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Why Japan Is Travel + Leisure's 2018 Destination of the Year

Travel + Leisure logo Travel + Leisure 11/14/2018 Andrea Romano
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Think about what you look for when you’re deciding on the perfect travel destination. Is it rich history? Cultural experiences? Lots of delicious food or shopping opportunities? Comfortable and unique places to stay? Or, perhaps, you just want to go somewhere with truly breathtaking views that you can’t get anywhere else in the world.

Guess what? You can find all of this and more in Japan.

The last year has been tumultuous for many countries worldwide, but particularly for Japan. The so-called Land of the Rising Sun has weathered some not-so-sunny natural phenomena. Between typhoons, landslides, and earthquakes, it’s miraculous to see how Japan keeps bouncing back.

But there’s more to Japan than just its resilience. Travelers across the globe love to visit the country for its fabulous natural spas, or even its quirkier relaxation offerings like baths of beer, red wine, or even ramen for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Tokyo in particular, while being a fast-paced and dynamic city on its own, is also one of the major fashion capitals of the world, with hundreds of distinctive shops, impressive designer stores, and street fashion that is recognized for its creativity and individuality the world over. Plus, it practically goes without saying that the rich, cultural history and delicious food are the key reasons why people want to visit this special country in the first place.

And finally, Japan’s gorgeous cherry blossoms and festivals are occasions everyone simply must see in their lifetime.

Thanks to Japan’s bustling cities, beautiful countryside, and whimsical experiences, travelers keep coming back for more. That's why we decided to make the country our 2018 Destination of the Year.

As you’re making travel plans for the year ahead, be sure to add Japan to your list, whether you've already been there or not. There's always more to see.

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