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Six Inspiring Places to Visit in China and Japan

China and Japan promise much and disappoint rarely. From the iconic peaks of Mount Fuji to sleek designer boutiques on Shanghai’s Bund, these countries are more than capable of charming even the most jaded traveller.

There are myriad interesting sites and experiences to be had in both Japan and China – here’s a pick of six of the best:

Hiroshima

This fascinating city is the one of the largest in Japan and forever remembered as the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear bomb. As an important port town, Hiroshima was devastated by the US army when they dropped the nuclear bomb, killing upwards of 140, 000 people. The city has since been rebuilt although interesting remnants of the bombing remain in the form of shrines and dedicated sites. Visit Hiroshima offers a selection of historical sights to see during your stay – a beautiful, yet sombre cultural visit.

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Hong Kong

It’s a term thrown at many cosmopolitan cities the world over, but Hong Kong truly is a melting pot of cultures. The deep natural harbour has long made it an important port, with thousands of tourists visiting through the gateway every year. Hong Kong is famous for its strikingly expansive skyline and cultural sites, including peaceful monasteries and nunneries, which are a great place to head to when the unrelenting pace of HK life takes its toll.

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Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji’s snow-capped peaks, usually seen in photographs framed by boughs of cherry blossom, are one of the world’s most iconic sights. Perhaps the most beautiful way to approach Mount Fuji is from the sea on a clear day as the active volcano is reflected in the waters as it grows over the horizon. Cruise1st are currently offering a trip around northeast Asia, which visits Mount Fuji.

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Shanghai

With the largest population of any city in the world (24 million as of 2013), Shanghai is fast becoming one of the world’s foremost tourist destinations. Exploring the city over a few days reveals beautiful secrets amongst the fast-paced hustle and bustle including the stunning Yu Garden and The City God Temple.

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Tokyo

Top of many people’s bucket list is Tokyo – the fast-paced capital of Japan and was voted ‘Best Overall Experience’ by TripAdvisor. Art lovers will love the Tokyo National Museum, which houses 37% of the county’s national treasures, while foodies should make the most of the city with the most Michelin -starred restaurants in the world, including the famous Sukiyabashi Jiro ( Barack Obama is a fan).

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Small Qingdao Island

Small Qingdao Island, in Shandong province, is the perfect way to spend a few relaxing hours on an island comprised of just a park, a few cafes and a simple white lighthouse. Be sure to navigate around the island at dusk when lights illuminate the island, creating a beautiful effect. The unspoilt island plays host to a unique flora including oriental cherries, roses of Sharon and green peaches.

 

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