Japan

One of the world’s most fascinating yet confounding countries, Japan, ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’, is like nothing you would have experienced before – a journey here will never fail to intrigue.

Consisting of several thousand islands, of which Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu are the four largest, Japan is well spread, varied and diverse.

Split into a number of regions, each is different to the next and will provide many things to see, experiences to be had and flavours to taste.

Japan’s appetite for futuristic technology leads the world, yet its ties to ceremony and ancient ritual, ground it firmly in the past. In Tokyo, the contrast between old and new is very noticeable.

From traditional gardens surrounding ancient temples to the ultra-modern malls, extensive rail network and the new areas popular with anime and dress up themed cafes.

If Tokyo is Japan’s wild child, then Kyoto is the wise cultured grandfather. It is home to some of the finest art, crafts, culture and architecture in Japan. Appreciate the long history of this majestic country with the many varied temples and shrines.

Japan has everything to keep both seasoned travellers and first time visitors in absolute awe – be it hiking Mt.Fuji or wandering through a heritage trail in a towering castle, admiring the cherry blossom trees in bloom, meandering tranquil alleyways filled with Yakitori bars, dining in one of the many Michelin stared restaurants to staying in futuristic capsule hotels, ramen dispensing vending machines, transport that operates to the second and auto-opening toilet seats!

A safe country to explore where the locals are polite and welcoming, Japan surprises, delights and ultimately wins over everyone that spends time here.

When you are planning your trip, there are some key points to be aware of.

The best mode of transport around Japan is by rail, it’s fast, convenient and easy to use. High speed and safety are features of the Japan railway network where 300km/h Shinkansen (bullet trains) connect Tokyo with Japan’s major cities at intervals of approximately 15 minutes. The long-distance trains provide convenient access to all parts of Japan.

Rail travel in Japan is clean, very efficient and is the best way to travel between cities. Train service schedules operate on time, therefore you cannot be late if you have a specific train booked. Whilst the thought of train travel sounds daunting at first, as soon as you have done it once, you’ll soon get the hang of it.

There are no facilities to check-in any luggage on Japan trains. On the long-distance trains including bullet trains, there is a luggage space at one end of each carriage and there is some room at your feet as well as a small overhead space, therefore is highly advisable to travel light. The alternative option which also works well is a door-to-door luggage delivery service that is used by locals and tourists alike and is fast, secure and cheap. Known as “Takkyubin or Takuhaibin”, it is a means of transporting luggage from city to city and is available via your hotel concierge, many convenience stores and direct from various companies. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and delivered to your next destination, next day or even same-day.

If you are only making a few trips from city to city, Active Asia can book individual sectors for you, otherwise a Japan Rail Pass is available which cannot be purchased in Japan. This pass is true value for money and gives you either 7, 14 or 21 days of continuous travel.

Whilst there are a wide choice of hotels throughout Japan, we recommend being located close to a railway station for first time travellers to Japan. Stays near stations offer you both convenience of getting around but some are also home to larger department stores, local shops and a wide range of eateries.

The closer you are to the bigger railway stations will reflect in your hotel pricing, but the difference makes it much easier for you when travelling around and eating out.

Sightseeing tours in Japan start from a central pick-up point and end at another point, usually somewhere central where guests may continue exploring or shopping at their leisure.

On select tours, pick-ups are included from select hotels. Active Asia will endeavour to offer you these hotels, however if a hotel does not include pick-up, then you will be given a central point to be at in time for the start of the tour. Full details will be given to you on meeting location, however ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to arrive early at the departure point. If you are late, the tour will depart without you and no refund will be given.

Please ensure you collect a hotel ‘address card’ from the concierge when you arrive at your hotel, as this will assist you to return to your hotel at the conclusion of a sightseeing tour or if you are out self-exploring.

Whilst the Japanese people are extremely friendly, courteous and helpful, many do not speak much English even though English is widely taught in higher education. Therefore learning a few welcoming phrases will be warmly welcomed.

