A two-night, three-day plan that explores the untouched natural beauty of the ocean and mountains of Wakasa Takahama, with a guide who is fluent in English and Chinese. The main activities include an early morning guided climb of Mt. Aoba, the “Mt. Fuji of Wakasa,” experiencing seasonal plant dyeing, early morning beach yoga, and cycling down the beach promenade.
(1) Mt. Aoba: Also known as the Mt. Fuji of Wakasa due to its beautiful appearance, it is the symbol of Takahama Town. A guided mountain climbing tour will be conducted with a special exhibition of a stone statue in a non-public area at the summit of Mt. Aoba.
(2) Okinreika: Admire the Okinreika, an endangered plant species that grows only on Mt. Aoba and has been designated a Prefectural Cultural Property.
(3) Nakayama-dera Temple: There is a special exhibition of the Bato Kannon Seated Statue in the main hall of Nakayama-dera Temple, an Important Cultural Property that is only opened to the public once every seventeen years.
(4) Wakasa Wada Beach: Various activities are offered at Wakasa Wada Beach, which in 2016 was the first beach in Asia to receive a Blue Flag international environmental certification.
Kaiyodo Space Factory Nankoku, opened in 2021 as a production factory for soft vinyl figurines, is a place where visitors can experience painting figurines and creating dioramas as well as learn digital modeling using the latest digital equipment.
We have prepared a plan that allows participants to experience how to make figurines using the same production tools and methods as professionals at a production site that is usually closed to the public.
You will sculpt figurines on the computer using Zbrush, which has now become a mainstream tool in the industry, and work with active professional sculptors to create your own original figurine.
Promotion of Mino City, home to a World Heritage site, for visitors to Japan Creation and sale of high value-added products using Japanese paper produced by the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage "Washi: Japanese Handmade Paper Techniques"
Participants will have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the experience of washi paper, which has been refined under the clear Nagara River and is produced using the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage "Washi: Japanese Handmade Paper Techniques."
After observing the techniques of a handmade washi craftsman, participants will make washi paper themselves in a paper-making workshop and create washi lanterns using the washi paper they made.
Participants then bring the lanterns they have made to the Mino Washi Akari Exhibition, held every year from October to November. By enjoying the exhibition in this way, participants will have a hands-on experience of this traditional culture instead of simply admiring it from afar.
High value-added theatrical tour to make most of the evening: Iwami Tatamigaura, a designated National Natural Monument, and Iwami Kagura, a Japanese Heritage
Hamada, the town from which Iwami Kagura comes from, is located in the Iwami region of western Shimane Prefecture. The dynamic kagura dance performed by maiko in their ornately decorated costumes to the profound yet lively musical accompaniment fascinates all who see the Iwami Kagura performance.
The ornately decorated costumes, masks made from Japanese paper, and snake bodies used in the performance of "Orochi" are integral to Iwami Kagura, and all of them are created in Hamada City. Along with the dynamic dances they are used in, these items have had a great influence on the entire Chugoku region.
In this tour, participants will watch a ceremonial dance performed as part of a prayer to the gods at the designated National Natural Monument Iwami Tatamigaura, where night kagura dances are not usually performed. Iwami Tatamigaura, known as Shimane's Salar de Uyuni, reflects the setting sun over the Sea of Japan, inviting people into a magical world of water and light, where Shinto gods reside.
Participants will enjoy Hamada's gourmet food at Sanku Shrine (Omatsuri Ameno Iwatohiko Shrine), which enshrines Tajikarao-no-Mikoto. This god appears in the legend of Amano-Iwato, where kagura as a form of dance is said to have originated. While enjoying the food, participants will learn the essence of kagura from the dancers and hear their passionate thoughts as insiders of Iwami Kagura. This experience is sure to pique your intellectual curiosity.
The Shimane Aquarium Aquas, one of the leading aquariums in the Chugoku region, will hold a night kagura performance after the aquarium closes. The ornately decorated Iwami Kagura costumes will be displayed inside the aquarium, creating a one-night-only kagura theater.
The above content will be offered in a one-day tour package with an overnight stay option for a full day of kagura.
Iwami Kagura is a traditional performing art that continues to evolve while preserving its traditions, and we hope to see you at this event.
JAPAN FARM STAY: Ancient Japanese self-sufficient rural living based on the theme of interaction with locals in an off-grid, one-story house
The village of Ueyama in Mimasaka City, Okayama Prefecture, is a place where country challengers who are neither "outsiders" nor "country people" gather, and about 40 percent of its 150 residents are young newcomers. Here, young newcomers pass on and evolve the history and culture of Japanese farming villages as they learn about them from the elderly locals, who make up the remaining 60 percent of the local population. Residents always call out to each other when crossing paths, go to their neighbor's house to borrow soy sauce if they are running short, and take their neighbor's laundry inside when it rains. It is a beautiful village filled with warmth and care, and it shows the richness of the traditional Japanese way of life.
