Japan appeals to different people for different reasons. Some visit for the history or the food. Many stay for the martial arts, while others keep coming back for a dose of manga, anime and video-game culture. Still others come to enjoy the land — the huge span of scenery from the north of Hokkaido to Okinawa in the southwest, and the sharp changes such places undergo with the revolutions of season.

Outdoor activities such as hiking and cross-country trekking are popular in the summer and autumn, and often go hand-in-hand with landscape photography, as the scenery tends toward breathtaking.

Just over 70 percent of Japan is mountainous, and each of the main islands has at least one range. Most of Japan's mountains are heavily forested, too, which makes for no end of prime hiking trails.