Traditional Japanese martial arts, tea ceremony, flower arranging, calligraphy, culinary arts and theatre. From Tokyo’s bright lights to Kyoto’s temples, from mountain temples to winter sports, and from hot springs to scuba diving, there really is something for everyone in this unique country.

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Amezaiku Sugar Modelling

The art of Amezaiku sugar modelling was imported to Japan from China during the Heian period and was originally used for offerings to temples. The craft spread beyond the temples during the Edo period, when many forms of street performance flourished in Japan and when its base ingredient, mizuame, became widely available. An amezaiku artist…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Culinary classes  |  Tags: , , ,

Animal Cafés

A curious Japanese invention, Animal cafes have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly cat cafes, which have now sprung up in various locations around the country. At these establishments, customers can eat and drink while playing with and petting the animals there. There is an increasingly wide range of animal themed cafes, especially in…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Weird and wonderful  |  Tags: , ,

Aoi Festival

Like the Gion Matsuri, Kyoto’s summer festival, the Aoi Matsuri has its roots in ritual and began in the eighth century. Properly known as the Kamo Matsuri, the Aoi Matsuri features an impressive parade in the style of the Heian Court. The procession is made up of costumed participants, many riding horses and others leading…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Festivals  |  Tags: , , ,

Arashiyama Dinner Cruise

Enjoy spectacular seasonal views and Japanese traditional cuisine on an elegant boat. River cruising is a wonderful way to discover Kyoto’s rich culture and tranquil scenery. The Oi (Katsura) river runs through the middle of Arashiyama, which is most famous for its bamboo groves. Yakata-bune is an old fashioned popular style of boat and it…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Outdoor activities  |  Tags: , , ,

Awa Odori Festival

The Awa Dance (Awa Odori) is Tokushima’s largest annual event and boasts a history of over 400 years. The festival is well established in various areas even outside the prefecture, and Awa Dance troupes are regularly invited to events outside of Japan, placing it alongside the Rio Carnivale as one of the largest dance events…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Festivals  |  Tags: , , , ,


Baseball in Japan is a phenomenon, which may come as a surprise to some of us in the West who associate baseball with the USA. The first professional baseball team was founded in Japan in 1934 and baseball has only grown in popularity since that time. There are now two major leagues in Japan, the…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Spectator Sports  |  Tags: , , , ,


Recently basketball has had a resurgence in popularity in Japan. The B.League is making lots of effort to continue raising basketball’s profile by developing Japanese talent and improving Japanese courts. This has led to exciting technological developments in some arenas like LED embedded courts and half-time shows with projection mapping. Another contributor to this recent…

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Beppu Onsen

One of the most famous hot spring resort towns in Japan, Beppu has 8 different natural springs feeding the many ryokan and public baths in the town and together they produce more onsen water than any other resort in the country. Views of the town from the surrounding mountains show steam rising thickly into the…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Hot Springs  |  Tags: , ,

Calligraphy Lesson

Learn the ancient art of Shodo, or calligraphy. Learn how to write Chinese characters – kanji as they are known in Japanese- with a Japanese artist. This calligrapher will help you write the beautiful kanji characters in the traditional way, using a brush and sumi ink. Calligraphy lessons can be arranged in a number of…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Traditional activities  |  Tags: , , ,

Cormorant Fishing

Although there are a few places where ukai or cormorant fishing is still done, that of the Nagara River in Gifu is by far the most famous. It has played a vital role in the city’s history and has evolved from a means to live, to a profitable industry, to a major tourist draw. It…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Outdoor activities  |  Tags: , , ,

Culinary Experience

Learn how to cook your favourite Japanese dishes with an expert or amateur chef! Into Japan Specialist Tours will be happy to arrange a cooking class as part of your trip to Japan. This class could be a simple lesson at a private home with an amateur cook who will share some common home style…

