On the whole, Japan is so safe that it’s commonplace to hear stories from travelers of lost items returned unharmed. Not having to worry about things like this is surprisingly relaxing. 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. And it’s in no way limited to high-end or fine dining. I told him I did not, but since I only had a few steps to walk, told him I was OK. ... the Japanese head out of the house for Ohanami, or flower sightseeing. Some talk about ancient Samurai warriors with their swords, while others feel fascinated by the pictures of a Geisha, serving sushi to customers. Learn how to behave on certain occasions and to respect the local Japanese culture. Not realizing that taxi doors open automatically in Japan, I committed my first etiquette faux pas – a very common one indeed, and typically laughed at. Japan has dozens of unique garden styles that are tied to other elements of Japanese culture such as Buddhism, Tea Ceremony and Japanese aesthetics. The level of love and respect that goes into food preparation in Japan is nothing short of awe-inspiring. I never planned on dedicating my life to Japan. Japanese trains are among the most punctual in the world. Copyright © 2021 Boutique Japan Travel Company LLC. The Japanese tea ceremony is the art of preparing, serving and appreciating tea. | 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. It’s a place where quality is prized above quantity, and variety is the spice of life. We hope you have a chance to experience all of this during your trip to Japan! Japanese people’s attention to and passion for detail — and profound passion for doing things well — permeates every aspect of life in Japan. It shows the growing differences in Japanese culture between the old and the young. 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. Different people think of different things when mentioning Japan or Japanese culture. It teaches us to be fully present in the moment, to be humble and to always strive to improve. The more you explore about it, the interesting it gets. Before walking to meet my friends, I visited a shopping area nearby. Whether you’re planning a trip, or just daydreaming for the moment, we’ve compiled essential information about traveling to Japan in…, The best hotels and ryokans in Japan range from charming traditional inns in the countryside, to stylish design hotels and…, Japan has more matsuri (festivals) than almost any other country in the world, and Japanese festivals – in all their…. 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. It’s the kind of country where kids can walk and take the subway by themselves to school. Use 7-Bank. This isolation lasted about 250 years, and allowed the unique Japanese culture, traditions and arts to develop without western influence. Kaiseki is Japan’s fine, elevated cuisine and the specialty of the country’s cultural capital, Kyoto. And thus, with his kindness, the first Japanese person I ever met in Japan had set a tone that would continue to this very day. 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. After the flight and a train ride from the airport into the city, I hopped into a taxi from the station for the last leg of my journey. Take note though, that some of these establishments have a … Japanese people are extremely gracious hosts, and – famously – will often go out of their way to ensure that you have a wonderful experience during your visit. 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. After almost eleven years of travelling the world, I finally had the time to learn some Japanese and visit this unique country.. 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. I had my first experience of punctuality in Japan during my first visit to Kyoto. – Do not use large hand gestures, unusual facial expressions or dramatic movements. Baths and hot springs alike are viewed as a relaxation tool rather than a way to get clean. There are no rules when it comes to kaiseki, but it’s meant to be a feast for all five senses. You can also contact us at +1-619-272-6978 or travel [at] boutiquejapan [dot com]. I’ll never forget, a few weeks after I first moved to Japan, one day I spotted some litter in a park and found it so noteworthy that I felt impelled to photograph it. 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. A number of schools and colleges offer students training and preparation for careers in performance and art. I first moved from New York City to Tokyo with a desire to master the Japanese language. 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. – Laughterwill normally indicate embarrassment or distress… 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 ceremony is a microcosm of traditional Japanese aesthetics and ideals, making it one of the best ways to experience Japanese culture. 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. Almost without fail, when friends from the United States return to the US aftervisiting Japan, I receive ex… I was exhausted following the flight from New York, and a little overwhelmed by my new surroundings. 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. As I started out of the taxi, the driver stopped me. Traveler stories like this abound. Japan’s service industry is arguably the best in the world. Japanese culture is quite complex and full of mysteries. Spending time in nature is known to have numerous health benefits. To be fair, most people in most countries would probably love to help you, but there’s no denying that in some countries a few people make a living by taking advantage of unsuspecting tourists. This formal yet stylised custom is taken quite seriously. It’s typically made with fresh seasonal ingredients, and color, taste, presentation, and health are all carefully considered. – 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! Simple. These include To explain what I feel are the best things about Japan, I’ll begin with a brief story from an early spring day in Tokyo. In 1639, the shogunate rulers began a policy of isolation which kept out almost all ships from the western world. As I described above, Japanese people are among the kindest and most helpful people with whom I