One of the highlights of visiting any country is meeting the people, in this regard Japan is a standout. Even if their English is basic, they will always go out of their way to help you, as I found when I was trying to decipher a map in Osaka and a street cleaner offered me assistance.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
The main sights in Hiroshima are clustered around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, a poignant reminder of past horrors. The cost of entry to the museum is minimal. The museum is also a popular site for school excursions, where students are able ask survivors questions in the museum gardens.
Efficient Public Transport
Tokyo is not the cacophony of noise one would expect from a city of its size. The extensive metro system is easy to use with all signs in English. Women travelling during rush hours are welcome to use the 'female only' carriages which are equipped with bright pink straps to hold on to if you can't get a seat. The easiest way to get from Narita to downtown Tokyo is to use the hotel limo buses, which drop off at all the main hotels and cost around ¥3,000.
Japan Rail Pass
The Japan Rail Pass will pay for itself even if you only take a couple of journeys. Trains are sleek, punctual to the second, and seat reservations are free with the pass too. Reservations are highly recommended for any Japanese holiday. If you need a snack or drink, well-stacked trolleys are wheeled throughout the trains by immaculately dressed assistants who bow as they enter your carriage.
Meals in Japan are not as pricey as perceived. Stick to where the locals eat and you can't go wrong. Food is delivered speedily and presented beautifully, even in places teeming with office workers on their lunch breaks. The speciality of the Osaka region is 'okonomiyaki', a pancake with fillings of your choice, cooked over a griddle in front of you by chefs dressed in spotless white outfits.