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Japan is not well known as a top diving destination, but there are excellent dive spots throughout the archipelago – from Okinawan coral reefs in the far south to ice diving in Hokkaido’s cold northern waters. Japan’s rugged coastlines, where warm and cold ocean currents collide, are renowned for their variety of aquatic life. They…

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Dogo Onsen

Dogo Onsen is one of Japan’s oldest and most famous hot springs and is a very popular tourist attraction in Matsuyama. Dogo Onsen has also been a frequent destination for Japan’s Imperial Family and is also thought to be the inspiration for the bath house in the Studio Ghibli movie Sprited Away. The main attraction…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Hot Springs  |  Tags: , , , ,

Edo Wonderland

Edo Wonderland near Nikko is a wonderfully old-fashioned theme park offering more than a glimpse into life in old Edo. As well as live performances which include sword fights and other staged combat with incredibly talented ninja actors, the park also celebrates several seasonal festivals. Actors in traditional costumes wander the old-style streets, giving a…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Theme Parks  |  Tags: , , ,


Eigamura, or more properly Toei Uzumasa Eigamura, is a movie studio and theme park in one. This provides an excellent opportunity to take a break from Kyoto’s temples and tea houses, and experience the entertaining side of historical Japan. It features a collection of replicas of traditional Japanese buildings, which are used as the setting…

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More commonly known as soccer in Japan, football is becoming increasingly popular. In 1993, the Japan Professional Football League was formed, and this league’s high standards attracted huge numbers of spectators and led to a huge increase in the sport’s popularity. The J League is currently the most successful association football league in Asia. Women’s…

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Fuji Q Highland

Fuji-Q Highland is not only Japan’s most scenic amusement park (the views of nearby Mount Fuji are stunning on clear days) but also the most thrilling. All of the three main roller coasters set records when they were built: Fujiyama was the world’s tallest when built 1996, and it still ranks an impressive 8th; Dodonpa…

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Geisha, Maiko or Samurai Makeovers

Fun for both foreign tourists and Japanese visitors to Kyoto, dressing up in traditional style for a photo session is a very popular activity. There are several photo studios around the city offering ‘maiko henshin’; transformation into a maiko (apprentice geisha) – or geisha, ninja or samurai. Some studios allow you to walk around Kyoto…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Traditional activities  |  Tags: , , , ,
Gifu Tejikara Himatsuri Fire Festival

Gifu Tejikara Fire Festival

The Tejikara Fire Festival is held at Tejikara Shrine in Gifu City on the second Saturday of every April and is said to have a history of more than 300 years. Cascades of fire sparks rain down on men stripped to the waist who carry the portable shrine on their shoulders; great sprays of fire…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Festivals  |  Tags: , , ,

Gion Festival

Although Japan’s ancient capital, Kyoto, is said to celebrate a festival every day somewhere in the city, the Gion Matsuri is generally believed to be the best, and marks the highlight of the Kyoto festival year. Dating back to the ninth century, the Gion Matsuri has its roots in a purification ritual intended to clear…

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Gold Leaf Atelier Visit

Gold-leaf is made by beating gold into an extremely thin sheet with a thickness of 0.1 to 0.125 millionths of a meter. It is so thin that it will disappear when you rub it with your fingers. The production of gold leaf started in Kanazawa at the end of the 16th century. The Maeda family,…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Traditional Crafts  |  Tags: , , , ,

Gyotaku Fish Printing

Learn the art of gyotaku fish printing with an expert! Before the advent of photography, in the mid 19th century, when fishermen sought to have proof of their catches, lest others just smile at their tall tales, they would coat one side of the fish they’d caught with ink and then cover it with rice-straw…

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Hakone Circular Route

The traditional route around the Hakone area officially starts in Hakone-Yumoto, from where the narrow-gauge Hakone-Tozan train switchbacks up forested hills to the resort town of Gōra. For the best views and thinnest crowds, we recommend an early start from Gōra by funicular railway, which takes you to the cable car station. The cable car…

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Hakone Onsen

Hakone has been one of Japan’s most popular hot spring resorts for hundreds of years and today there are over a dozen natural hot springs supplying the many ryokan and hotels in the area. Visitors to Hakone can enjoy hot spring baths in both public bath houses and ryokan, many of which accept daytime visitors…

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Hello Kitty Land

Properly known as Sanrio Puroland, this theme park is dedicated to Hello Kitty and friends. The park was opened in 1990, and though not wholly dedicated to Kitty herself, is a must-see destination for die-hard Kitty fans, and is a delightful place to visit with young children.

