Five travel experiences you should not miss when visiting Japan
You could spend weeks and months in cities such as Kyoto or Nara where you can see architectural marvels & traditional highlights.
1.Spot a Geisha: Traditionally-attired
Sporting bright kimonos and painted faces, Geishas are coy and it’s a chanced opportunity to spot one on the streets.You can see them performing at the many traditional cultural shows or tea ceremonies. Gion is the locale where Maiko and Geiko live. They attend many banquet ceremonies. For the ones who are confused. Maiko and Geikos or Geishas are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and perform classical music, dance, games and can engage in conversations.
2.The Bamboo Forest – Arashiyama
Arashiyama (which means Storm Mountain) is a district on the outskirts of Kyoto, which is famous for its vast Bamboo Forest. Take a stroll through the dense forest on your way discover the 14th century Tenryuji Temple. Soak in the fresh air and the beautiful valley views and escape the busy cityscape to enjoy the serene beauty of Japan’s rural landscape. Once you make your way out of the Bamboo Forest, indulge in some retail therapy at the souvenir shops and savour local delicacies.
Image: Bamboo Forest
3.Ride the Shinkansen
What can be more exciting than travelling at a speed of 320Kmph. Ride on the Shinkansen is an experience of a lifetime. The stations are no less than airports with all the amenities. The seats of the Shinkansen are always facing the direction that you are travelling and on the return journey they just turn the seats to the opposite direction. What’s more, Shinkansen runs very smoothly and quietly with plenty of legroom. All you must do is sit back and enjoy the ride as the glimpse of the countryside changes quickly as the train catches speed. Don’t forget to buy a Bento Box at the station. It is a typical Japanese lunch box, which you can enjoy eating at leisure onboard.
Image: Bullet train
4.The Golden Pavilion – Kyoto
Kinkakuji also known as the Golden Pavilion is a Zen Temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. One of the most photographed attraction in Japan, Kinkakuji is formally called Rokuon-ji. The pavilion is surrounded by a beautiful pond. The clear reflection of this marvel in the pond is truly a breathtaking sight.
Image: The Golden Pavilion
5.Fushimi Inari Shrine – Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion Torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds. Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto God of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. The torii gates along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies, and you will find the donator’s name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate.
Image: Inari shrine