When you think of Japan, what comes to mind? Perhaps it's visions of of the popular film Lost in Translation, or images of the notorious monster Godzilla. Either way, you'll likely picture a big city. And as home to the largest capital city in the world, Japan certainly doesn't disappoint on that front.
Tokyo's transportation systems are world class, and that of many of its other main cities not far behind. Millions of people pass through Tokyo's major train stations each day, and yet the city keeps on running, peacefully and on time.
One thing that may surprise you when you come to Japan is the fact that even its major cities feel so safe. Japan is a notoriously safe country, and even in the midst of buzzing areas such as Shinjuku and Shibuya in central Tokyo, you'll find that there is a sense of security everywhere, with police boxes (koban) on many corners in case anybody needs help.
You'll also likely be surprised by the convenience of everything. Whereas London is a 10am - 8pm city, with shops starting late and closing just after work hours, Japan is truly 24/7. This means all-night restaurants, convenience stores, manga cafes, game centres and more... You may find you have no time (or inclination) to sleep! It's like one giant playground, just waiting to be discovered...
To find out what to expect from Japan's major cities, in terms of experiences, shops and design, see below.