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Ikebana, meaning “living flowers”, is sometimes referred to as kado, or “the way of flowers”. Ikebana masters create symbolic works from cut flowers, branches, grasses, and other natural and sometimes synthetic materials. This traditional Japanese style of flower arranging is simple and striking, and follows the uncluttered aesthetic associated with all Japanese arts. Along with…

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Iwatayama Monkey Park

Iwatayama Monkey Park is a smallish wildlife park in Arashiyama. It is home to a troop of over 170 wild Japanese macaque monkeys. To get to the park, there’s a hike of about 20 minutes or so up the mountain. The monkeys roam freely around the area and will happily mingle with their human visitors…

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Japanese Gardens

Influential to landscaping the world over, Japanese gardens are simultaneously enigmatic and peaceful. The subtle influence of Zen worked early on imported Chinese landscape design, and resulted in uniquely Japanese gardens. The aesthetic of wabi and sabi, fundamental to all Japanese arts, turns Japanese landscaping towards simple lines and spaces which suggest larger scenes, focusing…

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Japanese Grand Prix

Mie Prefecture’s Suzuka Circuit is the home of the Japanese Grand Prix. Historically, Japan has been one of the last races of the F1 season, and as such the Japanese Grand Prix has been the venue for many title-deciding races, with 13 World Champions being crowned over the 30 World Championship Japanese Grands Prix that…

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Japanese Sweets “Wagashi” Experience

Learn to make traditional Japanese sweets at several locations around Japan, including Kyoto, Tokyo and Gifu. Visit one of Kyoto’s most famous sweet shops and learn the art of making ‘wagashi’. In Kyoto these are known as Kyogashi, and with the help of an expert teacher you can make your own. Once you have made…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Culinary classes  |  Tags: , ,

Japanese Sword Lessons

Samurai are a well-known part of Japanese history. Although they may be long gone, many of their martial arts and skills are still being taught. You can see for yourself the skill it takes to wield a sword with precision. In Tokyo, join a dojo (practice hall) for your swordsmanship experience. Your instructor will first…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Samurai and Ninja  |  Tags: , , , ,

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Japanese Tea Ceremony is perhaps the most enigmatic of the traditional arts. Unlike the more familiar daily brew of steeped green tea, or o-cha, tea for the ceremony is made from bright green powdered matcha, and served with the utmost care during an elaborately restrained ceremony. Also called chanoyu, sado, or chado, the ceremony is,…

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Jidai Festival

The Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) is one of Kyoto’s three great festivals, along with the Gion and Aoi Festivals. Held every October 22nd, the festival dates back to the Meiji Period, and celebrates Kyoto’s inception as Japan’s capital in 794. The festival features an impressive procession of around 2,000 costumed participants, who wear…

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Jigokudani Monkey Park

While Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys, as they are colloquially known, roam the mountainous regions of the archipelago between Kyushu and northern Honshu, the macaques at Yudanaka, whose range centres on the geothermic Jigokudani valley, are easily observed as they relax in the valley’s onsen – a picturesque sight amidst swirling winter snows. What makes…

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If comparisons between east and west can be made, kabuki is Japan’s opera. Dramatic storylines featuring sword-fights, ghosts, and love affairs are brought to life by gorgeously clothed performers speaking in hypnotically sing-song voices. Though it is said that kabuki was invented by a woman, and was traditionally performed by both sexes, men’s only kabuki…

