I'm just back from honeymoon in Japan and have written a short review for your perusal. We took about 900 photos in the 2.5 weeks we were out there so a few were always bound to come out ok All shot on a Panasonic Lumix compact.
As you can imagine, the centre of Tokyo is clean and ultra-modern. Wide roads mean that it never seems that busy but the train stations are always packed (and we didn't try them during the rush hour). The building below is the International Forum, a conference centre in the heart of downtown Tokyo.
And this one is the Fuji TV building on Odaiba, a man-made island in Tokyo Bay:
This is the view from the veiwing platform at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building:
But in between all the modern concrete, steel and glass you can get a feel for the Japan of old. There is always a little shrine or traditional shop tucked away in a back street. This shrine isn't so little but is incredibly peaceful, despite being in the heart of Tokyo:
From Tokyo we took the bullet train to the Hakone region where apart from having some great scenery and views of Mt Fuji, gives a good feel of rural Japan. You can just about make out Fuji:
We stayed in a traditional Japanese inn called a ryokan, where the bedroom floor is covered in tatami (bamboo) mats and you roll out futon mattresses and sleep on the floor. Food was provided - the photo below is a typical meal with umpteen different dishes including rice, miso soup, pickles, fish (some raw, some cooked) and the speciality here which was thin slices of meat which you cook yourself in the soup dish over the burner.
This city was probably the highlight of the trip for us. Full of shrines, gardens, museums and traditional shops and restaurants, Kyoto really gives you a flavour of what Japan must have been like over the past 500 years. Here's a typical street scene:
And the two most impressive shrines, the Golden Pavilion and the Fushimi Inari shrine:
Japanese gardens are something to behold. They vary from the Zen rock gardens, which are quite literally lumps of rocks on a large gravel bed to some incredibly meticulously landscaped affairs made to look like the natural environment. This one has a raised bed and cone made of loose gravel/sand. The temptation to put a footprint in it was almost too much to bear.
And this is a man-made moss garden:
Here's a typical Kyoto street at night:
From Kyoto we flew up to the island of Hokkaido. This large island is very sparsely populated and is covered in green fields and volcanic mountain ranges. We got lucky with our timings as we saw some of the best autumn colours of the season. We hired a car for this part of the trip and drove across Hokkaido stopping at various national parks along the way.
The main downside is that the exchange rate at the moment makes Japan a very expensive place to visit. However, the people were very friendly and polite, the scenery was spectacular and the cities offer a great variety of new and old buildings to visit. English signage and information is excellent making it very easy to get around. Overall, I can't recommend Japan enough. Oh, and they make watches too