Now Is The Best Time To Visit Japan - "Where Tradition Meets The Future"
The number of visitors to Japan is rapidly increasing in the past recent years. In this year, it has already reached 20 million people which is the biggest number ever. Let's see what attracts the international tourists.
"JAPAN - Where tradition meets the future"
“JAPAN―Where tradition meets the future” to promote inbound tourism from Europe.
The special Website ( http://visitjapan-europe.jnto.go.jp ) opens on the same day and shows detailed tourism information of all 45 locations appearing in this “interactive movie.”
When viewers click on a scene of interest, related information appears in five languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Experience the contrast and attraction of Japan.
The website introduces many essential tourist attractions of tradition, modern, and nature of Japan. Here I briefly describe two each of them.
Traditional culture of Japan
A maiko is a woman whose occupation is to entertain at social gatherings by performing various arts such as songs, dances and playing the traditional Japanese stringed instrument, called shamisen. Maiko is an apprenticeship for becoming a geisha, and the training period extends from 15 to 20 years old.
Maiko and Geisha originated from women tea servers working at teahouses, serving tea and Japanese dumplings in the Edo period (17-19th centuries) around Higashiyama in Kyoto.
Zazen is a fundamental ascetic practice in Zen Buddhism. It is basically performed by sitting with correct posture and meditating while controlling one’s breathing and calming the mind and spirit.
Zen Buddhism arrived in Japan in the Kamakura period (12-14th centuries) and developed during the Muromachi period (14-16th centuries) under the protection of the shogunate. It spread among the samurai and common people, and Zen temples were built in various parts of Japan.
At present, there are many temples where ordinary people can experience zazen under the guidance of a Buddhist priest.
Modern attractions of Japan
Shibuya, one of the central districts of Tokyo, has been noted for starting various cultural movements since the 1970s, including trends in music, fashion, street styles and attractions.
Shibuya's iconic landmark is its scramble crossing, where around 3,000 people cross simultaneously at peak times and about 500,000 people cross each day. Watch out for the wave of humanity surging forward and be sure not to bump into other people crossing the intersection.
In these entertainment facilities, anybody can enjoy a wide variety of arcade and prize games for as little as 100 yen (about 1USD) per game without an admission fee.
In Tokyo, many can be found in Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro and Akihabara, where young people tend to gather. The latest and most advanced machines can especially be found in Akihabara, the mecca of otaku geek culture, where some arcades take up the entire building.
Nature of Japan
Around 10 kilometers northwest of Kyoto City, in the Arashiyama area where national historic sites and scenic spots dot the landscape, is a place where bamboo thickets grow densely.
Walking through the small path, called Sagano Bamboo Forest Road, stretching deep into the bamboo forest gives you a sense of the unspoiled landscape of Japan.
Aristocrat's vacation homes and retreats opened in this area during the Heian period (8-12th centuries).
One of the most scenic areas in Japan, Doro-Kyo is a great valley that spreads across Mie, Nara and Wakayama prefectures.
The valley extending over 31 kilometers between sheer cliffs was formed by innumerable cycles of erosion, with immense waterfalls slowly carving out the catchment basin.
An airboat used to navigate the river, but now you can enjoy a cruise down the Doro-Kyo valley on a large jet boat or quaint old-fashioned riverboat like the one in the picture.
For much more information
Japan is waiting for you!