I remember the first time I got the opportunity to go to Japan, I really didn’t know what to expect and ever since then I have been hooked on heading to Japan. It really is one of the most interesting and unique places on the planet and a holiday in Japan has now become one of my favourite kinds of holidays. I want to talk a little bit about what makes Japan so special, so read on to find out more.
Experience the food culture
Japan is world famous for its amazing cuisine and there really is no shortage of this. There is just so many different kinds and each region has its own specialty. My advice would definitely try everything that you can, even if it doesn’t sound like your thing. The Japanese have an incredibly meticulous process for all of their food and the care and attention they put into their dishes is something to marvel at. I personally would recommend trying authentic sushi, as it is my favourite dish. There is a whole host of other things that you can do that are related to food, such as taking part in a traditional tea ceremony or watching the masters make soba noodles from a tradition that dates back hundreds of years. You can even try making it yourself and many parts of the country offer courses and workshops to show you just how it is done! The food culture is really something to immerse yourself in in Japan.
Experience the stunning architecture
The architecture of Japan is one thing that really makes me wonder, especially the wide variety of buildings that you will see there. For example, in the big cities you can see soaring skyscrapers and large corporate areas, but in the countryside it is the complete opposite. There are a number of places to marvel at in terms of architecture, in particular the huge number of temples that are scattered throughout the country. These temples are constructed with traditional Japanese woodworking construction and use no nails or screws to hold the structures together! You can visit these stunning looking temples and marvel at their construction.
Experience history and culture
Japan has had an extremely interesting history in many ways, from its history in the world wars to the traditional and elegant Edo period that developed Japan into one of the most sophisticated and elegant cultures on the planet. There is so much to learn about Japan and its amazing history. I would highly recommend visiting places like Hiroshima and Nagasaki to learn more about the end of the Second World War or Tokyo to learn more about the Edo period.
Experience the culture of artisanal craftsmanship
The Japanese have, for a very long time, really spent a lot of time focusing on crafts and are proud of this heritage that they have and as a result everything that they make (or craft rather) is of the highest standards. I already touched on traditional Japanese carpentry and the ability to construct things without the aid of nails and screws (generally known as sashimono), but there are much more crafts that the Japanese are very famous for such as smithing amazing metals objects like the katana sword that was traditionally carried by the samurai warriors in Imperial times. People carry on these crafts today and are very proud of their history in Japan.
The Japanese are also very fanatical when it comes to shopping and this can be seen in the amazingly high quality items that they produce. When you see something that is made in Japan you know that it will be of the highest quality.