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Japan's history is evident at every turn, whether it's a venerable Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine, a museum housing samurai swords or intricately detailed ceramics, or one of Japan's many festivals with its profusion of costumes, ancient rituals, and throngs of joyous crowds. Feudal-era castles still rise from their massive stone foundations, while Japan's exquisite gardens, many of them former noble-class retreats, are visual commentaries of what nature can achieve under generations of skilled master gardeners.
Two of Japan's most famous forms of entertainment, sumo wrestling and Kabuki performance, are like time capsules to the country's past, so little have they changed over the centuries. Other cultural pursuits with strong historic ties include the country's unique forms of flower arranging and the tea ceremony. But for visitors, nothing conveys Japan's past better than the country's many traditional inns, renowned for their impeccable service, regional cuisine, and refined beauty.
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