I absolutely love visiting Japan and it is a land that quite literally has it all. There is great food, culture, history, tradition and so much more. Because of this I wanted to write a post that talks a little bit more about this magnificent country and just some of the things that make it great. If you get the chance you should definitely go there and I hope this short guide inspires you to visit someday soon!
Sleep on the floor
We have all stayed in a normal hotel before, but if you really want to get a very authentic Japanese experience then you can stay in a Japanese inn, which is known as a ryokan. These are very interesting with a traditional approach, such as communal baths and nice gardens that the Japanese are known for. There are also very traditional meals on offer (known as kaiseki), sliding screen doors and tatami mats. The tatami mats are very interesting to sleep on and provide a wonderful smell when you enter a room. Sleeping on the floor in a ryokan is an experience that you will never forget and something that you absolutely must try.
Take a bath
A communal bath is one of the pillars of Japanese society and it is something that people have been doing regularly in Japan since 700 AD and I was lucky enough to have the guys at Japan Experience Travel to point me in the right direction when it came to finding a good one! Communal baths are divided into “sento” and “onsen” the difference being, onsen uses water from hot springs, while the sento uses other methods to heat the water. Most Japanese people will bathe in the evening, but baths are open at various times during the day. I think that this is a great activity for those looking to relax on holiday and also to enjoy something that is very authentically Japanese.
Eat the food
Food is another part of Japan that is very unique, the cuisine is just unlike anywhere else on the planet. The Japanese put a huge amount of time into preparing their meals and love to eat. They believe very highly in having the freshest food possible, which makes for some delicious meals. I love eating sushi and this is probably the main thing to enjoy, but there are other stunning dishes on offer too. You should absolutely try some Kobe Beef, which has a very high fat content and is extremely tasty. It can be rather expensive though and it may put a dent in your budget, but it is definitely worth it. Other things that I love to eat in Japan are ramen and other noodle dishes. Don’t be afraid to try some new dishes that don’t sound great on paper, because the Japanese have perfected things like this and it is often better than you would think!
One thing I love about Japan is the huge number of sub cultures that are present and the people that are part of these are always very interesting to see. Fashion plays a huge role in Japan and there are a number of very interesting people, especially in the shopping districts. All you need to do is to find the right spot to do it and coffee shops are the perfect place. I love to people watch in places like Harajuku, where you will find lots of colourful characters wearing pink and other bright colours. It is always interesting to see these people and I often wonder what they actually do for a job or just on a day to day basis.