Wednesday
Nov072018

Japan's Best Cultural Experiences

 

The best way to experience Japan’s fascinating history and culture is to fully immerse yourself in cultural practices that you would never see or experience elsewhere. Take a tour behind the scenes of Tokyo’s sumo stables, indulge in a private dinner with a geisha, learn a chosen art form like sword-making with an expert craftsman, go back in time with a stay at a traditional ryokan. In Japan, luxury means more than just staying in immaculate five star hotels and eating at Michelin star restaurants, although those are important components of any dream trip to Japan! Rather, luxury here also means discovering Japan’s best kept secrets and hidden gems, many of which are hard to find without the insight and connections of a true inside, making them all that much more special.

For a dining experience unique to Japan, make arrangements for a private kaiseki dinner with geisha entertainers in Kyoto. Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, meticulously prepared by a highly skilled chef. Just experiencing a kaiseki dinner is something many people have on their ultimate travel bucket list, as it may just be the best meal of your life. But we recommend going one step further and arranging for traditional geisha entertainers to join the dinner, which can take place at some of Japan’s best restaurants. In modern day Japan geisha entertainers are highly skilled, training for up to five years to be able to be recognized as geisha.The experience will include traditional music, dancing, and conversation with geisha.

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Tokyo’s world famous Sumo matches? Take an insider’s look at this ancient sport that is still practiced in modern day Japan with an early morning tour of the Sumo stables, which is where the athletes train year-round when they’re not competing. With special arrangements and connections you’ll take a private tour with a guide who is also an expert in the sport - sometimes even a former wrestler themselves - and can facilitate direct conversations with the wrestlers following their morning practice.

The art of samurai sword-making is a centuries old tradition that continues to this day, with sword smiths whose special techniques have been passed down for generations. To learn more about this ancient art form you can visit a workshop and learn how it’s done from a master craftsman, who will then help you forge a blade, also called a katana, of your own. An authentic samurai sword of your own is a souvenir unlike anything you could purchase in a store and will always remind you of your once-in a lifetime trip to Japan!

For an unusual and authentic hotel experience in Japan, opt to spend a night at a traditional Ryokan in addition to some time spent at Western-style luxury hotels. A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn, and they’re usually located near onsen, the Japanese name for a natural hot spring. Ryokans first came about in the 1600’s and most are characterized by their traditional design - old, wooden buildings with pointed roofs, surrounded by beautiful bamboo gardens. The atmosphere inside Ryokans is peaceful and serene, guest rooms are simple, and the level of hospitality is incredibly high.

Japan has a million hidden treasures, and with a little help from an expert you can uncover and experience this amazing country in a deeper way.

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