have ever interacted, and once you have traveled around Japan chances are you will agree that the honesty and kindness of the local people is a huge factor in what makes Japan such a wonderful place to visit. Temples and shrines bring communities together While Japan is mainly a secular society, the country’s 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 … 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. Not that long ago, visiting the public baths or sento used to be a daily part of life for people living in Japan, and today, you never have to go far to find one. (Read my story.). They’re simply doing their job. Naturally, this efficiency is by no means limited to transport. These ceremonies have been greatly influenced by Buddhist practices and the event can be likened to a meditative experience.Japanese tea ceremonies possess deep meaning to the country and those who are invited should feel quite honoured. A Japanese can say that he is both Shintoist and Buddhist. Traditional Tea Ceremonies. They always include a line that says that tourists represent Japan and should try their hardest to leave a good impressive. When the Japanese visit other countries on tours, the tour company educates the group about local manners and customs on the way. While Japan is mainly a secular society, the country’s Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines still play a role in everyday life. We reached our destination and I paid the white-gloved taxi driver. Kodokushi. 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. 6. The winter chill had just begun to give way to the first tinges of spring warmth, and I got off the train at Shibuya Station. It is common to have your sake poured so that it flows into a saucer beneath the cup. The Japanese population, half that of the US, lives in an area smaller than California. “Inemuri,” as it is known, is a quick cat-nap meant to recharge the batteries. The Ministry of Education is protective of Japan’s great works of art which include paintings, sculptures and architecture. Western whiskeys are popular, same as beer is the traditional spirit of Japan. It is seen as a sign of hard work and commitment. And many other practicalities of the modern traveler to Nippon. 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. 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. From the health benefits of, The world has a lot to learn from Japan | © Yuki Yoshida / Unsplash, Torii mark the entrance to Shinto shrines, Kaiseki is meant to appeal to all five senses, Japanese gardens are a way to appreciate nature, Japan’s service industry is the best in the world. The trains run on time, drivers arrive on time or early, and nearly everywhere you go efficiency and order reign. One of the best Japanese drama movies and a great movie about Japanese history in Tokyo after WW2. In such a country, it’s little surprise that a key function of police officers, stationed in their ever-present koban (police boxes) in cities around the country, is to provide directions to lost tourists and locals alike (the Economist reports on Japanese police searching for things to do). https://iwillteachyoualanguage.com/.../japanese-culture-for-foreigners 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. The Japanese are experts at appreciating nature, and beautiful public parks and gardens can be found throughout the country. 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! 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. Indeed, it’s not just Japanese cuisine like sushi and ramen that shines in Japan. In Japan, it’s not an exaggeration to say that almost everyone is out to help you. 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. But after moving back to the US, I found I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and ultimately Boutique Japan was born. There are over 100,000 shrines and 80,000 temples in Japan, and Buddhism and Shintoism—along with many other faiths—coexist peacefully. Although they do not expect people abroad to follow their habit entirely, the attempt to follow the manners of Japan would be greatly appreciated. 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!. That case is a difficult point for Westerners in Japan, who usually have to taught to be polite by refusing accommodations that inconvenience others. 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. The average delay on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, the most heavily traveled high-speed rail line in the world, is about half a minute. On my very first visit to Japan, I arrived in Tokyo on a stormy August night. The most popular time for hanami is spring when the sakura blossoms. Tokyo is full of wonderful depachika (department store food halls), and Shibuya’s offerings are no exception. An experienced host will guide you through each step, as you sample a traditional sweet and one or more kinds of tea. – The American ‘OK’ sign (thumb and forefinger shaped like an ‘O’) means ‘money’ in Japan. The Japanese do not talk with their hands. Worshipping of these two religions is commonly practiced in Japan. 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. Japanese people do like their alcohol. Similarly, an overnight guest is offered the best sleeping arrangements even if it greatly inconveniences the rest of the family. This slightly paranoid worry often prevents travelers from asking strangers for assistance, and also has the unfortunate side effect of preventing travelers from more immersive and unscripted interactions with local people. Another common concern while traveling in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language is the fear of being taken advantage of. Arts, Humanities & Popular Culture: The arts are an important part of Japanese life. 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)! A sign of hard work and commitment play a role in everyday life idea of forest bathing shinrin-yoku. Each step, as you sample a traditional sweet and savory specialties one or more of! Food preparation in Japan is to have numerous health benefits implement vending machines shopping area.. 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