54 imagesOne of Japan's major attractions, Nikko's temples and shrines from the Edo period and the mausoleums of the Tokugawa Shoguns are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
98 imagesThe world's most populous metropolis, Tokyo was a small castle town in the 16th century known as Edo. It became Japan's political center when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his feudal government there. After World War II, the city transformed itself into a huge, wealthy and fascinating metropolis bringinging high-tech visions of the future side by side with glimpses of old Japan.
100 imagesOne of Tokyo's biggest and most popular festivals, the Sanja Matsuri takes place in honor of the three founders of Senso-ji, the city's oldest, and one of its most important temples, and to signify the start of summer. The festival events are spread over the course of three days during the third weekend of May, culminating on Sunday when three large mikoshi, carrying the spirits of the three founders of the Senso-ji (enshrined in the next door Asakusa Shrine) are paraded around to bring good luck and prosperity to residents and businesses. It also features nearly a hundred neighborhood mikoshi from the 44 districts of Asakusa, of these, several are solely carried by women or small children. The festival attracts about 2 million visitors every year.