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Kanda Matsuri

The Kanda Matsuri is one of Tokyo‘s most famous festivals and takes place in mid May during odd numbered years, alternating with the Sanno Matsuri which is held in even numbered years. The Kanda Matsuri is held over an entire week, but the main events usually happen over the weekend closest to May 15th. The…

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Kimono Dressing Experience

Have your photograph taken with traditional Japanese costume, Kimono. You will have a professional photo shoot to capture the best image of you dressed in traditional Japanese clothing. There is a range of costumes to choose from for men and women, from opulent imperial style juni-hitoe of the Heian period to more contemporary kimono and…

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Kurama Fire Festival

Japan’s fire festivals are spectacular and Kurama’s is no exception. A small town just outside Kyoto, Kurama literally lights up every October 22nd, when giant watch-fires are lit throughout the town at night. The festival starts at dusk, and features a parade of torches carried through the town from the Yuki Shrine to the Kurama…

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Kurokawa Onsen

In the northeastern part of rural Kumamoto Prefecture, not too far from Beppu, Kurokawa Onsen is one of the prettiest and most charming hot spring resorts in Japan. Unlike the typical resort full of concrete ryokan and hotels, Kurokawa’s hot spring ryokan are almost entirely housed within charming old wooden buildings and the local community…

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Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen has been established as one of Japan’s most popular hot spring resorts for many centuries. Located in rural Gunma Prefecture, 1200 metres above sea level in the mountains, the town offers skiing in winter and hiking during the summer months, both combined with hot spring bathing. The town’s waters are said to cure…

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Maid Cafés

An offshoot of the Japanese love of cosplay and anime culture, in these establishments waitresses dress as French maids and treat customers as their masters and mistresses. While they can be compared in spirit to the concept of a hostess bar, these cafés are completely innocent in nature; these are temples to the cult of…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Weird and wonderful  |  Tags: , , ,

Maiko Odori

Geisha Dances More than any other place in Japan, Kyoto is known for geisha: both Gion and Pontocho, Japan’s best known geisha quarters, lie within the old capital’s boundaries, and exclusive tea houses are tucked in amongst the houses and restaurants of Kyoto’s more traditional areas. Though visiting a tea house is traditionally very difficult…

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Manga Drawing Classes

Japanese comics of all genres, known as manga, are popular around the world. The art styles are gaining more and more attention and many people are creating their own manga. If you wish to try your hand at drawing manga or improve your technique, a manga drawing class at Nakano Manga School is perfect for…

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Mikimoto Pearl Island

Mikimoto Pearl Island is a small island located in Ise Bay, Mie Prefecture, which is known as the birthplace of cultured pearls. The island is run as a tourist attraction, with an excellent museum about pearls, pearl cultivation and Mikimoto Kokichi, the pioneer who first succeeded in cultivating pearls as well as holding shows featuring…

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Miyajima Fireworks Display

Around 5000 fireworks are launched from boats in a spectacular display just off the north shore of Miyajima Island every year in mid August. Best viewed from around Itsukushima Shrine, combined with the shrine’s giant torii gate, this is one of Japan’s most iconic firework displays and very popular with photographers. The fireworks can also…

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Nagara River Fireworks Displays

Fireworks enthusiasts in central Japan during the summer are in for a treat; the city of Gifu is host to two spectacular fireworks displays on consecutive weekends in the mid summer. On the last Saturday in July, The Chunichi Newspaper Nagara River All-Japan Fireworks Festival is held and the following weekend, on the first Saturday…

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Nagashima Spaland

Nagashima Spa Land is a large amusement park in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, Japan. It has several roller coasters, thrill rides, and rides for smaller children, as well as a giant Ferris wheel, and a water park. The park is the among the most visited amusement parks in the world. Nagashima’s White Cyclone rollercoaster, at 1,700…

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Nakasendo Way Hike

In the Edo Period (1603 – 1867), a trade route was developed between Edo (Tokyo) the new capital and Kyoto, the former capital. This route was known as the Nakasendo, the ‘Way through Mountains’ and today much of the original route remains and is a popular place to hike; either in its entirety or –…

