A journey in the footsteps of the founder of aikido, who is truly special to practitioners and fans of the martial art. This tour will travel to places associated with the founder of aikido to reflect on the worldview of the past. Participants will receive direct instruction from modern-day aikido instructors, encountering martial DNA passed down to the present day. The locations associated with Morihei Ueshiba include his birthplace, places he attended as a child, and a visit to his grave. This tour will build up memories of Morihei Ueshiba. It also includes aikido training at the Tanabe Dojo of Junichi Gomita, who inherited techniques from Seiji Gomita, a student of the martial art’s founder. Participants will also have time to visit the three Kumano Sanzan shrines (Kumano Hongu Taisha, Nachi Taisha, and Hayatama Taisha) in the Kumano Kodo area with a self-guided tour guidebook, taking in the worldview of Morihei Ueshiba at their own pace and with their own senses. You can deepen your understanding of this area from the perspective of an aikido practitioner or martial arts expert. A plan for a unique trip to experience the fresh charm and spirituality of this land through aikido.
Experience the saltwork town of Takehara, known as "Aki's Little Kyoto," through culinary culture and art created by emerging artists' partition painting (shohekiga) titled "Space of Hospitality"
Located in south-central Hiroshima Prefecture and facing the Seto Inland Sea, Takehara is known as “the little Kyoto of Aki.” Takehara Townscape Conservation Area, which is a group of historical buildings from various time periods ranging from the 1600s through to the 1900s, has been designated a Japanese Heritage Site, and visitors can enjoy quality time in the picturesque scenery. Takehara is also a place where sake brewing and salt production have historically thrived thanks to Hiroshima's "soft-water brewing technique". Even today, sake and mineral-rich, flavorful Japanese salt are made by taking advantage of Hiroshima’s natural goods.
In this tour, participants will experience the historical landscape and culinary culture of the area in an artistic "Space of Hospitality" created through the use of painted partitions called shohekiga, in a unique Japanese architectural style. Three emerging artists selected from the public were invited to stay and work on shohekiga that adorn the "Space of Hospitality." This is an attempt to breathe new life into historical architecture through "learning from the past." During the first half of the tour, participants will have the opportunity to interact with the artists who are working on the shohekiga paintings, and during the second half of the tour, they will have the opportunity to experience the space created by the newly completed paintings. Participants can also enjoy cultural experiences such as making sake cups and small plates called teshiozara using SETOUCHI Blue, as well as experience the sake brewing process. (Please note that some experiences are only available on select dates.) The hotel was renovated from a historical building and is sure to make guests feel like a wealthy hamadanna merchant who made his fortune in Takehara and built up the town. During their stay, guests will enjoy sake paired with a custom, healthy full course meal that uses Takehara's Japanese salt in all dishes, as well as "gyohan" (fish rice), which is a traditional local dish
The Oni of Kyoto & Kyo Textiles Suribitta: Immersive Cycling Tour of Kyoto's History, Culture, and Traditional Crafts
Japanese culture has been nurtured through its relationship with nature. In this cycling tour,
participants will experience the connection between culture and nature by cycling through and along Kyoto's mountains, forests, rivers, and ocean.
This will also enable them to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture. Sightseeing spots and guided content are set up to deepen understanding of the culture and history of Japanese oni
so that visitors can gain a deeper general appreciation and understanding of Japanese spiritual beings (Japanese gods, oni demons, ghosts, etc.).
They also will have a chance to learn about the duality (good and evil) of these beings, including oni,
as well as the unique form of nature worship that serves as a core part of Japanese culture. One of the highlights of the tour route is the Japanese scenery of lush green mountainous areas, coastal areas with beautiful views of the sea, temples and shrines, and
Participants can also experience Suribitta, which is a traditional technique used in Kyo textiles
that originated and was nurtured in the climate and culture of Japan. Using stencils featuring oni demons specially designed for this tour,
participants can create furoshiki wrapping cloths, tapestries, and other items.
This tour mainly uses electric bikes, making it relatively easy for those who are not used to cycling.
A support vehicle will accompany the participants so that they can enjoy the ride with peace of mind.
Tasting sake made using local Oji yeast and trying premium fermented at the national important cultural property “Former National Institute of Brewing, No. 1 Factory,” a mecca for Japanese sake brewing technology
A part of the "All 23 Wards Project" featuring the Former National Institute of Brewing, Oji Asukayama yeast, and the only Japanese sake brewery in the 23 Wards of Tokyo!
Opening the national facilities owned by the Agency of Culture for international tourists for the first time and serving fermented foods!
This site, a national important cultural property, was built in 1904 in the Oji area of Tokyo. Not only can visitors tour the facility, they also can listen to commentary by the head brewer and enjoy a special sake and food tasting. This is the first trial run of opening the facility for international tourists. The Japanese sake used for the tasting use yeast isolated from plants in Oji Asukayama Park, which nears its 150-year anniversary after being made a city park in 1873. This is a special sake brewed by the head brewer of the Tokyo Port Brewery, the only sake brewery in the 23 Wards of Tokyo. Premium fermented foods centered around the theme of “fermentation” are provided at restaurants, with dishes themed on “modernization” during the Meiji period, when the former institute was completed. There are also courses related to fermentation, such as tea ceremony and food pairings. This tour allows overseas visitors to enjoy Japanese sake breweries and fermentation. It is a special opportunity as the number of openings are limited.
