My first trip outside of the US was to Japan in 1993. It was a 3 1/2 week visual feast of new sights, sounds, and food. We traveled from one end of the country to the other via the rail system, riding the Shinkansen, as well as local lines, seeing Sapporo, Miyako, Tokyo, Nara, and many other towns and villages.
We returned to Japan in 2004 and traveled by rail from Tokyo to Kyoto and points beyond. Kyoto was a treasure with the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, the Arashiyama Monkey Park, and other cultural and historic sites.