WorldWiseAthlete.com | Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2016

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Introduction

In the shadow of Mt. Fuji, the cultural traditions of emperors, shoguns, geishas, and sumo wrestlers blend with the more modern popularity of nightlife and dining. The young and the old feast on sushi, teriyaki, sukiyaki, tempura, and sashimi, while they wash down these delicacies with green tea and sake as they take-in trendsetting Tokyo nightlife. Welcome to Japan, a land of incredible contrasts where tradition meets modernity.

Introduction to Japan

After its defeat in WWII, Japan recooperated to become a strong economic power as well as an ally of the United States. The country's economy has seen unprecedented growth over the past few decades, thanks in part to Japanese ideals of a strong work ethic, coupled with a mastery of high technology. In fact, Japan ranks as the second most technologically powerful economy after the United States. One thing that makes Japan so unique is that it successfully retains its Eastern culture, but employs Western technology at the same time. Japanese technology is so advanced that the country owns nearly 60% of the world's largest, most advanced producers of automobiles.

While Japan is geographically smaller than the state of California, its economy ranks as the third largest in the world after the United States and China respectively. With the incentive of lifetime employment, a large percentage of laborers in Japan's economic system have job security. Crop yields, which are among the highest in the world, help to propel Japan's economic and trade success. In addition, Japan boasts one of world's largest fishing fleets, which proves capable of catching roughly 15% of the world's fish.

Traditional Japanese martial arts, tea ceremony, flower arranging, calligraphy, culinary art, and even social interaction grew from this sense of order and method. Look for shop assistants elaborately counting your notes or rail staff solemnly checking the platform before departure. You'll see that ceremony is second nature and influences almost every aspect of the culture.

The nation maintains its connection to nature and ceremony through its temples, art, traditions, festivals and its fresh, local food. The country only opened its doors to trade in the mid-19th century and then absorbed foreign influence rapidly. Yet there remains a traditional spirit in all aspects of life; each time you visit will be a little different but it will always be uniquely Japanese. The country will seem even more exciting as it welcomes guests from all over the world and makes the Olympics a special experience.

Taken from StudentsAbroad.com – Why Study in Japan

Each section provides some background information and useful links to help you make the most out of your time in Japan:

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