I was lucky enough to be able to visit Japan in may of 2004.(having a father that works for a Japanese Airline always helps too).
Before I say anything else, I should tell you that as much as I love to travel and want to see everything, I really really dislike flying. It sounds absurd coming from someone who's flown as much as I have, but its still true. I still get nervous on take-off and I hate jet lagg.
I met my father in Frankfurt, Germany and from there we flew directly to Tokyo. Up until that point, my longest flight had been 9 hours trans-atlantic (north america-europe). Frankfurt-Tokyo was a 12 hour flight. I came off that day-long flight, and landed in a country that was a day ahead in time. Needless to say I was pretty disoriented.
The Trip was amazing, a couple of days in Tokyo, taking the highspeed "bullet" train through Osaka to Kyoto. Seeing the memorials and history of Hiroshima and spending a night on the island of Myajima in a traditional "reyokan". Kyoto was my favourite part of the trip. It is more southern than Tokyo and had palm trees! The pace was slower and the people seemed less stressed compared to Tokyo. The Photo at the top is taken at the Golden Pavillion in Kyoto. One of the most magnificent places in the world.
Japan has so much history and culture and it was a completely different experience than anything else I had ever seen.
Stay tuned for a detailed profile of the rest of my top 10 favourite places.