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Nebuta Matsuri

Nebuta Matsuri is a summer festival that takes place in Aomori, Aomori Prefecture. The festival attracts the most tourists of any of the country’s nebuta festivals, and is counted among the three largest festivals in the Tohoku region. It was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 1980, and as one of the 100…

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Ninja Training Session

Renowned worldwide as masters of stealth combat, Ninja are a staple of martial arts movies and comics but also a very real part of Japanese history. Although there is no doubt that they trained and practiced as covert warriors in feudal Japan, Ninja also fulfilled other important roles as spies, inspectors and advisors. There remains…

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Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market – a long, narrow covered street packed with shops selling local specialties – is sometimes called Kyoto’s kitchen, and it’s easy to see why; barrels of fresh and pickled vegetables spill out into the street, and the air is fragrant with the savoury smell of grilling sembei crackers and steaming fish dumplings. Many…

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Omiya Bonsai Village

For anyone interested in the art of bonsai, a visit to the Omiya Bonsai Village near Tokyo is highly recommended. The ‘village’ is home to about a dozen top Bonsai nurseries as well as The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, which boasts a stunning collection and displays special exhibitions regularly. The museum offers great insights in…

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Onbashira is a festival held only once every six years in the Lake Suwa area of Nagano, Japan. The purpose of the festival is to symbolically renew the Suwa Taisha or Suwa Grand Shrine. “Onbashira” can be literally translated as “the honored pillars”. The Onbashira festival is reputed to have continued, uninterrupted, for 1200 years….

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Origami Making

Origami is the traditional art of folding paper. Square sheets of paper can be folded into a wide variety of shapes, without the use of a scissors. Some of these shapes, such as the crane, box and ship, are well known and the art or origami is practiced around the world. With a home visit…

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Plastic Food Making

Have you ever wondered how the delicious looking replica food in restaurant window displays is made? This is your chance to find out and try the techniques for yourself under instruction from one of the best known companies in the industry. Based in Kappa Bashi, the ‘kitchen’ of Tokyo, this company has supplied restaurants for…

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Pottery Class

Experience traditional Japanese pottery making classes in Tokyo, Kyoto, Bizen and several other locations. What you make is usually up to you but you can try your hand at sake cups, bowls, chopstick rests or whatever takes your fancy. In Kyoto, learn the difference between Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki. Works created by highly skilled potters and…

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Purikura Photo Booths

‘Print club’ photo booths, most commonly known as ‘Purikura’ are a very popular method for taking commemorative and souvenir snaps. Similar in principle to a passport photo booth, these are bigger and offer a wide range of customisation options. They are very popular amongst the younger generations with many different types of purikura machines available….

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Ramen Class

Enjoy a fun and informative lesson in how to make tasty ramen in the kitchen of a real ramen restaurant. Learn how to blend the ingredients to make the stock, discover the different types of noodles, garnishes and toppings and the secrets of the ramen professionals! This is a mid afternoon activity and lasts for…

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Sake Tastings

Do you enjoy the occasional cup of sake? If so, this is the perfect opportunity to find out more about this traditional drink. Even if you have never tried this Japanese rice wine, a sake-tasting experience is a great chance to try this type of alcohol. In Kyoto, enjoy a tour of a former sake…

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Sanja Matsuri

Tokyo’s Sanja Matsuri, held on the third weekend in May, is a three day celebration featuring portable shrines and traditionally clothed participants that boisterously transform the old shitamachi district of Asakusa into a riotous festival. The Sanja Matsuri officially celebrates the deities enshrined at Asakusa Shrine, and is a wonderfully welcoming festival that allows visitors…

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Sanno Matsuri

Originally begun during the Edo Period and soon growing into one of Japan’s largest festivals, today the Sanno Matsuri is one of Tokyo’s famous festivals, along with the Kanda Matsuri. It takes place in mid June in even numbered years, alternating with the Kanda Matsuri which takes place in odd numbered years. The Sanno Festival…

