From simple farmhouses to ornate castles, Japan is full of awe-inspiring architectural wonders. It is home to seven architects who have won the Pritzker Prize, the highest honor that a person can receive in architecture. With its unique blend of tradition and innovation, Japanese architecture has continued to influence architects all over the world.
How many of you have heard the word "omotenashi" before? The word essentially translates to Japanese hospitality. The term's popularity has grown since it was used in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics candidate speech.
The Japanese word "kominka" literally means "old house," and the term usually refers to houses built no later than the Second World War. It also usually refers to houses built using traditional Japanese architectural methods, often without using any nails and choosing the type of wood depending on its use.
Previously we introduced Naoshima, an island teeming with art and creativity. This time we will introduce some other noteworthy places that are located near Naoshima; Takamatsu and the surrounding islands.
The appreciation of beauty and its effortless integration into the daily rituals of life in Japan constitutes a history of ‘cultural addition’ as Japanese composer Ito Teijii points out. As such, the aesthetic concepts of wabi, sabi, and miyabi, explored below, have not only survived, but rather flourished over time.
Japan’s emphasis on the natural form also has a significant influence on its gardens. While the idea of gardens was originally brought to Japan from China, over time it has evolved into an irreplaceable aspect of Japanese culture.
If you are planning a visit to Japan and wish to experience one of the heights of Japanese luxury and culture, including a trip to an onsen is highly recommended. Onsen (温泉) are naturally-occurring hot springs that are found throughout the island nation. Onsen are an incredibly relaxing way to enjoy one of Japan’s oldest and most popular traditions.
Previously, we talked about how to visit shrines and temples in Japan. This time, we are going to introduce how these sanctuaries give brief yet vivid glimpses into the everyday lives of the priests and monks who live there. Visiting a shrine or temple is a chance to experience a spiritually strengthening and cleansing practice unique to Japan.
When you arrive at the main area of the shrine or temple, what should you do? Perhaps drop a coin in the donation box? Then clap your hands and bow? Today's blog post will give you an introduction to Japanese shrines and temples so that the next time you visit, you'll know just what to do.