The Japanese do not talk with their hands. There are over 100,000 shrines and 80,000 temples in Japan, and Buddhism and Shintoism—along with many other faiths—coexist peacefully. The level of love and respect that goes into food preparation in Japan is nothing short of awe-inspiring. If you wake up very early on a weekend morning and head to the iconic Shibuya crossing, you may come across an army of locals cleaning up the previous night’s detritus. Tea ceremonies are a common part of Japanese culture. One of the best Japanese drama movies and a great movie about Japanese history in Tokyo after WW2. I had a whirlwind adventure over several weeks, and am right now in as opposite a culture as I can imagine, in Texas (to launch my book Fluent in 3 months when it gets published in just a few days!. Granted, Japan is not the only country where things almost always work as they should (Germany, Switzerland, and Singapore are also great examples of highly efficient countries), but it’s far and away one of the most impressive, particularly considering its size. Some talk about ancient Samurai warriors with their swords, while others feel fascinated by the pictures of a Geisha, serving sushi to customers. On my very first visit to Japan, I arrived in Tokyo on a stormy August night. Whether you’re going for a simple, casual meal — or splurging on an exquisite once-in-a-lifetime meal at the counter of a shokunin (master) — you can almost always count on thoughtful and considerate service, and painstakingly prepared food. Japan is a land of wonders and surprises at every step. These are 34 Japan travel tips to help you make the best out of your stay! The ceremony is a microcosm of traditional Japanese aesthetics and ideals, making it one of the best ways to experience Japanese culture. https://iwillteachyoualanguage.com/.../japanese-culture-for-foreigners But after moving back to the US, I found I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and ultimately Boutique Japan was born. This is not to say that there is no litter, and in particularly crowded areas — for example, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ueno — it’s not rare to see some trash. The Japanese are experts at appreciating nature, and beautiful public parks and gardens can be found throughout the country. The Japanese are very particular about their food and considerate it to be very important, and Ramen sits on top of their most prized food list. While the country certainly modernized much more quickly than lovers of old Japan (such as the illustrious Alex Kerr) would have liked, Japan — despite its striking modernity — nevertheless retains a rich and enviable cultural heritage that even today feels very alive and relevant. While I love the US dearly – and also love traveling in parts of the world where things don’t run nearly as well as they do in Japan – whenever I land in Japan it’s a huge relief (and pleasure) to know that pretty much everything is going to work beautifully. This isolation lasted about 250 years, and allowed the unique Japanese culture, traditions and arts to develop without western influence. The culture of Japan has changed greatly over the millennia, from the country's prehistoric Jōmon Period, to its contemporary modern culture, which absorbs influences from Asia and other regions of the world.. Japan's indigenous culture originates primarily from the Yayoi people who settled in Japan between 1000 BCE and 300 CE. In an ancient city like Kyoto, it is still easy to find generations-old shops with hundreds of years of history (many of which are featured in the excellent Old Kyoto), where traditional crafts — or in the case of cuisine, dishes — have been steadily perfected for longer than the United States has been a country. Another common concern while traveling in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language is the fear of being taken advantage of. Traditional Tea Ceremonies. Also, a must-see if looking for movies about Japanese culture in general. Worshipping of these two religions is commonly practiced in Japan. Western whiskeys are popular, same as beer is the traditional spirit of Japan. Spending time in nature is known to have numerous health benefits. ... the Japanese head out of the house for Ohanami, or flower sightseeing. It’s no surprise that many Francophiles have fallen in love with Japan, as best put in the Food & Wine article, “7 Reasons Why Tokyo Is the New Paris.” Apart from being delicious, Japanese food is on the whole extremely healthy, and incredibly diverse. Japanese people do like their alcohol. It’s typically made with fresh seasonal ingredients, and color, taste, presentation, and health are all carefully considered. On the whole, Japan is so safe that it’s commonplace to hear stories from travelers of lost items returned unharmed. The good news is that there is no need to choose one or the other, as you will experience Japan’s rich and complex traditional and modern culture throughout the country (see a sampling of our favorite places throughout Japan)! The Japanese are known for their expertise in various fields, and their example sets a high bar for the rest of us. But, thankfully, crime rates are far lower in Japan than in almost anywhere else on earth (it’s one of, if not the safest large countries in the world), and you can tangibly sense it after spending a bit of time here. Baths and hot springs alike are viewed as a relaxation tool rather than a way to get clean. Particularly since the Edo Period, Japan has