Our guest author Pretzal William gives us an insight of Japan. Keep reading!
Japan is one of the most frequented tourist destinations in the world. Millions of visitors flock in the country every year to experience its unique culture and traditions, the serene beauty of its landscapes, simply delicious dishes, most innovative cityscapes and bizarre yet interesting fashion trends.
There are many things in Japan that will catch your attention and leave you with an unprecedented feeling. The contrast between cutting edge skyscrapers and ancient temples hold a great importance in Japanese culture. You can see on one hand youngsters making a statement with creative, trendy clothes and on the other hand people wearing the traditional Kimono, on special Japanese events and occasions. So, if you are planning a trip to Japan, try to gather enough information about the country. By doing so, you will be able to explore each and every interesting aspect of Japanese culture and civilisation. Read this blog about Japan, for a more detailed knowledge about the country.
Japanese Culture and Tradition
Despite the modernisation on all walks of life, Japanese people are deeply rooted in their culture and civilisation. They are broad minded but have not forgotten to express their respect towards women and elder citizens just like they were doing in the old times. It’s common to see young people bowing their heads in front of elder ones in sign of respect. Religion and spirituality is still an integral part of Japanese society. You can see several well-maintained ancient temples, shrines and castles in and around big cities of Japan, truly a breath of peace and silence in the bustling metropolis.
Fashion and Accessories
Youths in Japan are highly fashion conscious and boast of some of the most innovative fashion trends every season. In spite of major fashion labels present in the big cities, street fashion trends are the major crowd-puller. It seems that everyone is out on the streets to make a statement of their own.
Japanese teenagers, especially girls, are known to wear bizarre yet exceptional looks. Among the top fashionable looks, "Lolita" is the most popular Japanese subculture. This ground-breaking fashion trend was originated in the early 1990s and has spread across the country since then. Very much similar to Nagomu style, Lolita fashion is also inspired by music and gothic culture. There are different types of Lolita look representing diverse aspects of Japanese culture. For example, "Gothic Lolita" go for black frilled clothes whereas "Sweet Lolita" involves pastels, laces and bows. "Wa Lolita" uses traditional Japanese clothing. Head-dresses and bonnets, parasols, decorated knee socks, rocking horse shoes and petticoats are essential accessories of Lolita fashion.
Ko Gal, Ganguro, Manba, Kigurumin and Decora are some of the other popular fashion trends among the young and petite Japanese beauties.
Shopping in Japan
Japan has a lot of upscale shopping complexes where you can find each and everything you're aiming for. Whether you are out there in the market for fashionable clothing, unique souvenirs, grocery or furniture, the big metropolises of Japan have many shops serving your purpose. One of the most popular shopping destinations in Tokyo is KITTE, earlier JP Tower. With a new and unique concept,this 7 storied building has been introduced to show and appreciate Japanese craftsmanship. In the vicinity of Tokyo station, KITTE is an easy to go shopping centre. There are several shops and eateries inside the building. KITTE houses some of the most famous stores such as Nakagawa Masashichi Shouten for kitchen ware; CLASKA gallery & shop “DO” for Tote bags and Gelato Pique for highly fashionable clothing.
Many people have started shopping from the online shops. Vegetable tea is the latest craze among Japanese people. Most of them order their favourite vegetable tea on Amazon Japan. If you are in Japan and want to buy gifts and souvenirs for you and your dear ones, go to Shibuya Loft. They are one of the most popular shops in Tokyo selling selective products from Japan, Europe and USA. Similarly, there are many places in Okinawa, Kyoto, Osaka and other cities to buy fashionable and traditional Japanese clothing, gifts and souvenirs, food products and whatever you may wish for.
Places to Visit in Japan
Whether you are interested in visiting historical monuments or adventurous places, you will have an abundance of choices available in Japan. Apart from ancient temples and shrines, there are many sea beaches and Onsen Ryokans, where you can go to spend relaxing weekends. The later, "Onsen Ryokan", is quite popular among Japanese people. The term refferes to a traditional Japanese inn (Ryokan) offering a type of relaxing hot spring bath (Onsen). City dwellers in Japan take out time during the weekends to visit Onsen Ryokans for a much needed break from the monotonous lifestyle during the weekdays. At the Onsen Ryokans, you can enjoy aromatherapy treatments and lymphatic massage with slimming effects. If you are there in Tokyo and want to go to an Onsen Ryokan, Kinugawa in Tochigi prefecture is an ideal place to go.
If you are the adventurous kind of person, Japan has many places to indulge in adventurous activities. Niseko is the place to go in search of breathtaking ski experience. Situated in Hokkaido, this place is known as the main ski resort of Japan. The most alluring aspect of Niseko is the backcountry powder that is considered the finest in Japan. You can have vast opportunities for telemark skiing, ice climbing and boarding through fresh and chaste snow. In the months of summer, you can enjoy rafting, mountain biking and kayaking at this place.
Japan boasts of several ancient sites and Kyoto is the perfect place to find the best of them. Kyoto had been the capital of Japan from 794 to 1868 and is soaked in history with numerous historical monuments. The glided Kinkakuji is the iconic remnant of Kyoto’s imperial past. Situated at the bank of a river, Kinkakuji was once a retirement villa for a shogun but now has turned into a Zen Buddhist temple. Other than Kinkakuji, Ryoanji is another captivating and ostentatious site in Kyoto. There are altogether 17 world heritage sites and over 2000 temples and shrines across the Kyoto.
Japanese cuisine is known worldwide for its discerning taste and optimum health benefits. There are several varieties of dishes to suit the taste buds of visitors. Whether you are vegetarian or love to eat seafood dishes, you will be spoilt with plenty of choices in Japan.
Sushi, tempura and kaiseki are considered the finest and most exclusive Japanese dishes. But, equally appetizing are some of the low-cost culinary dishes which are called B-grade gourmet by the Japanese people. THe most popular B-grade gourmet is the ubiquitous and filling ramen noodles. This dish is so popular that people can be seen waiting in queue at the shops to slurp ramen noodles.
If you are very hungry and you like to have some quick foods, vending machine hotdog and fried noodle sandwich from convenience stores are better to go for. Seasonal fruits and vegetables like bamboo shoots, field mustard, Udo and Renkon (Lotus root) are also quite popular and people include them in their daily diet. Japanese people follow strict diet routine comprising healthy ingredients and fruits.
In a nutshell, Japan can provide you a unique holiday experience. Go through a few blogs and tourist guidebooks before travelling to the country.
Pretzal William is a travel blogger that writes columns and blog posts on tourism in different countries. Recently, she created a blog about Japan inviting people to read and find out cultural insights prior to visiting the country. To know more about Pretzal follow her on Google+!