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Although Japan has often been seen in the West as a land combining tradition and modernity, and juxtapositions definitely exist, part of this idea is obsolete, and is a product of Japan being the first major Asian power to modernize as well as Western patronization and heavy promotion by the travel industry.
These juxtapositions mean you may often be surprised and rarely bored by your travels in Japan.Due to that, Japan is now full of contrasts between the still alive tradition and much cherished heritage and the ultra-modern infrastructure, buildings and facilities.The country's numerous airports and the world-renowned shinkansen high-speed train system allow easy entry and convenient transport.While the Japanese are known to be reserved and their language skills are not their strongest asset, they will go out of their way to make you feel a welcome visitor.Japan is conventionally divided into nine regions, listed here from north to south: Okinawa Semi-tropical southern island chain reaching out toward Taiwan; formerly the independent Ryukyu Kingdom until it was annexed by Japan in 1879, its traditional customs and architecture are significantly different from the rest of Japan.Archeological evidence, however, has only managed to trace the Imperial line back to the Kofun Period (古墳時代) during the 3rd to 7th centuries CE, which was also when the Japanese first had significant contact with China and Korea.
Japan then gradually became a centralized state during the Asuka Period (飛鳥時代), during which Japan extensively absorbed many aspects of Chinese culture, and saw the introduction of Mahayana Buddhism and Confucianism.
In the 20th century, Japan enjoyed impressive economic growth, putting it among the world's most affluent nations today.
This was mostly driven by rapid modernization and specialization in high technology in particular.
Japan's sophisticated cuisine has spread to all corners of the world by means of sushi (and the less-sophisticated instant ramen noodles), but it is only in the country of its birth where you can truly appreciate its true form.
Even more fascinating is the country's popular culture, which has developed a fandom all over the world, in particular the manga comics and anime cartoons - with the Japanese taking their affinity to their favorite characters and themes to the extreme.
It's comparable with the relationship between Britain and the rest of Europe, but with a much wider channel.