Japanese culture has evolved greatly over the years, from the country's original Jomon culture to its contemporary culture, which combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America. Traditional Japanese arts include crafts (ikebana, origami, ukiyo-e, dolls, lacquerware, pottery), performances (bunraku, dance, kabuki, noh, rakugo), traditions (games, tea ceremony, Budo, architecture, gardens, swords) and cuisine. The fusion of traditional woodblock printing and Western art led to the creation of manga, a typically Japanese comic book format that is now popular within and outside Japan. Manga-influenced animation for television and film is called anime. Japanese-made video game consoles have prospered since the 1980s. Japanese music is eclectic, having borrowed instruments, scales and styles from neighboring cultures. Many instruments, such as the koto, were introduced in the ninth and tenth centuries. The accompanied recitative of the Noh drama dates from the fourteenth century and the popular folk music, with the guitar-like shamisen, from the sixteenth. Western music,
introduced in the late nineteenth century, now forms an integral part
of the culture. Post-war Japan has been heavily influenced by American
and European modern music, which has led to the evolution of popular
band music called J-pop. Karaoke is the most widely practiced cultural activity. A November 1993 survey by the Cultural Affairs Agency found that more Japanese had sung karaoke that year than had participated in traditional cultural pursuits such as flower arranging or tea ceremony.
Japanese Travel - "Month of No Gods"
Top Cities to Visit in Japan
There are many interesting destinations to see in Japan - here are just some options in Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo
Yen (JPY; symbol ¥). Notes are in denominations of ¥10,000, 5,000,
2,000 and 1,000. Coins are in denominations of ¥500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and
Note: Japan has a strong cash culture, and
it is usual to see people carrying large amounts of cash with them
because of the low crime rate. It is only recently that credit cards
have begun to become more popular. However, travellers may still
encounter difficulties with foreign credit cards.
All money must be exchanged at an authorised bank or money changer.
Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs
Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and other major credit cards are
widely accepted in towns. ATMs are available with many branches of the
Post Office and 7-eleven stores having ones that accept
foreign cards. Otherwise, only international banks accept foreign
credit or debit cards, and these are hard to find outside of major
cities. They are generally open Mon-Fri 0700-2300, Sat-Sun 0900-1900,
though some only operate during normal banking hours and on Saturday
mornings. Citibank machines are the most likely to have ATMs, and also to accept foreign credit cards (and are usually open 24 hours).
can be exchanged at most major banks, larger hotels and some duty-free
shops. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are
advised to take traveller's cheques in Japanese Yen or US Dollars.