CapitalTokyo
Official LanguageJapanese
CurrencyYen
TimeGMT +3
Population127m
Power (Voltage)100
Area (km2)364,485
ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort

ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort

Okinawa Islands, Japan
Enveloped by the tranquil, blue East China Sea, this hotel combines resort-type activities with dramatic Cape Manzamo scenery. Swim in an expansive ou ...
Cross Hotel Osaka

Cross Hotel Osaka

Osaka, Japan
As a landmark hotel of the Shinsaibashi and Namba area, this hotel is conveniently located for sightseeing. Well connected, the hotel is a short three ...
Cross Hotel Sapporo

Cross Hotel Sapporo

Sapporo, Japan
five minute walk from JR Sapporo Station will lead you to this chic hotel combining sophistication, comfort and functionality. AWhether you are stayin ...
Daiwa Roynet Hotel

Daiwa Roynet Hotel

Kanazawa, Japan
This good value hotel is conveniently located close to the JR Kanazawa Station. Close to the city’s main attractions such as Sakuda Gold Leaf Company, ...
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto-Shijokarasuma

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto-Shijokarasuma

Kyoto, Japan
Conveniently located in the Shijo Karasuma area, only two stops from Kyoto Train Station. This hotel enjoys easy access to the metro line and is withi ...
Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa

Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa

Tokyo, Japan
Located in the attractive Takanawa district, this hotel is set amidst five acres of Japanese garden. A five-minute walk will see you approach shops, r ...
Hakone Highland Hotel

Hakone Highland Hotel

Hakone, Japan
Once a former residence to a baron, this hotel can be found quietly nestled in the beautiful Sengokuhara Highlands. Set amid vast, lawn-covered garden ...
Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort

Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort

Okinawa Islands, Japan
Located in Chatan, a 45 minute drive from Naha Airport, this hotel enjoys an ideal location. It is is adjacent to the Mihama American Village, an exte ...
Hilton Osaka

Hilton Osaka

Osaka, Japan
Set in the city’s business and entertainment area, this hotel is ideally located across from the main railway station and Grand Front Osaka Mall. Brig ...
Hiroshima Washington Hotel

Hiroshima Washington Hotel

Hiroshima, Japan
Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, this hotel offers a great choice of accommodation when visiting Hiroshima. This modern hotel is l ...
Hotel Granvia Hiroshima

Hotel Granvia Hiroshima

Hiroshima, Japan
The ideal place to stay in Hiroshima, this hotel is located directly adjacent to the JR Hiroshima Station, the arrival and departure point of the high ...
Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan
There is no better location to experience Kyoto and in style, than from this stunning hotel. Sitting directly atop Kyoto Train Station you have the ci ...
Hotel Granvia Osaka

Hotel Granvia Osaka

Osaka, Japan
Located in the centre of the spirited and historic city of Osaka. This hotel offers guests a sophisticated retreat and direct connection to JR Osaka t ...
Hotel Hakone Suimeisou

Hotel Hakone Suimeisou

Hakone, Japan
This Japanese-style hotel is located a three minute walk to nearby Hakone-Yumoto Station. With a stay here, choose from Japanese-style rooms, Tatami m ...
Hotel New Hankyu Osaka

Hotel New Hankyu Osaka

Osaka, Japan
This hotel is conveniently located only a two-minute walk from JR Osaka Station and directly connected to Umeda Station on the Hankyu and Midosuji lin ...
Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Kanazawa, Japan
Located in the heart of Kanazawa close to the rail station, this hotel offers a great stay. Conveniently located adjacent to the hotel is a shopping a ...
Hotel Nikko Osaka

Hotel Nikko Osaka

Osaka, Japan
This high-rise hotel faces Midosuji, the main street of Osaka and is directly connected to Shinsaibashi Station. Its centrality makes the areas of Dot ...
Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel

Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel

Kanazawa, Japan
This hotel is situated at the heart of Kanazawa, in the Korinbo district. It is just a short walking distance away from the downtown area, the Buke Ya ...
Karasuma Kyoto Hotel

Karasuma Kyoto Hotel

Kyoto, Japan
For those who love a coffee kick in the morning, this hotel is ideally located next to a Starbucks Café. Situated in the Shijo Karasuma area and only ...
Keio Plaza Hotel

