Have you ever dreamt of traveling to Japan? To see those cherry blossom trees, experience the difference of their culture from the rest and mark it as one of the best chapters in your life? It’d be wonderful! But before your plane takes off you should bring a to- do list with you, at least 10 or so and it’s going to be worth the travel.
10. Check-in to Ryokans
This traditional Japanese Inn typically features “tatami” matted rooms, communal baths, and other amenities where visitors may wear “yukata.” These inns are difficult to find in Tokyo and other large cities because many are more expensive than hotels as Japanese people increasingly use hotels for urban tourism. Ryokans are typically situated in scenic areas such as in the mountains or by the sea.
Recently, many Ryokan have been redeveloped to their original style by a resort chain Hoshino Resorts whose first Ryokan opened in Karuizawa in 1914. Guest rooms are constructed in Japanese Traditional Methods; “tatami”- flooring and doors are sliding doors which usually opens a small entrance way where guests can take their step-ins off before stepping onto the “tatami” floor which would be separated by another sliding door. Also, Ryokans feature common bathing areas “four” usually segregated by gender. “Futon” is a bedding spread on the floor “tatami” .
9. Japanese Gardens
In their physical appearance, they were influenced by the distinct characteristics of Honshu landscape. Honshu was the island where Japanese Gardens first appeared. They were also influenced by the rich variety of flowers and different species of trees, on the islands, and by the four distinct seasons in Japan, including hot, wet summers and snowy winters.
Japanese gardens roots in their religion “Shinto. Also, these gardens were strongly influenced by the Japanese philosophy of Daoism (Taoism) and Amida Buddhism and also had an adamant influence from Chinese Garden.The idea of these unique gardens began during the Asuka Period. Until present, Japanese Garden art maintain their full intensity of expression and continue to inspire the many artists aspiring to create a private Japanese garden of their own.
Izakaya started during the Edo Period, which began to sell sake and simple dishes around the 17th century. Izakaya is a compound word meaning “I” to stay and “zakaya” sake shop. These are pubs of Japan where comfort, food, and beverages go hand in hand with convivial atmosphere and inebriated relaxation. You can locate them throughout Japan, somewhere in the roaring streets of neon-glazed cities from Hokkaido to Osaka. There they can serve you drinks and foods from posh to cheap and from wild to strange silence.
7. Explore Tokyo
The home to the understated, terribly crowded yet can be strangely quiet and the fabulous food and the unique mass transit system, that’s the beauty of this not-so-beautiful city. Tokyo is often referred and thought of as a city, but it is officially known and governed as a “metropolitan prefecture” which is a part of the world’s most populous metropolitan area with more than 37.8 million people crowding the prefecture and the world’s largest urban agglomeration economy. Hosting 51 of the Fortune 500 Global companies.
Tokyo ranked third in the International Financial Centres Dev’t Index. The place is also considered an Alpha+ world city by the GaWC 2008 inventory. In 2015, Tokyo was recorded as the 11th most expensive city for expatriates according to Economist Intelligence Unit’s cost-of-living survey and was listed as The Most Liveable City in the World by Monocle. Aside from their economic achievements, Tokyo also hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, 1979 G-7 summit, 1986 G-7 Summit and the 1993 G-7 Summit and will host the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics.
6. Check in to Love Hotels
Have you ever heard of love hotels? Have you been to it or did you know how it looks like? I suggest you visit the country. Although love hotels are available around the world, these establishments are significantly improved and focused on in Japan. Love hotels started in 1968 in Osaka, and there is a total of 25000 love hotels in Japan present time. These love hotels are ideal for couples who plan to travel together and have their private time in a place when on vacation.
5. Converse with Japanese People through their Language
Japanese love it when a foreigner tries out to speak the language, just keep in mind not to be afraid, look in your phrasebook and pick out the question. During the Heian Period, Chinese had considerable influence on the vocabulary and phonology of old Japanese. Japanese is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a fair vowel system, phonemic vowel and consonant length and a lexically significant pitch-accent. Japanese has a complex system of honorifics with verb forms and vocabulary to indicate the relative status of the speaker. It has no genetic relationship with Chinese, but it makes extensive use of “kanji” or Chinese characters.
4. Visit the Phoenix Hall at the Byodo-in Temple
The temple was originally built during the Heian Period (998) where the most famous building Phoenix Hall or Amida Hall constructed in 1053 was found, surrounded by a scenic pond; new buildings making up the compound were burnt down during a civil war in 1336.
The name Phoenix Hall was derived from the building likeness to a phoenix with outstretched wings and a tail and the pair of phoenixes adorning the roof. In 1994 the building was listed as one of the world heritage sites by UNESCO.
3. Watch Sumo Wrestling
Sumo is Japan’s national sport where a wrestler attempts to force his opponent out of a circular ring, dohyo. It is considered a modern Japanese martial art, though the definition misleads, the sport has a history spanning centuries for about, 20 century and Japan is the only country which does the practice professionally.
It has also been associated with Shinto ritual where a human is to wrestle with a “kami.” Sumo’s popularity has changed according to the whims of its rulers and the need for its use as a training tool in periods of civil strife. The form of combat changes gradually into one where the main aim for victory was to throw one’s opponent. The present concept of pushing one’s opponent came out some time later.
2. Visit Their Historical Castles
A particular need for castle arose in the 15th century which was built small on top of the mountain for defense purposes. As the World War II came into explosion, most of their castles were destroyed but were reconstructed after, with the use of concrete. The primary construction material for castle building used to be wood which can be witnessed when visiting one of the surviving original castles. These are Himeji, Matsumoto, Matsuyama (Japan’s only original mountaintop castle), Matsue, Hikone, Hirosaki, Inuyama, Kochi, Marugame, Uwajima; Maruoka castles.
1. Ride a Bullet Train
The bullet train called Shinkansen are operated by Japan Railways Group offering a 7 to 21 day passes for unlimited travel on all Japan railway lines throughout the country. It can take you much like, anywhere you want in Japan speeding at 320 km/h. It is also known for punctuality, safety, and comfort.
Most Shinkansen offer seats in two classes such as Ordinary, which seats and foot space that are comfortable with a generous amount of foot space; Green car which is comparable to business class on airplanes which offers more comfortable seats and wider foot space. Shinkansen also is a convenient train which payphones, bento box, vending machines some with wireless internet facilitated and equipped with toilets.