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Sapporo Snow Festival

Most famous of Japan’s snow festivals, or yuki matsuri, the Sapporo Snow Festival transforms Hokkaido’s capital into a wonderland of ice and snow sculpture. The festival draws millions of visitors to Sapporo for seven days each February, and international teams compete to create the gigantic and elaborate sculptures, whose themes range from famous landmarks to…

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SCMaglev and Railway Park

Located close to Kinjofuto Station, the terminal stop on the Aonami Line from Nagoya Station, the SCMaglev and Railway Park is operated by JR Central and teaches visitors about the development of high speed rail in Japan and displays a number of trains including steam locomotives from the past, world record setting bullet trains and…

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Shunki Reitaisai (Tōshō-gū Festival)

On 17th & 18th May, Nikko‘s famous Tōshō-gū shrine holds a legendary festival in the honour of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Edo era. A huge procession takes 1000 samurai from one end of Nikko to the other, reflecting Tokugawa Ieyasu’s final wish: upon his death in 1616, the legendary…

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Skiing & Snowboarding in Honshu

Not far from Tokyo and Kyoto on Japan’s main island of Honshu, the steep slopes of the Japan Alps are blessed with heavy snow falls due to the wet air moving off the Sea of Japan. Although Hokkaido’s ski slopes are more famous for powder snow, there is plenty to be had without leaving Honshu….

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Skiing in Hokkaido

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost major island, has both climate and mountains to rival Canada’s more famous ski slopes. Nestled in the very center of Hokkaido, the town of Furano is surrounded by mountains and has a six-month season lasting from late November to early May. Long time host to ski and snowboard world cups, Furano is…

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Sumida River Fireworks Display

The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival is an annual fireworks display held on the last Saturday in July, by the Sumida River near Asakusa. Like many displays in Japan, it follows the tradition of being a competition between rival pyrotechnic groups. Each group tries to out-do the last, and the result is an incredible variety of fireworks,…

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Sumo Wrestling

The most Japanese of the national sports, the ancient art of sumo wrestling is part ritual, part ceremony, and all pure excitement. The short bouts make sumo a surprisingly accessible sport, and the rules of the game are essentially simple: the famously large wrestlers, or rikishi, position themselves on either side of the raised clay…

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Japan’s location, at the edge of the Pacific Rim, make it an excellent destination for surfing – at the eastern edge of the country there is very little to break the surf all the way to California. Deep sea swells coming in off the Pacific make for spectacular surfing, and while the pros relish the…

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Sushi Making Classes

Enjoy a private sushi making class at a top restaurant. The class is with the very best chefs who have experience teaching both amateurs and professional cooks, ensuring a rewarding, personalised class. Interpreters can be arranged as necessary. The class will be tailored according to your requests. You could enjoy a demonstration, where the owner-chef…

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Tado Festival

The Tado Festival takes place every year during Golden Week on May 4th and 5th at Tado Shrine in the city of Kuwana, Mie Prefecture. The main event of the festival is a horse jumping event which features young horseback riders in samurai armor who must jump a horse up and over a three-meter hill….

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Taiko Drumming Experience

A private lesson of the exciting art of Taiko drumming. You will learn how to play the Taiko, or Japanese drum. Unlike western drums, Taiko are often played standing up; this is because the Taiko player uses their entire body to hit the drum rather than just their arms. The drumming style is almost martial…

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Takayama festival

A quiet mountain town much of the year, Takayama’s Spring and Autumn festivals are two of Japan’s best, and draw crowds of revellers from across the country and overseas. Like Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri, the Takayama Festival centers around a parade of elaborately decorated floats, which are brought through the old town’s narrow streets between the…

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Takayama Morning Markets

Takayama’s morning markets start at 6am in the summer months and an hour later in winter. There are two; the Jinya-mae Market in front of the Takayama Jinya and the Miya-gawa Market on the east bank of Miya River, between Kaji-bashi bridge and Yayoi-bashi bridge. The latter is more attractive and larger, but both have…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Markets  |  Tags: ,

