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Travel Tips

The Amazing Houseboat at the Harbor

The Amazing Houseboat at the Harbor

Sitting on tranquil waters in the very heart of Tennozu Isle’s contemporary art scene is the marvelous T-Lotus M. Internationally acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma designed this stunning three-story structure, which is now available to hire for events.

 5 Best Contemporary Art Festivals in Japan that you can’t miss

5 Best Contemporary Art Festivals in Japan that you can’t miss

Have you ever thought of visiting Japan for a foray of modern art? Japanese artists have put their names out there on the international stage, and now every month dozens of art festivals take place all around the country. We’ve picked out the best 5 here for you to plan an amazing art journey to Japan.

Tennozu Isle's Up and Coming Art Scene

Tennozu Isle's Up and Coming Art Scene

While Tokyo's vast array of exhibitions and art hubs can be difficult to navigate, there is one area that is not to be overlooked - that is Tennozu Isle. Located within walking distance from Shinagawa, the “isle” is characteristically surrounded by canals.

New Year's in Japan

New Year's in Japan

In Japan, New Year's is one of the busiest time of the year but also one of the most festive! We'd like to take this opportunity to share with everyone some of the fun foods and activities you'll only be able to experience around this season.

Japanese Spirituality

Japanese Spirituality

Japanese spirituality is complicated, and it is said that Japanese people nowadays get baptized at a Shinto shrine, marry in a Christian church, and have their funeral at a Buddhist temple. Many Japanese people would say that they do not really have a faith, and yet be involved in multiple religious groups.

Sumo: Japan’s Ancient National Sport

Sumo: Japan’s Ancient National Sport

Sumo is known to have dated back thousands of years, and the sport is even mentioned in Kojiki - the oldest known historic text in Japan (written in 712 A.D.). According to legend, sumo is said to originate from a time when two gods fought over the ownership of the Japanese islands.

The Natural Beauty & Charm of the Seto Inland Sea

The Natural Beauty & Charm of the Seto Inland Sea

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.

Preparations before participating in Tea Ceremony

Preparations before participating in Tea Ceremony

Tea ceremony (called chadō or sadō) is one of Japan’s most enduring artistic traditions. Tea ceremony is a means to aesthetic appreciation and social interaction that has had a profound influence on other forms of Japanese art, cuisine and philosophy.

Kaiseki Ryori - The Pinnacle of Authentic Japanese Cuisine

Kaiseki Ryori - The Pinnacle of Authentic Japanese Cuisine

Kaiseki embodies the fundamental concepts in washoku, such as the attention to the seasons, and the emphasis on using natural local ingredients to create an eating experience that is not only delicious, but also demonstrates how preparation and execution of a meal can be an art form.

An Introduction to Washoku, Traditional Japanese Cuisine

An Introduction to Washoku, Traditional Japanese Cuisine

While the term literally means "Japanese food," in reality the term refers to a much broader and important cultural concept. In 2013, washoku was actually added to UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritages. The organization's explanation of washoku reveals why it is so much more than food, and why it deserves to be enshrined as an invaluable part of world culture. 

A Journey Through Japanese Gardens

A Journey Through Japanese Gardens

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.

Onsen: A Culture of Bathing

Onsen: A Culture of Bathing

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.

How to Participate in a Geisha Dinner

How to Participate in a Geisha Dinner

So you've decided to take part in a formal Japanese dinner, maybe at a tea house.Today's topic is probably the most important for our readers making plans to go to Japan: How to prepare for and participate in a geisha dinner. What should you wear? What will happen during the dinner? What interactions can you expect?

An unworldly experience: shrines and temples

An unworldly experience: shrines and temples

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.

How to visit a Japanese Shrine / Temple

How to visit a Japanese Shrine / Temple

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.

Winter Holidays In Japan

Winter Holidays In Japan

This winter season in Japan welcomes a rare experience of traditional holiday events, food, and unique Japanese holiday cheer. Japan’s winter skies are crisp with sunny weather, making it the perfect time for sightseeing and taking breathtaking photos.

Experiencing the art of Kabuki

Experiencing the art of Kabuki

The three syllables that make up the word “kabuki” (歌舞伎), mean “music”, “dance”, and “acting”, respectively. The whole word itself comes from an archaic verb kabuki, which means “to incline”, and references the actors' flamboyant clothes and actions. Since the kabuki’s founding, spectators were well aware that this new type of theater would be a strong deviation from noh traditions.

A brief guide to Naoshima

A brief guide to Naoshima

Naoshima 直島, a small island located in Setonaikai (a Japanese inland sea bordering 10 prefectures and containing numerous small islands), is only a ferry ride away from Hiroshima. After receiving many questions and requests for information regarding the island from our guests interested in art and design, we decided that a post should be dedicated to Naoshima.

Experiencing Autumn in Japan

Experiencing Autumn in Japan

Autumn is arguably the best time to be in Japan.For many people in Japan, autumn marks the end of hectic summer vacations, signaling a transition to a season filled with delicious food, gorgeous scenery, and a flourishing of the arts.

The Art of Japanese Bonsai

The Art of Japanese Bonsai

The art of bonsai has existed for well over a thousand years. In China, the art of creating miniature landscapes, called penjing, has mythological origins dating back to as early as the 3rd century AD.  The process of growing miniature trees from source specimens is thought to have begun in Japan in the 7th century AD when Japanese Buddhists returning from China brought source plantings back with them.