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Traditional homes lend historic charm to Takayama, where locals celebrate centuries of heritage at twice-yearly festivals. Hiking, mountaineering, and other fresh-air activities are beloved pastimes here, spurring an appetite for rich local foods that range from fried hida beef to charcoal-grilled rice.
Tradition collides with pop culture in Tokyo, where you can reverently wander ancient temples before rocking out at a karaoke bar. Wake up before the sun to catch the lively fish auction at the Toyosu Market, then refresh with a walk beneath the cherry blossom trees that line the Sumida River. Spend some time in the beautiful East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, then brush up on your Japanese history at the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Don’t forget to eat as much sushi, udon noodles, and wagashi (Japanese sweets) as your belly can handle.
The island of Miyako-jima is home to beautiful beaches, perfect for sunning, swimming and snorkeling. When you’re sun-spent, migrate to the Miyakojima City Tropical Plant Garden to marvel at over 1,500 species of exotic tropical plants. Toast your travel companions with Japanese shochu while you nibble on specialty soba noodles.
We're guessing they don't have a werewolf problem in Koh Phangan, because every month on the full moon, thousands of people take part in the Full Moon Party's all-night festivities, including music on the beach. By day, you'll find a lovely island with coconut trees and plenty of sandy white beaches. If you're a diver, visit Sailrock for a spectacular wall dive.
Home to ultra-cool vegan cafés, beach bars, and boutiques, Canggu is a hipster’s paradise. The black sand of Echo Beach contrasts starkly with turquoise Indian Ocean waters, which are invariably peppered with surfers enjoying some of Bali’s best waves.