Japan is a country of striking contrast: ancient tradition and modern development. Most homes have Buddhist or Shinto shrines and public shrines are numerous throughout the country. The people are friendly and accepting of foreigners but few speak English, the common denominator in so much of the developed world. While their public and home gardens are so extraordinary and peaceful, their transportation systems are both extraordinary and chaotic.
Japan is the only nation to suffer the use of nuclear weapons. This catastrophic event shapes our vision of modern Japan and its people. Hiroshima's surviving relics of nuclear holocaust and museums extolling peace remind us of the complex and fragile world we inhabit.