Experience this way of life through a tour that includes accommodation in an off-grid, one-story house away, which combines solar power and a rainwater filtration system. The tour also offers spectacular views of terraced rice fields recognized as "Tsunagu Tanada Heritage," a sea of clouds, as well as a clay wall smoked sauna experience and a bamboo craft workshop using Ueyama bamboo.
Intimate discovery of Benesse Art Site Naoshima: Enjoy the wide array of entertainment in the Seto Inland Sea for 2 days on Naoshima Island
A local guide will lead participants through the art facilities and provide support as they take the opportunity to explore and connect deeply with the history and philosophy of the activities of Benesse Art Site Naoshima. The tour offers first-class hospitality, including an introductory video created especially for this tour that summarizes the thoughts of the founders and architects, a helicopter and cruiser ride to see the beauty of the Seto Inland Sea archipelago from every angle, a stay in the Oval Suite at Benesse House, a special menu at the hotel's Terrace Restaurant, and a special charter of the Chichu Art Museum before the museum opens. Special menus in partnership with the island's eateries are also available for local dining options and socializing in the area.
After explaining the difference between Noh and Kyogen, the four traditional Japanese performances of Kyogen, Ozashiki Buyo, Yakyuken, and Jidaigeki Buyo are presented in an omnibus format (1 hour 45 minutes).
These performances are arranged to be enjoyed casually for people who do not have many opportunities to interact with traditional Japanese performance styles. After the event concludes, guests are allowed to take photos with the performers using their smartphones. The venue is the “Senju-den,” the Noh theater on the fourth floor of the Yamatoya Honten, located in the center of Dogo hot springs town. The stage is close to the audience, so you can feel the voices, gestures, and energy of the performers up close. Also, even though eating and drinking while viewing traditional Japanese performances is usually prohibited, beverages will be sold during the performances so that you can enjoy them with a drink in hand. Please check the reservation site for details.
Experience tea ceremony and Zen Buddhism that will make you feel the decorum and aesthetic awareness of samurai culture
Kanazawa City is located in the middle of the Ishikawa Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coastal side. It flourished as Kaga Domain's castle town during the 1600s to 1800s under the rule of the Maeda family. The Maeda family poured its vast wealth into developing the arts, including tea ceremony, traditional crafts, and performances, which led to the development of a unique samurai culture.
Among them, tea ceremony and Zen Buddhism played important roles in shaping the ethics and spirit of samurai teachings. Tea ceremony spread to the general public, and an “aesthetic awareness” nurtured from this tea ceremony culture spread to every aspect of basic life essentials. Further, Zen Buddhism played a role in the spiritual background of tea ceremony and developed the decorum of samurai. Also, it was internationally acclaimed Buddhist philosopher D.T. Suzuki, who is from Kanazawa, who stated that “the culture of tea ceremony, performance, and haiku that has always been beloved in Kanazawa was influenced by Zen Buddhism.”
This premium experience program teaches “decorum and aesthetic awareness” through this culture of tea ceremony and Zen Buddhism at their roots in Kanazawa.
Lacquerware called “japan” in English is a unique traditional craft that Japan boasts to the world. Among them, Wajima-nuri is a lacquerware produced in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, and it is a traditional craft registered as an Important Intangible Cultural Property in Japan. The characteristics of Wajima-nuri are in the skills of the craftsmen, as over 100 steps are taken to create one Wajima-nuri piece of lacquerware. Such laborious Wajima-nuri works have been produced in Wajima with expert craftsmen handling each step of production.
Based on the theme of Wajima-nuri, search for Wajima-nuri motifs on a journey through Wajima, observe craftsmen’s techniques, experience the actual process of Wajima-nuri, and enjoy local cuisine in Wajima-nuri lacquerware bowls. Here, you can experience the culture, techniques, and food connected to Wajima-nuri. This premium experience program teaches the heart of Japanese traditional craft.
Kushiro Wetland, the largest marshland in Japan and one of the world's great natural wonders, can be experienced through a tour that allows visitors to enjoy the marshland from multiple perspectives, including from the Ainu culture, which has strong roots in the region.
■ Experience the rare marriage of magnificent panoramic views and traditional culinary culture on an exclusively chartered train running through the Kushiro Wetland ■
・From the windows of a special chartered train that runs through the wetland, visitors experience the vastness of the marshland up close with panoramic views.
・A special lunch will be served on board the train, offering a glimpse of traditional Ainu culture through food.
■ Experience these marshlands and the wonders of nature from Takkobu Auto Camping Ground, located in a national park ■
・Private night canoeing experience on Lake Takkobu: Enjoy the extraordinary experience of being enveloped in the world of a full moon floating above the lake under a star-filled sky.
・An immersive, realistic experience in a marshland using drones: Enjoy pristine, unspoiled nature over the vast plains, including the meandering Kushiro River.
・The tour also offers a comprehensive Ainu cultural experience (cooking class under direct supervision of Ainu people, traditional dance performance, and hands-on experience with authentic Ainu musical instruments).
・Unique grand viewing experiences are ensured from the observatory points.