Japan as dense in culture, history and heritage as its cities are dense with modern high rise buildings, shops and hotels. Visiting Japan is a must! Here are things to do for an authentic Japan experience.
Must See And Do Experiences Of Japan
There is a magnitude of history, heritage and culture to emerge yourself in, not to mention some unique experiences you don’t want to miss! Tokyo is a must, of course, but there’s so much to see beyond the city.
You may have heard of the Hanami Festival (Cherry Blossom Festival), Jidai Matsuri Festival, bullet train, Mount Fuji and the floating Torii Gate, but have you ever experienced any of these?
“Listen with your heart, learn from your experiences, and always be open to new ones” – Cherokee Proverb.
Traditional Tea Ceremonies
Girls can start training from as young as 15 years old, for many years in the art of traditional tea before being allowed to perform the tea ceremony. Did you know that there are a number of set choreographed movements and that these must be completed in a set order? Tea was first introduced to Japan in the 9th century. It was seen as being a mastered skill, while tea was rare and an expensive commodity. Then in the 13th century tea began to increase in popularity with the Samurai Class and seen as a health benefit. Today enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in a ion-an (tea hut) or chashitsu (tea room).
A Real Authentic Japan Experience: Dress up like a Geisha
Dressing up as a Geisha was one of my favorite highlights of authentic Japan experience. Where else in the world can you experience a small portion of being a Geisha? There is a lot of art, tradition and skill to being a Maiko or Geisha. Did you know that it can take several hours for a real Geisha to have her hair done? Then afterwards she sleeps on a wooden block? I can only imagine how uncomfortable this must be. You can select what experience you would like from the basic, including a few portraits to the more complete package, including a walk around the traditional Gion quarter.
A totally unique experience not to be missed!
Walking Around A Zen Garden
The Shukkeien Landscape Garden located in Hiroshima, was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. Today you can see the garden which has been recreated with great accuracy. Enjoy the beautiful circular tour around Takuei Pond, with over 10 decorative islands of small recreated scenes including mountains, valleys, bridges and forests.
A heavenly retreat, not to be missed!
The traditional art of Kabuki Theatre started in 1603, when a new style of dance drama was performed in the dry river beds of Kyoto.
Today you can visit the Kabuki – za in Ginza, Tokyo to experience the traditional art of Kabuki. Tickets can be purchased at a small booth, by the entrance to the theatre. The whole performance can take many hours, so we opted to see a portion or a named act, which was performed over two hours. The production was very dramatic, with elaborate costumes and make up. You should take plenty of refreshments including water as the theatre can get very hot.
An experience you will never forget.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this week’s blog, on what not to miss in Japan. Don’t forget to share! As always I would love to hear from you. If you have any comments/questions please leave them below. Happy Travels:) x