Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossoms Spots

Climb the 3776 meter Mount Fuji, an icon of Japan.

Take a walk amidst thousands of cherry blossoms in Yoshino

Ascend Mount Aso to see one of the world's largest calderas

Visit the snowy peaks of the country's largest national park, Daisetsuzan.

Climb the 2446 stone stops of the holy Haguro mountain through an amazing primeval forest.

Soak in the hot springs of Japan's Onsen Capital, Beppu.

Go River rafting in some of the last wild rivers in Japan in the Iya Valley

Ski the world famous powder of Hokkaido or in the Japan Alps.

Overnight in one of the holy temples of Mount Koya.

Although mostly unknown to western tourists, Japanese tourists collect hanko stamp prints from places they have been to. Many temples, museums, and most train stations throughout Japan have a unique stamp, which is a nice and free memory from your trip in Japan. Simply ask the staff where the stamp is: Stampu-wa, arimasu-ka?.

Japan Flight Adventures

Explore the skies of Japan - helicopter tours, skydiving, paragliding and much much more!

The Tokyo region generally offers the widest array of jobs for foreigners, including positions for lawyers, accountants, engineers and other professionals. To work in Japan, a foreigner must receive a job offer from a guarantor in Japan, and then apply for a working visa at an embassy or consulate outside the country. Working visas are valid for a period of 1 to 3 years, and may be used to secure employment at any employer within the scope of activities designated on the visa including employers other than the guarantor. Expect strict penalties if you overstay on any visa. Spouses of Japanese nationals can obtain spousal visas, which carry no restrictions on employment.

The Working Holiday program is open to young citizens between 18 and 30 from Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK: those eligible may apply for working holiday visas without having a job offer.

The most common form of employment among foreigners is teaching English, especially in after-hours English conversation schools known as eikaiwa 英会話. Pay is fairly good for young adults, but rather poor compared to a qualified educator already at work in most Western countries. Working conditions can also be quite strict compared to Western standards, and some companies have very bad reputations. An undergraduate degree or ESL creditation is essential for most desirable positions. For the larger chain English schools most teachers would have been interviewed in their home countries before coming to work in Japan. Learning English is no longer quite as fashionable as it once was and the boom years are long since over. North American accents tend to be preferred over other accents. Recently there has been greater emphasis on children's education. Besides English, other foreign languages that are popular include Portuguese, French, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese.

The JET Program Japan Exchange and Teaching offers young university graduates a chance to teach in Japan. The program is run by the Japanese government but your employer would typically be a local Board of Education who assigns you to one or more public schools, often deep in the countryside. No Japanese skills or formal teaching qualifications are required and your airfare is provided. Pay is slightly better than the language schools and, unlike at such a school, if you have a serious problem with your employer you can appeal to the JET program people for help. The JET program also has a small number of positions for international relations or sports co-ordinators, although these require some Japanese ability.

Foreigners with postgraduate education may be able to find jobs teaching English or even other subjects at Japanese universities, which offer better pay and working conditions than the eikaiwa industry.

Quite a few young women choose to work in the hostess industry, where they entertain Japanese men over drinks in tiny bars known as sunakku スナック and are paid for their time. While pay can be good, visas for this line of work are difficult if not impossible to obtain and most work illegally. The nature of the work also carries its own risks, notably poor career prospects, alcoholism, smoking, potential problems from clients such as groping and lewd questions, and even harassment or worse, exemplified by the abduction and murder of hostess Lucie Blackman in 2000.

Meditation. Many temples in Japan offer English instruction for meditation.

Many youth exchange programs bring foreign teenagers to Japan, and the country also has a number of very active university exchange programs. In order to obtain a student visa, you will be required to either have one million yen, or the equivalent in financial aid awards, to cover your living expenses. With a student visa, you may obtain an additional permission form from Immigration to legally work up to 20 hours per week. Contact your local Japanese embassy or home university's exchange program department for information on how to proceed.

University of Tokyo

The cheapest way to stay in Japan for a longer period of time is to study at a local school or university with a generous Monbusho Ministry of Education grant to pay for it all. A number of Japanese universities offer courses taught in English; some foreign universities also operate independent programs in Japan, the largest being Temple University's multi-faculty campus in Tokyo. Japan's top universities are also very well regarded worldwide, though the downside is that degree programmes are almost always conducted exclusively in Japanese. Nevertheless, many of them have exchange agreements with other foreign universities, and you can apply to go on exchange for a semester or a year. Among the most prestigious are the University of Tokyo, Waseda University and Keio University in Tokyo, as well as Kyoto University in Kyoto.

minimum wage

Minimum wage laws are under the authority of the parliamental government. The minimum wage in Japan is currently at INT$11.00 an hour, and employess are not allowed be paid less than the minimum wage. Also, the cost for commuting, extra pay such as working on holidays, at night, overtime, etc. and temporary pay bonus, tips, etc. must be paid additionally and cannot be used to calculate towards minimum wage