Keio Plaza Hotel

Sapporo, Japan
Centrally located close to the Sapporo Station, this large hotel features an array of room categories ranging from the mere simple to the luxurious. C ...
Kyoto Century Hotel

Kyoto Century Hotel

Kyoto, Japan
Ideally located, this great value hotel is located just around the corner from Kyoto Train Station. Well-appointed guest rooms feature premium beds, c ...
Mitsui Garden Hotel Sapporo

Mitsui Garden Hotel Sapporo

Sapporo, Japan
Conveniently located within a five minute walk to the Sapporo Station, this modern hotel enjoys easy access to Sapporo’s main city sights. Be sure to ...
New Miyako Hotel

New Miyako Hotel

Kyoto, Japan
This classic hotel is just a five minute walk from Kyoto’s JR and Shinkansen Station. It offers a convenient location if you are travelling by train. ...
New Otani Tokyo

New Otani Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan
Situated away from the bustling city, this highly regarded urban hotel is surrounded by a 10-acre Japanese garden dating back to the 16th century. A h ...
Park Hotel Tokyo

Park Hotel Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan
Ideally located, this hotel is within close proximity to Shiodome Subway Station, Hamarikyu Gardens, Tsukiji Fish Market and the Ginza shopping area. ...
Ryokan

Ryokan

Japan
A ryokan (Japanese style inn) embodies the very essence of Japan and is surely the accommodation of choice if you wish to personally experience the un ...
Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel

Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel

Hiroshima, Japan
Located next to JR Hiroshima Station, a stay here gives you direct access to bus terminals. You will find yourself in the middle of the energy and exc ...
Shiba Park Hotel

Shiba Park Hotel

Tokyo, Japan
Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, navigating Tokyo will be a breeze with a stay at this hotel. This hotel is conveniently located c ...
Shinagawa Prince Hotel

Shinagawa Prince Hotel

Tokyo, Japan
With a focus on entertainment, this large hotel is a three minute walk from the bustling Shinagawa Station. Sitting within a sizeable complex, with re ...
Yumoto-Fujiya Hotel

Yumoto-Fujiya Hotel

Hakone, Japan
This Japanese-style resort hotel allows you to enjoy the traditional Japanese ryokan style of hospitality. Conveniently located just three minutes’ wa ...
A Taste of Tokyo

A Taste of Tokyo

Japan, Tokyo
Experience bustling Tokyo, it’s main sights and the iconic Mt.Fuji on this three night package, offering a great taster of this dynamic city. On arriv ...
Bento Japanese Cooking Class

Bento Japanese Cooking Class

Kyoto, Japan
Japanese cuisine is varied and offers an array of delectable delights. Learn from an English-speaking instructor about how to make delicious Japanese ...
Cape Shakotan Scenic Tour

Cape Shakotan Scenic Tour

Japan, Sapporo
Experience the majestic blue waters of Cape Shakotan, and enjoy a fresh seafood local specialty lunch. Considered as one of the best coastlines of Jap ...
Cycle Kyoto’s Back Streets

Cycle Kyoto’s Back Streets

Kyoto, Japan
Enjoy a leisurely cycle through the relatively flat back streets of Kyoto. Cycle with a local English speaking guide to see and experience the real Ky ...
Discover Nara

Discover Nara

Kyoto, Japan
Travel through the peaceful countryside and head to Nara, full of historic treasures. Visit Nara Park and Todaiji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site ...
Discover Otaru

Discover Otaru

Japan, Sapporo
Located outside of Sapporo, explore Otaru, a small harbour city with a beautifully preserved canal area. The combination of stone store houses and cla ...
Downtown Osaka & Kushikatsu

Downtown Osaka & Kushikatsu

Japan, Osaka
On this walking tour explore the Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine with a long history. Large crowds gather here on New Year’s Day for Hatsumode, with the shrine ...
Drum Tao

Drum Tao

Japan, Tokyo
Established in 1993, with the goal of entertaining the world, Mangekyo is a new entertainment show performed by Drum Tao. Drum Tao is the non-verbal e ...
Dynamic Tokyo

