The first-time visitor to Japan arrives with a lot of baggage, including the cultural variety. All those preconceptions we have about a place like Japan which, from a distance, can seem intense yet calm, modern yet traditional, compact yet spacious.
Maybe it's all these. Just think: Boys Love Manga and woodblock prints. Maid cafes and geisha tea houses. Anime and kabuki. Bullet trains and rickshaws. Crowded cities and serene villages. Hamburgers and sushi.
But the biggest thing confronting the first-time visitor is the unknown...
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