Top 20 Ways to Immerse in Today’s Japan

Ever wanted to check out Japan; not sure where to go or what to do?  Here is our list of the top 20 ways to immerse yourself in Japan:

  1. Explore the Grandeur of Mt. Fuji on a Bullet Train The Shinkansen, or “bullet train”, is unmatched in design, comfort and speed. At 186 mph, these trains allow ease of intra-country transportation with the awe of futuristic design and amenities of first-class travel.
  2. Experience Traditional Accommodations Stay overnight at a Ryokan and experience the tranquil minimalism of Japanese luxury. Built with only 10-20 rooms, these “inns” pride themselves on impeccable service and cuisine that highlights only the finest seasonal delicacies.
  3. Hit the Powdered Snow Some of the best powder in the world can be found in Japan’s mountainous terrain. With a season starting from early November and going through May, sports enthusiasts will have plenty of time to explore more than 550 ski slopes.
  4. Scuba Dive in Okinawa If it’s a warmer climate you desire, look no farther than Japan’s southern-most island, Okinawa. Scuba dive in the 78-degree water to the Yonaguni Monument, a peculiar underwater ruins of pyramids, then explore the 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the island
  5. Enjoy Relaxing In a Hot Spring Take a dip into the natural hot springs throughout Japan, considered the best in the world. The natural minerals of these onsen are thought to have restorative properties, preventing illness and bringing about the equilibrium of a healthy body.
  6. Inspiring Architecture For thousands of years, Japanese builders have endeavored to incorporate the natural world into structures, an aesthetic that remains paramount even today. The architectural fusion of art and function can be experienced throughout Japan, especially in places such as Tokyo’s Roppongi district.
  7. The Ginza District Did you know that Tokyo has more stars in the prestigious Michelin Guidebook than any other city in the world? Visit the Ginza district to taste everything from gourmet French cuisine, to kaiseki, a complete Japanese meal that changes with the seasons.
  8. The Art of the Noodle Taste the warm miso broth of ramen at the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Yokohama. Some restaurant proprietors date their service back three generations, making this “food amusement park” a premier destination.
  9. Sake of NiigaTA The mountainous region of Niigata is known as a world-class ski destination. But with over 90 sake breweries in the region, it’s also informally known throughout Japan as the “Sake Kingdom.”
  10. Immerse yourself in the Beauty of Japanese Gardens Originally designed only for the feudal elite, Japanese gardens now instill peace in all who visit. Their colorful koi ponds, bubbling streams and meticulously groomed rock gardens will provide the senses with landscaped repose.
  11. Learn the Ways of the Maiko Many people are familiar with the art of the Geisha, but few know that before they become one, they must study as a maiko for a 5-year period. In the legendary Gion district of Kyoto, dinners can be arranged where maikos will serve food, teach proper Japanese customs, and demonstrate traditional Japanese dance.
  12. “OUT OF THE PARK!” Baseball may be America’s national pastime, but Japan has elevated the sport to the utmost importance. Cheer captains lead the crowd in fight songs as they jostle with food vendors selling bento boxes and hot dogs.
  13. Marvel at Majestic Castles While the feudal system that ruled Japan has long disappeared, its gorgeous castles remain perfectly preserved. These ornate mega-structures of stone and wood are a beautiful reminder of the rich warrior history of Japan.
  14. A Buddhist Escape It has been said the eyes of Buddha will endow nature on those who seek it. The Danjo Garan, located on the top of Mount Koya, is one of the best examples of this practice. Home to more than 100 temples and shrines, this sacred sanctuary has served faithful Buddhists since 816 AD.
  15. Summer Festivals Summers in Japan bring warm weather, and festivities galore. Witness the spectacular luminance of Tokyo’s Sumida River Firework, or the 1,000 year-old Kyoto “Mobile-Art” parade, Gion Matsuri and the magnificent Awa Odori (dance) in Tokushima.
  16. Experience the Beauty of Cherry Blossom Season A picnic underneath a tree. The sweet fragrance of cherry blossoms wafting through the air. The flowers illuminated pink by the vernal moon. This custom of “flower viewing”, or hanami can be enjoyed in the springtime coupled with local food, beer and sake.
  17. Experience Theatre the Japanese Way Contrary to popular belief, Kabuki theater is not the only show in town. Whether it’s the bombastic dramatic styling of Noh, or the traditional adult-themed puppetry of Bunraku, Japanese theater will promise to give New York’s Broadway a run for its money.
  18. Hiroshima is beaming with rich culture Explore the wealth of WWII history at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the mystical nature of the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine.
  19. Unleash your inner “Otaku” The vibrant colors and over-the-top caricatures of the anime and manga cartoon styles have delighted the world over. Inspiring film and video games alike, unleash your inner otaku at one of the many cultural fairs and conventions throughout Japan.
  20. WHERE TO BEGIN? Contact our experts to learn more Visit our website or call us for additional deals, special offers and information on destinations worldwide.