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We're more than Tokyo, Japan tells tourists

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At the turn of the last century, the Michelin guides were created to promote travel outside Paris (and increase demand for tires!). Now, Japan's ministry responsible for tourism and transport is trying a similar idea by publishing seven regional sightseeing routes.

 

Concerned that most travelers never get past Tokyo and Mt. Fuji, the ministry offers information on area attraction from north to south. The routes will be promoted by the Japan National Tourism Organization, and it's expected that they will start turning up in the catalogues of private tour vendors. Most of the routes take advantage of Japan's high-speed "bullet train" network.

 

Among the routes are trips around Hokkaido in the north for national treasures, Deep North of Japan, including areas in Akita and Fukushima prefectures, an itinerary centered around Kyoto and another around the Inland Sea.

 

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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Tokyo can be a very intimidating  city for a traveler because of it's massive and crowded metro system and it's lack of English speakers. I think that's why more people don't venture out past the tourist sights in Tokyo.

If you want a thing done, ask a busy man.

A few simple items to remember when transiting Tokyo ...    In Tokyo, JR/Subway maps are available for the asking (FREE from the station attendant) with stations listed in either English or in Japanese.   Get a copy of both.      Have someone write your destination in Japanese.   When approaching someone on the street with a "Please direct me towards xxxx" written in Japanese I have ALWAYS been given good directions. (A mix of English and Japanese does NOT often work)  This includes traveling solo in rural areas where I have often been the only non Japanese person in town.  "JR deska ?"  will get me pointed  to the nearest train station.    Remember - if I can get lost, then I can get found.   

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