matsumoto castle in japan

Nowhere on the planet do the modern and the ancient coexist more harmoniously than in Japan. Kimono-clad ladies chatter on futuristic phones while blurring by on the fastest trains in the world; thousand-year-old Zen temples are dwarfed by seas of skyscrapers; and neon signs are reflected in flooded rice paddies studded with green. Here, the future and past are like roommates in a Tokyo-sized apartment, sharing a space that seems too small for either but which miraculously accommodates both in a harmony that could only be Japanese. Endlessly fascinating and fascinatingly foreign, enigmatic Japan is a culture irresistible to Westerners, one that hits you like a sumo wrestler at full tilt.

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