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  • Japan: Deferred destination - 1 of 9

    Japan: Deferred destination

    Japan's tourism industry has long dragged far behind the levels one would expect of the world's third-largest economy. But the country is taking steps to become more visitor-friendly. Zuiganji temple in Matushima is closed until 2018 following damage from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. But smaller temples on its grounds, like the one pictured, remain open. Photos by Johanna Jainchill; posted June 5, 2012.

  • Japan: Deferred destination - 2 of 9

    Japan: Deferred destination

    Two Buddhist monks at the Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima, a coastal city south of Sendai severely damaged by the tsunami, hold a sign that says, "Go forward Matsushima."

  • Japan: Deferred destination - 3 of 9

    Japan: Deferred destination

    Another temple in Matsushima.

  • Japan: Deferred destination - 4 of 9

    Japan: Deferred destination

    An island in Matsushima Bay, home to 260 islands.

  • Japan: Deferred destination - 5 of 9

    Japan: Deferred destination

    A cherry tree about to blossom in front of the castle tower in Hirosaki's Castle Park, host to the nation's largest cherry blossom festival.

  • Japan: Deferred destination - 6 of 9

    Japan: Deferred destination

    A bridge in Hirosaki's Castle Park.

  • Japan: Deferred destination - 7 of 9

    Japan: Deferred destination

    A pedestrian mall in downtown Sendai.

  • Japan: Deferred destination - 8 of 9

    Japan: Deferred destination

    A fish cake vendor in Sendai.

  • Japan: Deferred destination - 9 of 9

    Japan: Deferred destination

    An artisan at a museum showcasing the history of cherry-tree bark crafts.

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