Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with dense cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Shinkansen bullet trains connect the main islands of Kyushu (with Okinawa's subtropical beaches), Honshu (home to Tokyo and Hiroshima’s atomic-bomb memorial) and Hokkaido (famous for skiing). Tokyo, the capital, is known for skyscrapers, shopping and pop culture.
Korea is a region in East Asia; since 1945 it has been divided into two distinct sovereign states: North Korea and South Korea. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets. Notable attractions include futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a convention hall with curving architecture and a rooftop park; Gyeongbokgung Palace, which once had more than 7,000 rooms; and Jogyesa Temple, site of ancient locust and pine trees.
Taiwan, 180km east of China, is known for modern cities, traditional Chinese temples, hot springs resorts and dramatic mountainous terrain. Taipei, in the north, has a number of busy night markets, as well as Chinese Imperial art at the National Palace Museum. Taipei 101, a 509m-tall, bambooshaped skyscraper with an observation deck, rises above the city.
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