept permanently after the public expressed their admiration of the art. 960 1280
Kingdom CentreKingdom Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was completed in 2002 and houses a Four Seasons hotel, apartments and a shopping mall. The bridge across the top is open to the public with an observation deck offering stunning views, and the space below the bridge glows at night, with differently-hued lights filling the space. 960 1280
Longaberger Home OfficeWhile maybe not technically a skyscraper, the Longaberger Company's headquarters in Newark, Ohio, deserves a spot on this list since it doesn’t get much wackier than designing your office after your best-selling product. The founder of the company wanted all of his subsequent offices to be shaped like baskets, but his daughters vetoed the idea. 960 1280
Torre VelascaIn Milan, Italy, the Torre Velasca was built in the 1950s, making it part of the first generation of modern architecture in the city. So it wouldn't be too much of a sore thumb on the skyline on Milan, the architecture is influenced by medieval fortresses and towers -- a modern interpretation of the Italian castles of yore. 960 1280
Taipei 101At 101 stories and 1,667 feet, the Taipei 101 in Taiwan was the world's tallest structure until being beat out by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Despite this defeat, the skyscraper was awarded the LEED Platinum certification, making it the tallest green building in the world. 960 1280
Suite VollardThe Suite Vollard is a residential building in Brazil named after the Picasso collection of etchings called the Vollard Suite. It may not look that wacky, but it happens to be the world’s first spinning building, with each floor rotating 360 degrees each hour, giving residents an ever-changing view. 960 1280
Coachella Valley Music & Art FestivalThe three-day festival known as the Coachella Valley Music & Art Festival is held for two weekends in April in Indio, California. Past performances have featured Madonna, Paul McCartney, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix and Arcade Fire, to name a few.
Pitchfork Music FestivalA Chicago summer staple, the Pitchfork Music Festival brought its music to Paris in 2011. The two-day festival took place in La Grande Halle de la Villette with more than 20 bands and DJs providing the entertainment. This year's festival takes place in its usual location, Union Park in Chicago. 960 1280
Cape Town International Jazz FestivalThe Cape Town International Jazz Festival has grown exponentially since its launch in 2000. The festival brings over 40 international and local artists together, making it "Africa's Grandest Gathering." 960 1280
Festival Internacional de BenicassimThe Festival Internacional de Benicassim, better known as FIB, is a four-day long festival in Benicassim, a small Spanish beach town located between Valencia and Barcelona. Ranging from electro, pop, indie and rock, the music starts at night and goes on through the morning. 960 1280
Bonnaroo Music and Arts FestivalThe four-day festival features a wide variety of acts and occurs each year in Manchester, Tennessee. Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z have all performed in the past.
Austin City Limits Music FestivalEach year, 70,000 people come to Austin, Texas, for this three-day festival that now takes place over two weekends in October. ACL features over 130 different acts from all over the world. Shown here, Flosstradamus performs on the Miller Lite stage at Zilker Park. 960 1280
Glastonbury Festival2015 marked the 45th anniversary of what has become the largest music festival in Europe. Glastonbury is held on Worthy Farm in Somerset during June. Coldplay, the Who, Neil Young, Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder have all performed here. 960 1280
LollapaloozaHead to Chicago's historic Grant Park for a three-day, ultimate jam session featuring artists from a variety of genres, including alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip-hop. Lollapalooza usually takes place in late summer.