Dynamic Tokyo

Japan, Tokyo
Explore Tokyo’s most popular spots, enjoy a river cruise and experience a traditional tea ceremony on this full day tour. Enjoy panoramic views of To ...
Edo Kagurazaka Walking Tour

Edo Kagurazaka Walking Tour

Japan, Tokyo
Feel the spirit and history of Edo in Kagurazaka, an attractive and interesting enclave in Tokyo. FWith a local English speaking guide, be lead throug ...
Explore Hiroshima & Miyajima

Explore Hiroshima & Miyajima

Japan, Hiroshima
Tour the World Heritage Sites of Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima and Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Dome on this leisurely tour. Miyajima is a small island w ...
Explore Kanazawa

Explore Kanazawa

Kanazawa, Japan
Perfect for those new to the area, discover the popular sightseeing spots in Kanazawa, known as the Hyakumangoku castle town. Learn about the traditio ...
Explore Kyoto

Explore Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan
Discover the main sights of Kyoto including a castle, a temple and a palace. Begin with a visit to Nijo Castle, built in 1603 as an imperial palace. P ...
Explore Mt.Fuji

Explore Mt.Fuji

Japan, Tokyo
Discover Japan’s most iconic landmark – Mt.Fuji, a must-see for any trip to the golden land. Gain an understanding of the area at the Fuji Visit ...
Explore Sapporo

Explore Sapporo

Japan, Sapporo
This bus tour travels around Sapporo to popular sightseeing spots This multilingual audio bus tour travels around Sapporo efficiently to some of the m ...
Explore Tokyo

Explore Tokyo

Japan, Tokyo
Discover Tokyo’s most famous temples, shrines and gardens on this morning tour. Visit Meiji Jing Shrine and the adjacent Yoyogi Park which makes up a ...
Fushimi Inari & Sake Tasting

Fushimi Inari & Sake Tasting

Kyoto, Japan
Combine your love of sake and your love of temples on this tour. Visit Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum with its displays of traditional tools and methods ...
Ghibli Museum & Appreciation

Ghibli Museum & Appreciation

Japan, Tokyo
Dedicated to the works of Japan’s greatest animation director, the Ghibli Museum is a real treat for anyone interested in animation and films. Housing ...
Hakone Pass

Hakone Pass

Japan, Tokyo
The Hakone Pass by Odakyu Railways is a discount pass for exploring Hakone. It provides unlimited use of Odakyu-affiliated buses, trains, boats, cable ...
Harajuku Back Streets

Harajuku Back Streets

Japan, Tokyo
Step foot in Tokyo’s most fashionable neighbourhood to explore the high streets and back streets of Harajuku. On this walking tour, stroll through Jap ...
Hidden Kamakura & Enoshima Bay

Hidden Kamakura & Enoshima Bay

Japan, Tokyo
Explore the seaside town of Kamakura, just south of Tokyo. Take in the most popular sites including the Great Buddha – standing at 13.35 metres, ...
Highlights of Japan

Highlights of Japan

Kyoto, Hakone, Japan, Tokyo
Visiting the popular areas of Tokyo, Mt.Fuji and Kyoto, this tour also includes Tsumago and Magome, taking you back 400 years into towns from the days ...
Himeji Castle Walking Tour

Himeji Castle Walking Tour

Japan, Osaka
Within easy reach of Osaka, visit Himeji Castle, one of Japan’s most striking castles. As you wander around this impressive castle, learn about its fa ...
Hiroshima & Miyajima

Hiroshima & Miyajima

Japan, Hiroshima, Osaka
Discover the small island of Miyajima, home to one of the most scenic views in the country. Home to the vermillion shrine floating majestically above ...
Hiroshima Tourist Prefecture Pass

Hiroshima Tourist Prefecture Pass

Japan, Hiroshima
The Hiroshima Tourist Pass offers unlimited rides on designated transportation areas for three days. The convenient Hiroshima Tourist Pass for visitor ...
Japan’s Golden Route

