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Top luxury hotels in Japan

If there ever was a land where opposites exist in zen-like harmony, Japan would be it. From geishas to cosplayers, ancient Shinto shrines to modern temples of hedonistic pleasure, the island nation exists as if in a time warp, where the past, present, and future come together in spectacular fashion.

Culture, food, nature – it’s all there for the taking, with the Japanese art of hospitality – omotenashi – ingrained deep in the culture. Other traditions are very much alive here too. Festivals are celebrated with fervor and poetic customs such as the flower viewing activity of hanami are enjoyed across the land.

​Two of the country’s most visited destinations are Tokyo and Kyoto – anagrams they may be, but the two cities also represent different sides of the same coin. One – a capital city with in-your-face pop culture and more Michelin-starred eateries than you can shake a yakitori stick at. The other – a land frozen in time, with awe-inspiring temples, atmospheric teahouses, and traditional geishas.

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