Takayama’s Sake Breweries

Takayama’s clear mountain water and high quality rice are the perfect combination for brewing sake, (nihon-shu in Japanese). The breweries on San-machi Suji can be easily identified by their traditional sugidama (balls of cedar leaves). Although special tasting events are only available over the winter months, all breweries will willingly loan you an o-choko (the…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Traditional activities  |  Tags: , ,

Temple ‘Zen’ Sessions

Experience a taste of Zen with a private meditation session at a Kyoto temple or at a historical Zen Buddhist temple in Kamakura. The Vice-Abbot will offer you introductory sessions on zazen meditation, Buddhist philosophy, and temple tours. Each session generally combines a tour of the ancient temple with two fifteen minute meditation sessions, a…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Traditional activities  |  Tags: , , ,

Tenjin Matsuri

Osaka’s Tenjin Festival is ranked as one of Japan’s top three festivals, along with Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and Tokyo’s Kanda Matsuri. The festival started over 1000 years ago and today takes place on July 24 and 25 every year. The main celebrations are held on the festival’s second day, July 25, including a land procession…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Festivals  |  Tags: , , ,

Themed restaurants

Tokyo offers a wide selection of themed restaurants, some rather gimmicky but some being great options for a fun night out. The most famous of these is probably the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku. A show quite unlike anything you’ll have seen before, this is a fast and furious neon lit extravaganza of son et lumière,…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Weird and wonderful  |  Tags: ,

Tokyo Disney Resort

Opened in 1983, it was the first Disney park to be built outside the US. One of the most popular theme parks in Japan, with only a few exceptions, Tokyo Disneyland features the same attractions found in Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Visitors to Tokyo Disneyland can explore seven themed areas, including the…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Theme Parks  |  Tags: , , , , ,

Tokyo Helicopter Tours

Helicopter tours over Tokyo and Yokohama. Most flights last 15 minutes, and daylight, twilight, and night-time tours are all available. Longer, 30 minute private flights can also be arranged. There’s nothing like cruising over the metropolis for a breathtaking view of the sheer size and vibrancy of the city. In addition to private chartered flights,…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Outdoor activities  |  Tags: , ,

Tsukiji Fish Market

With its roots in the Edo Era, Tokyo’s Tsukiji is one of the world’s biggest wholesale markets, handling nearly ninety percent of the city’s impressive seafood needs. Tsukiji is famous for its pre-daybreak tuna auctions, where the giant fish trade for huge sums in the blink of an eye, but the daily life of the…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Markets  |  Tags: , , , ,

Universal Studios Japan

Opened in March 2001 in Osaka, Universal Studios Japan became the world’s fastest amusement park to have achieved the 10 million milestone the same year and since then, the park has had approximately 8 million visitors every year. USJ has eight sections: Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Jurassic Park, Waterworld, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland and…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Theme Parks  |  Tags: , , ,

Visit a Tea Plantation

Tea has long played an important role in Japan and its culture. This is a unique day tour from nearby Kyoto that offers an authentic tea picking and making experience and the chance to learn more about the role of tea in modern Japan. You will have the chance to try traditional locally made teas…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Outdoor activities  |  Tags: , ,


Rising up out of the Pacific at the north-western edge of the ring of fire, subducting plates under Japan cause breathtaking volcanic peaks to break through nearly the full length of the archipelago, from Hokkaido’s Showa-Shinzan mountain, which sprang up out of a field beside a larger volcano in 1944, to Kyushu’s “land of fire”…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Outdoor activities  |  Tags: , , , ,

Wedding Kimono Photo Session

If you’re travelling to Japan on Honeymoon – or even if not! – why not create a wonderful souvenir of your trip with a wedding kimono photo session in Kyoto? You’ll both be dressed in traditional wedding attire; for her, a beautiful shiromuku white wedding kimono or perhaps a brightly coloured iro-uchikake kimono. For him,…

Type: Experiences  |  Category: Traditional activities  |  Tags: , , ,