Huge department stores brim with shoppers, neon flashes from dusk to dawn, and the entire world pays heed to the slightest fluctuation on the Nikkei Index. From the Imperial Palace and Meiji Shrine to the fabled Ginza district, 20th-century Tokyo is an intriguing composite of East and West. Yuppies sporting Walkmen bow formally in greeting. Women in kimonos and Dior suits stroll side-by-side. Geishas play samisens while disc jockeys play the Top Forty. Japanese houses of wood and paper stand in the shadow of towering steel and mortar. Not far away, one of the world's most impressive sights soars 12,388 feet to its snow-clad peak: Mount Fuji, the majestic symbol of Japan.
Kyoto, as publicized in guidebooks and travel magazines, is a very special city in Japan. In Kyoto, the past still lives on in nearly 2,000 shrines and temples, six historical preservation districts and an abundance of beautiful natural scenery. Through close connections with other forms of culture such as the tea ceremony and performing arts and festivals, textile, dye, ceramics, 'sake'-brewing, fans, dolls, and lacquerware industries, which were supported by imperial, religious and political rulers throughout Kyoto's history, continue to thrive as they were passed down through generations. Kyoto's technological prowess continues to attract worldwide attention. Also, Kyoto is also known as a center of educational and research. It is therefore no surprise Kyoto became the first city in Japan to emerge as a major convention destination and continues to be unrivalled in its popularity. Kyoto has preserved and continues to develop those factors which make it the ideal convention destination: history, culture, tradition, academics, technological progress, accessibility and professional experience in conference management.
Kanazawa's importance grew in the 15th century, when the powerful and militant Ikko sect established its new headquarters there after being chased out of Kyoto by the monks of Mt.Hiei.
During the Edo Period, Kanazawa was the seat of the Maeda clan, the second most powerful clan after the Tokugawa in terms of rice production and fief size. Accordingly, Kanazawa grew to become a town of great cultural achievements, rivaling Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo).
In World War Two, Kanazawa was Japan's second largest city (after Kyoto) to escape destruction by air raids. Consequently, parts of the old castle town, such as samurai, temple and pleasure districts, have survived in pretty good condition.
Kanazawa is capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, a prefecture along the Sea of Japan.
Takayama is a settlement located in the heart of the Japanese Alps in the Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. Also known as Hida-Takayama, this city beautifully preserves traditions of both Old and New World Japan. It was first inhabited primarily by carpenters from the Jomon Period (12,000 BC) who worked on the Imperial Palace in Kyoto and many temples of Kyoto and Nara. During the turn of the 16th century, Takayama’s Kanamori clan built the Takayama Castle enforcing control of the entire Hida Province. A hundred years later, feuds between the Japanese military government and Tokugawa shogunate dwindled and the Tokugawa shogunates claimed Takayama isolating them from the rest of Japan. Over a 300-year period, Takayama developed its own culture. In Takayama, visitors can experience the grace of Old Japan, participate in the Spring and Autumn festivals and witness the change of seasons amongst exotic floras and cherry blossoms, stroll through the temples and former castles, and relax in hot springs of the Japanese Alps.
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