Japan’s Golden Route

Kyoto, Kanazawa, Hakone, Japan, Osaka, Tokyo
This history, cultural and scenic tour of Japan covers key cities including visits to the spectacular Mt.Fuji and Shirakawago. Some body copy intro wo ...
Japan’s Grand Tour

Japan’s Grand Tour

Kyoto, Hakone, Japan, Osaka, Tokyo
Japan is blessed with a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites – on this grand tour, capture the best of Japan and explore some of these enlisted sites ...
Japan’s Noto Peninsula

Japan’s Noto Peninsula

Kanazawa, Japan
Let the idiosyncrasies of Japan reveal themselves on this eight night bicycle tour that journeys to the rustic Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan. Let ...
Kerama Island Snorkelling Escape

Kerama Island Snorkelling Escape

Japan, Okinawa
The Kerama Shoto National Park features a beautiful coral reef – on this day tour, discover some of these beautiful waters in Okinawa. Enjoy a cruise ...
Kobe & Sake Brewery

Kobe & Sake Brewery

Japan, Osaka
Famous for sake brewing, Kobe is a multicultural port city full of interesting neighbourhoods. Discover the fascinating Kitano Ijinkan district; home ...
Koyosan Sacred Site

Koyosan Sacred Site

Japan, Osaka
Get a glimpse into traditional Japanese life with a tour to Koyasan. Koyasan is where Buddhist temples are nestled amongst stunning natural scenery. S ...
Kumano Ancient Trail

Kumano Ancient Trail

Kyoto, Japan
Discover the Kumano Kodo, a network of pilgrimage routes through the southern Kansai region. Only one of two UNESCO World Heritage Listed Pilgrimage R ...
Kyoto by Night

Kyoto by Night

Kyoto, Japan
Enjoy an amazing night of culture, colour, music and cuisine. Travel to Gion corner to admire the exotic, and beautiful traditional dance of the Maiko ...
Kyoto Culture

Kyoto Culture

Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto oozes culture and on this tour, gain an insight into just a small piece of what’s on offer in this city. Begin with a visit to Kenninji Temple, ...
Kyoto Sagano Bamboo Grove

Kyoto Sagano Bamboo Grove

Kyoto, Japan
With Mt.Arashiyama as the backdrop, take a relaxing walk through the Sagano Bamboo Grove accompanied by an English-speaking guide. Visit the temple ga ...
Kyoto’s Temples & Shrines

Kyoto’s Temples & Shrines

Kyoto, Japan
This popular tour visits temples and shrines of different elegance – an ideal showcase of Kyoto’s special features. Visit Heian Jingu Shrine, with its ...
Miyajima & Mt.Misen

Miyajima & Mt.Misen

Japan, Hiroshima
On this day tour, visit Miyajima Island, home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Itsukushima Shrine. The Itsukushima Shrine has more than 1,400 year ...
Mt.Fuji & The Takayama Heritage Trail

Mt.Fuji & The Takayama Heritage Trail

Kanazawa, Hakone, Japan
This four day tour showcases the stunning Mt.Fuji with a stay in Hakone followed by stays in the historic countryside towns of Takayama and Kanazawa. ...
Nakasendo Trail

Nakasendo Trail

Kyoto, Japan, Tokyo
Explore one of Japan’s ancient highways – the Nakasendo Trail. Linking Kyoto to Tokyo during Japan’s feudal period, it was the ‘road through the ...
Nikko World Heritage

Nikko World Heritage

Japan, Tokyo
Located 150km from Tokyo, in the Tochigi prefecture, discover Nikko and its natural wonders. Learn about the history with a visit to the Spiritual Nik ...
Okinawa 3 Day Bus Pass

Okinawa 3 Day Bus Pass

Japan, Okinawa
This great value bus ticket allows you to get around Okinawa easily. Enjoy three days of unlimited rides on the Ryukyu Bus line, Naha Bus Line, Okinaw ...
Osaka Local Kitchen Markets

Osaka Local Kitchen Markets

Japan, Osaka
Japanese cuisine has been receiving attention since its inception into the World Heritage List. On this walking tour, explore two large shopping areas ...
Osaka Wonder Loop