undergone incredible transformations — with major events including the Meiji Restoration and World War II — and, despite the post-bubble economic stagnation, remains an economic and cultural powerhouse. During the cherry blossom season – the duration of which varies from year to year – the streets along the canal exist in an almost-constant state of celebration. https://bucketlistjourney.net/japanese-culture-tradition-facts Japan’s art, architecture, design, film, dance, and crafts — not to mention pop culture (including anime, manga, and video games — are reason enough to visit Japan, and are today as much a part of the “real” Japan as its traditional culture. One of the best things about Japan – and an unexpected highlight for so many travelers – is how beautifully and efficiently everything works. Public transportation is super efficient. What to order in restaurants. Having picked up some lovely seasonal items, along with a bottle of sake from snowy Niigata Prefecture, I began walking towards the charming Naka-Meguro neighborhood. | Contact & Business Hours | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | CST 2114860-40, a city much larger and more populous than New York, kids can walk and take the subway by themselves to school, Japanese police searching for things to do, Japan is such a family-friendly destination, Planning a Trip to Japan in the Time of Covid, Japan’s Best Boutique and Luxury Hotels & Ryokans. From out of nowhere he unveiled a spare umbrella, and compelled me to take it. While tea ceremonies are organized according to traditional conventions and aesthetics, it’s a process that can never be perfected, so practitioners are always trying to improve their technique. After almost eleven years of travelling the world, I finally had the time to learn some Japanese and visit this unique country.. It’s here that the idea of forest bathing or shinrin-yoku came about. Hanami basically describes appreciating the beauty of nature and the seasons, and many people like to host a picnic in the park under the sakura. The Japanese population, half that of the US, lives in an area smaller than California. It is common to have your sake poured so that it flows into a saucer beneath the cup. Simple. Before walking to meet my friends, I visited a shopping area nearby. Japanese trains are among the most punctual in the world. Thus, it’s little surprise that Japan is home to so many highly-skilled chefs (see above), craftspeople, and a remarkable service culture – not to mention being one of the cleanest and tidiest countries on earth! It’s the kind of country where kids can walk and take the subway by themselves to school. Japan’s service industry is arguably the best in the world. And yet, to a remarkable degree, it’s true. Having moved from the United States (New York City no less) to Japan, it took me a few weeks to adjust to the wonderful fact that, unlike in the US, I didn’t need to constantly have my guard up. Over the years, our clients have told us they’ve fallen in love with Japan for the very same reasons – so without further ado, I’m thrilled to share a few of my absolute favorite things about Japan. The average delay on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, the most heavily traveled high-speed rail line in the world, is about half a minute. Not having to worry about things like this is surprisingly relaxing. A reasonably short walk from hyperactive Shibuya, there is perhaps nowhere more magical in hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season than the tree-lined canal in the trendy yet laid-back Naka-Meguro. The idea is to enjoy the short lived cherry blossom bloom while it lasts, and the Japanese do there best to take full advantage of it. You can also contact us at +1-619-272-6978 or travel [at] boutiquejapan [dot com]. They always include a line that says that tourists represent Japan and should try their hardest to leave a good impressive. Different people think of different things when mentioning Japan or Japanese culture. In 1639, the shogunate rulers began a policy of isolation which kept out almost all ships from the western world. Traditional Japanese gardens come in all shapes and sizes, and they are often designed according to time-honored aesthetic principles. The world can learn a lot from the world of Japanese cuisine. I had one friend accidentally leave a very expensive camera on the Tokyo Metro, which he successfully recovered by contacting the Metro’s lost and found. This pride in caring for surroundings is contagious, and chances are you’ll find yourself doing your part to keep Japan clean for others, too! Going for a nice long soak at the onsen or sento has numerous health benefits as well, from relieving stress to alleviating medical conditions, depending on the type of water used. I was exhausted following the flight from New York, and a little overwhelmed by my new surroundings. And few countries (India comes to mind) can match Japan for its wealth of traditional ceremonies and festivals. And walk almost anywhere in any Japanese city, town or village, and you’ll see local people tidying up the streets around their homes and places of business. https://japanology.org/2019/04/20-facts-on-japanese-culture Temples and shrines bring communities together While Japan is mainly a secular society, the country’s It does. Things to know about Japanese culture – The Japanese nation is a nation that is very polite and courteous, so the ethics are an integral part of daily life. – Do not use large hand