Japan feels more like a different planet than a small archipelago of volcanic islands in Asia. High-tech skyscrapers contrast with naturally beautiful landscapes and high-end fashion juxtaposes traditional kimonos. In Tokyo you will experience energy like nowhere else, the streets are busy, the traffic chaotic. But slow down and you’ll find tranquil temples, shrines and gardens lurk around each corner. Kushiro is known as the city of mist and provides a gateway to the spectacular Akan National Park. The volcanic peaks, thick forests and crystal clear lakes are sublime: this peaceful haven provides a much-needed respite from the crowds. Visit in spring to see the iconic cherry blossoms adorning the whole country. Sushi, sake or Tempura seafood are just some of the obvious delicacies on offer with plenty more unusual treasures to explore.