Taipei is Taiwan's premier city, a bustling hotbed of culture, history, and development. Dominating the skyline is the massive Taipei 101 building, a remarkable edifice built to resemble a trunk of bamboo, and to symbolise the country's emerging modernity.
Mt Seoraksan, ‘Snow Crag Mountain’, is Korea’s third-highest peak and its coldest area, with abundant wildlife, impressive rock formations and ancient temples protected by the country’s benchmark national park.
Hi-rise, hi-tech, hi-speed Seoul, the South Korean capital, is a city racing towards the future at a dizzying pace, though one whose cutting edges are softened with a handful of old relics and delightful natural spaces.
Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japan’s four major islands and has a wild, remote feel, with large swathes of national parks, forest, mountain ranges, gorges, sparkling caldera lakes and wide, open pastures.
Shikoku is an island located to the south of Kansai. Accessible from the main island of Honshu via several bridges or by boat, the region offers a change of pace from the excitement and adrenaline rush of Japan’s major cities.
Soak up the heady atmosphere of Shingon Buddhism at this monastic complex high on the Kii Peninsula’s Kōya-San mountain plateau, inland from Osaka, where numerous shrines, temples and lichen-covered cemeteries nestle amid the forest.
The Kii Peninsula – ‘Kii-hantō’ in Japanese – is a mountainous region southeast of Osaka that’s little explored by foreigners, but which boasts a fabulously wild coastline and some beautiful pilgrimage sites hidden in the cedar forest.
Second only to Kyoto as a storehouse of traditional Japanese art and culture, Nara was the country’s first fully fledged capital and remains one of its premier visitor destinations, with a brace of World Heritage sites.
Kyoto is the place to come to see geishas, tea ceremonies, and museums and temples packed with ancient art objects. A bastion of traditional Japanese culture, it’s quite simply one of the world’s most captivating cities.