gestures, unusual facial expressions or dramatic movements. Andres founded Boutique Japan to share his passion and enthusiasm for Japan, and over the years he has had the opportunity to help hundreds of wonderful travelers from around the world experience Japan in a truly personal and immersive way. I found my friends under the trees with all the requisite hanami supplies: tarp, grill, beer, snacks, guitar. Take a Close Look at Japanese Culture and its Intriguing Customs. Hanami or flower gazing is a national pastime in Japan, and it has been going on since the Heian Period. How is that so? It is seen as a sign of hard work and commitment. The trains run on time, drivers arrive on time or early, and nearly everywhere you go efficiency and order reign. Learn how to behave on certain occasions and to respect the local Japanese culture. Sake, a wine made from fermented rice is considered a traditional alcoholic drink here. 6. And many other practicalities of the modern traveler to Nippon. How to move around efficiently. One of the best things about Japan – and an unexpected highlight for so many travelers – is how beautifully and efficiently everything works. One can go for up to $400. The more you explore about it, the interesting it gets. A number of schools and colleges offer students training and preparation for careers in performance and art. It seems silly now, but I continue to be amazed that, even in a densely populated metropolis like Tokyo, litter can be so rare – especially considering the noticeable lack of trash cans (a perennial pet peeve of travelers to Japan). – Do not grab your host’s hand when first meeting and give it a hearty shake – many Japanese seldom shake hands and can be so uncomfortable doing so as to avoid meeting again! From cheap neighborhood noodle shops to Michelin-starred and other top restaurants, the quality and taste of food in Japan is of an incredibly high standard. They’re literally everywhere, around every corner, and they’re definitely part of the modern Japanese culture. Experiences like this first led me to fall in love with Japan, and thrill me to this day, even after all these years. Japanese culinary professionals are so passionate about their craft, and Japanese ingredients are so good, that you will find some of the world’s best pastries, pizzas, curries, cocktails, coffee, and more! It permeates every aspect of life in Japan, and even short-term visitors come away with an overwhelming sense that respect — both given and received — is huge part of the Japanese experience. While Japan is mainly a secular society, the country’s Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines still play a role in everyday life. But he was having none of it. In case you are planning a trip to Japan or would just like to increase your knowledge about Japanese culture and customs, here's a glimpse into the amazing world where traditional culture and … “Do you have an umbrella?” he asked. An experienced host will guide you through each step, as you sample a traditional sweet and one or more kinds of tea. Granted, Japan is not the only country where things almost always work as they should (Germany, Switzerland, and Singapore are also great examples of highly efficient countries), but it’s far and away one of the most impressive, particularly considering its size. There are no rules when it comes to kaiseki, but it’s meant to be a feast for all five senses. Nothing appears to be more tragic than dying alone—but it … It shows the growing differences in Japanese culture between the old and the young. Its safety is a major reason Japan is such a family-friendly destination, as is the fact that it’s such a surprisingly easy country to navigate, which brings me to…. Kodokushi. Apart from its amazing record of safety (zero fatalities since its inception in 1964), one of the shinkansen conductor’s responsibilities is to depart and arrive within 15 seconds of the scheduled time – and, as you might expect, their success rate is astronomically high. It’s a slow movie, but the acting and general ambience make it worth the watch. Tokyo is full of wonderful depachika (department store food halls), and Shibuya’s offerings are no exception. Of course, this is only a small sampling, and there are countless other things we love about Japan, from traditional ryokans with onsen (hot springs) in the countryside, to the lack of tipping, Japan’s famously fantastic toilets, and so much more. The Japanese tea ceremony is the art of preparing, serving and appreciating tea. At this point — thanks to Jiro’s fame, and countless celebrity chefs having extolled their obsession with Japanese cuisine — it is widely known that Japan has some of the best, if not the best, food on earth. That case is a difficult point for Westerners in Japan, who usually have to taught to be polite by refusing accommodations that inconvenience others. This formal yet stylised custom is taken quite seriously. Copyright © 2021 Boutique Japan Travel Company LLC. Japanese Gardens. A lot of restaurants have started to implement vending machines as … Kaiseki is Japan’s fine, elevated cuisine and the specialty of the country’s cultural capital, Kyoto. Japanese culture is quite complex and full of mysteries. The majestic cherry blossom trees sway luxuriously sway over the canal, and small groups of friends gather to eat and drink amid the sea of pink. At the time I couldn’t afford the bullet train, so I took an overnight bus from Tokyo. 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