Japan’s enchantment undeniably lies in its beautiful landscapes, epic historical past and distinctive tradition. In addition to touring to Japan to view the nation’s many unbelievable points of interest, why not add a number of out-of-the-ordinary experiences to your itinerary?
Our Journey Coordinators have entry to heaps of improbable insider experiences, which might all assist add an additional layer of authenticity and enjoyable to your Japan tour. From atmospheric music demonstrations and classes in creating attractive gold leaf designs to journeys to fantastic wasabi farms, listed below are our high picks for delving deeper into the tradition of Japan.
Take pleasure in a Taiko drum expertise
The Taiko drums are synonymous with Japanese music and there are few higher locations to immerse your self of their hanging sounds than Kyoto! Plan a visit to a Taiko Dojo (follow corridor) to not solely take heed to them being performed by specialists but in addition to find out how the drums are made.
You’ll additionally get an opportunity to play the taiko drums your self beneath the useful steering of an skilled. Uncover the rhythmic patterns of the music and have a go at recreating them your self! You’ll ultimately be capable to carry out a full piece, accompanied by the chanting and shouting that’s typical of Taiko music.
After your musical expertise, why not enterprise to the Nishiki Evening Market the place you’ll spot dozens of stalls serving up all kinds of fragrant and mouth-watering dishes particular to Kyoto and the encircling area?
Be taught the traditional artwork of Ikebana from a grasp
Whilst you would possibly by no means have heard of Ikebana earlier than, you’ll undoubtedly know what it’s! It’s the follow of Japanese flower arranging and Kyoto is, once more, one of the best place to expertise it due to the very fact it’s the birthplace of Ikebana.
Japanese flower arranging differs from flower arranging you may need seen in Europe on account of its meditative methods and 4 main ideas: stability, concord, motion and freshness. This enchanting expertise led by a neighborhood information will see you studying the sacred craft from an skilled. Watch your trainer display earlier than having a go your self at creating a powerful floral centerpiece.
Your Ikebana expertise will conclude with a standard Japanese tea ceremony the place you’ll have an opportunity to quiz your host all concerning the artwork kind. For individuals who need to proceed their zen expertise in Kyoto, a visit to the Shunkoin Temple ought to be on the playing cards, too. It’s a breath-taking Buddhist temple relationship again to the sixteenth century which sits inside the metropolis’s largest temple advanced.
Touring to Japan’s picturesque wasabi farms
Filled with taste and recognized for its usually eye-watering spicy kick, wasabi is a typical accompaniment to sushi and sashimi. If you happen to’re intrigued to see precisely the place this sizzling root comes from, touring to Japan’s Nagano Prefecture within the coronary heart of the nation is important.
Matsumoto is the proper place to base your self within the area. The historic metropolis isn’t solely a beautiful vacation spot in its personal proper due to its dramatic mountain setting and sumptuous fortress, but it surely additionally lies inside minutes of considered one of Japan’s main wasabi manufacturing areas. The fertile land advantages from the freshwater of the close by Japanese Alps, making it a first-rate place for rising wasabi and a wide range of different crops.
Take a tour of one of many farms, the place you’ll be capable to see precisely how wasabi is grown and pattern some scrumptious wasabi-flavored treats. The mountainous area can be best for extra lively guests who need to slot in some hikes and even go snowboarding! If you happen to’re considering snowboarding Japan’s well-known powder snow, you’ll discover one of the best time to go to Japan is between December and February.
Get in contact together with your religious facet on the Shitaya Jinja shrine
Many individuals need to expertise Japan’s religious facet. In addition to discovering concord in its landscapes or at lesser-known gems, visiting a shrine akin to Shitaya Jinja is a superb solution to take pleasure in just a little peace.
You’ll uncover this tranquil vacation spot sandwiched between Ueno and Asakusa, two of Tokyo’s hottest vacationer districts. Take pleasure in a break from the buzzing metropolis and step foot contained in the temple advanced throughout a personal, regionally guided expertise.
The shrine is devoted to the goddess of fertility and fortune, Inari, and also you’ll be capable to witness an historical ritual – full with bell ringing and clapping – happen inside. Earlier than you enterprise in although, wash your fingers within the reservoir within the gardens and take a second to admire the shrine’s conventional structure.
After the ritual, you’ll have the prospect to meditate, pray or lay down choices. There may also be a possibility to ask the shrine’s priest any questions concerning the Shinto faith and obtain a blessing earlier than you proceed touring to Japan’s different districts.
Stroll round attractive gardens and create gold leaf artwork in Kanazawa
Kanazawa sits on Honshu Island’s northwest coast and it’s the situation of considered one of Japan’s most stunning and celebrated gardens.
Kenrokuen boasts a splendid array of winding pathways, tinkling fountains (together with the oldest in Japan!), mini waterfalls, historical teahouses and charming bridges which crisscross over peaceable stretches of waters. There’s additionally enchanting woodland stuffed with cherry timber and pine timber, in addition to a big stone lantern on the backyard’s very coronary heart.
A guided tour of Kanazawa is not going to solely provide the probability to absorb the unmatched perfection of those superb gardens but in addition uncover the historic Nagamaki District which was as soon as house to the town’s samurai warriors. Afterwards, you’ll be capable to familiarize yourself with one of many metropolis’s most well-known crafts – the artwork of gold leaf.
Kanazawa is famed for its artifacts adorned with glittering gold leaf. Create your very personal masterpiece – whether or not that’s a lacquered plate or some chopsticks – lined in skinny, glowing gold leaf to take house as a shocking memento out of your Japan tour.
Deal with your style buds with a ramen tour in Fukuoka
For these touring to Japan who’re eager to discover past the most important cities, a visit to Fukuoka ought to be on the agenda. The previous harbor metropolis in southern Japan will see you exploring an eclectic mixture of historical temples, towering skyscrapers, good-looking castles and tranquil gardens.
Fukuoka additionally has a really distinctive cultural scene, from its Mentai rock music (which first turned well-liked within the Nineteen Eighties) to its many museums and festivals. You’ll additionally uncover that the town is dotted with high-end ateliers promoting stunning silk kimonos which look extra like items of artwork than gadgets of clothes!
A serious spotlight of any journey to Fukuoka needs to be its meals. Town has no scarcity of fantastic noodle homes and yatai (Japanese avenue stalls) the place you possibly can slurp your manner by means of quite a few bowls of scrumptious ramen. Why not uncover among the finest throughout a guided meals tour led by a neighborhood skilled? Dine at among the finest spots in Fukuoka, together with the yatai that are arrange each evening alongside the Naka riverfront.
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