Osaka Wonder Loop

Japan, Osaka
Osaka Wonder Loop offers fun hop on hop off sightseeing by open-top double-decker bus. Enjoy panoramic views from the open-top bus as you travel at yo ...
Osaka Your Way

Osaka Your Way

Japan, Osaka
This great stopover package will enable you to get some respite from your journey and enjoy key sights of Osaka. With return Airport Limousine Bus ser ...
Robot Cabaret Show

Robot Cabaret Show

Japan, Tokyo
Get a kick out of the newest craze in Tokyo! Discover the out-of-this-world entertainment of a robot show with flashy neon lights and dance music. A p ...
Scenic Japan

Scenic Japan

Kyoto, Japan, Tokyo
This tour highlights the most popular areas for a first time or short visit to Japan – starting in undoubtedly one of the most exciting cities i ...
Shirakawago & Gokayama

Shirakawago & Gokayama

Kanazawa, Japan
Gokayama, all in one day. Visit the gassho-zukuri thatched roof farmhouse villages and see how they differ from the more common traditional Japanese h ...
Shirakawago & Takayama

Shirakawago & Takayama

Kanazawa, Japan
Visit both Shirakawago and Takayama on this day tour. Begin with Shirakawago, situated at the foot of Mt.Hakusan in north western Gifu prefecture. It ...
Sumo – Japan’s National Sport

Sumo – Japan’s National Sport

Japan, Tokyo
Experience the thunder of sumo. Traditionally a male sport in Japan, sumo is competitive full contact wrestling where a rikishi (wrestler) attempts to ...
Takayama Heritage Trail

Takayama Heritage Trail

Kyoto, Kanazawa, Japan
Head inland on this great tour to visit the impressive Takayama and Kanazawa area including the Samurai residences; a real insight into old and tradit ...
Tea Ceremony Experience

Tea Ceremony Experience

Japan, Tokyo
A tea ceremony celebrates the ‘Way of Tea’ and is a choreographic ritual of preparing, serving and drinking matcha, powdered Japanese green tea. A tea ...
The Best of Kyushu

The Best of Kyushu

Kyushu, Japan
Offering a different perspective of Japan, away from the main city centres, enjoy a four day tour that covers the best route in southern Kyushu. De ...
Tokyo - Hop On, Hop Off Bus

Tokyo - Hop On, Hop Off Bus

Japan, Tokyo
Go sightseeing anywhere you like with a Hop On, Hop Off Pass. Explore Tokyo at your own pace and visit the sights that interest you the most. This one ...
Tokyo After 5

Tokyo After 5

Japan, Tokyo
On this fantastic evening tour, indulge in Tokyo’s vibrant food culture, one of the many reasons why people flock to the Japanese capital. Sample some ...
Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland

Japan, Tokyo
Escape the city for the day as you discover the most magical place in the world. Tokyo Disneyland is the place where all your childhood fantasies and ...
Tokyo Skytree & Asakusa

Tokyo Skytree & Asakusa

Japan, Tokyo
Tokyo is big and Tokyo is spread out. With a variety of different neighbourhoods, on this tour, drive by Tokyo’s most renowned sights including the Im ...
Tokyo Your Way

Tokyo Your Way

Japan, Tokyo
On this free and easy package, explore Tokyo at your own pace with the convenience of a hop on hop off pass and return shared shuttle Tokyo Airport tr ...
Tokyo’s Best Cherry Blossom

Tokyo’s Best Cherry Blossom

Japan, Tokyo
Admire the cherry blossom season – Japan’s most popular attraction. A photographers dream, with thousands of stunning white and pink cherry blossom tr ...
Tsukiji Fish Market & Sushi Workshop

Tsukiji Fish Market & Sushi Workshop

Japan, Tokyo
Experience the famous Tsukiji Fish Market then learn how to make sushi with a professional sushi chef. Tsukiji is regarded as one of the world’s large ...
Universal Studios Japan™

Universal Studios Japan™

Japan, Osaka
Spend a day at Universal Studios Japan. Experience a surreal world of magic, happiness and exciting attractions. Occupying an area of 39 hectares, the ...

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