Venture to a castle town in Akita and experience the spirit of the Kakunodate samurai - Way of the Kakunodate Samurai -
Kakunodate Samurai Life tour 2-day, 1-night tour
(1) Experience the martial arts (kyudo archery, iaido swordsmanship) and zazen (seated Zen meditation) that warriors practiced daily
Experienced, locally trained instructors will instruct participants at the Budokan hall on Bukeyashiki Street. The origins and meaning of etiquette, its spiritual significance, and how it has been handed down in the local community will be explained, offering a glimpse of the spirit of the samurai who once lived in Kakunodate. In addition, through a full-fledged seated Zen meditation at an old temple in Kakunodate, participants will experience the world of Zen from classroom study to practical application.
(2) Hands-on experience making kabazaiku (wild cherry bark handicrafts), through which the skills of Kakunodate warriors have been passed down through traditional handicrafts
Kabazaiku, originally developed as side work for samurai families, uses bark from wild cherry trees. This sustainable craft, in which the bark is systematically stripped and the wood regenerated, has been passed down since Japan’s Edo period. Through its history and production methods, learn about the unique Kakunodate culture of sustainability and harmony with nature.
(3) Samurai hare and ke gastronomy
Enjoy local cuisine from ke (wild vegetables and pickles) to hare (okaribayaki hotpot, etc.), which has been eaten in the local area using methods of procuring ingredients and cooking in harmony with each season in nature. With all five senses, visitors will get an in-depth understanding of the various elements crucial to this cuisine, including techniques, traditions, ingredients, utensils, and sense of the season.
(4) Kakunodate festival culture as part of life in the castle town
This festival offers a special opportunity to view performances by a local theatrical troupe as part of a festival that was also watched by samurai warriors back in olden times.
Local bilingual guides will be on hand throughout the two days. Visitors can also enjoy rickshaw rides for transportation around various events in the castle town of Kakunodate.
Try your hand at making a snow sculpture: First hands-on activity at Sapporo Snow Festival, one of the world's three major snow festivals Includes an eight-day limited-time fantastic light display at the Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Sapporo
Sapporo Snow Festival, which attracts more than 2 million visitors every year, is incredibly well known both in Japan and abroad as one of the world's three major snow festivals. It is a great opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the wintry Hokkaido landscape. Many overseas visitors come to the festival too, but their entertainment is limited to viewing the snow sculptures, and the area where the festival is held is generally confined to Odori Park in the center of Sapporo. This time, we will extend the area covered by the event to Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, which is recognized as one of the three best night views in Japan. We will welcome overseas visitors by hosting hands-on activities like "snow sculpture making" and "snow art" activities. In the "snow sculpture making" activity, professional instructors from teams that created the large snow sculptures in Odori Park in the past will be invited to assist visitors in making their own snow sculptures. In the "snow art" activity, visitors are invited to create flowers, animals, or any other shapes they wish on the canvas of a snow-white forest. Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, which is only open until 5:00 p.m. during the winter, will be open at night during this event only. After sunset, the area will be illuminated with fantastic lights. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to have a special experience in wintry Sapporo.
Yamaga City is located in Kumamoto Prefecture and is known for many things, such as Yachiyoza Theater, a National Important Cultural Property and the city's greatest tourist resource. In recent times, Yamaga's craft liquor, including sake, wine, and whiskey, has started to gain in popularity. The production of these liquors utilizes high-quality deep groundwater from the pristine natural environments of the Mt. Kunimi and Kikuchi River Systems.
Yamaga Distillery, a distillery of domestic whiskey popular around the world, was established in 2021, joining the list of other liquor manufacturers in the city such as Kikuka Winery, which has won gold medals at international wine competitions every year, and Chiyonosono Sake Brewery, a sake brewery with a long history and tradition established in 1896.
Participants will be able to tour these craft liquor production sites, where they will be provided with paired food dishes developed to complement each craft liquor, making for a special experience that is not simply a tasting, but a tasting featuring local cuisine.
In addition, Yachiyoza Theater, the biggest attraction in the area, will be reserved for use after it closes for the day. Participants will be able to watch performances including a traditional regional performance, known as Yamaga Lantern Dance, while enjoying local cuisine made specifically for this event.
A new way to enjoy Hiroshima ~Special exhibition at the Peace Memorial Museum, extended hours at night, tour of the trees that survived the bombing, a night-time performance of the Hiroshima Piano, and a Christmas market~ Message of peace from Hiroshima
This new tourism program expresses the spirit of peace and restoration in Hiroshima.
Please enjoy a special night in Hiroshima, to be held this winter only.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum aims to pass on the truth of the bombing and the message of peace to the next generation. Messages from former US President Barack Obama and the Roman Catholic Pope are displayed along with the guest books from G7 leaders who visited the site in May 2023 during the G7 Hiroshima Summit. The normal hours are extended by one hour for visitors to view the exhibits at their leisure while avoiding the crowds.
For visitors who like to walk, we recommend the tour of the trees that survived the bombing (requires advance reservation). The tour revolves around the approximately 160 trees located within two kilometers of the epicenter of the bombing that eventually bloomed again. An expert guide and interpreter will guide you through these trees and the signs of the restoration of Hiroshima. At the end of the course lies the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Christmas Market, and Rest House.
On November 3 at the Rest House among the A-bombed buildings of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a nighttime event will be performed on the Hiroshima Piano, called Akiko’s Piano, where internationally renowned pianist Argerich once played. You can enjoy music that evokes peace in this relaxing atmosphere.
The Hiroshima Christmas market, which opens in December, is the first authentic Christmas event in Hiroshima. Please enjoy the Christmas lights and winter cuisine particular to Hiroshima.
We hope that through these experiences visitors can learn, feel, and think about peace.
Change your view of life by learning about the restoration of people and the land in San’in, the origin of Japan ~Invitation to regeneration and health tourism~
San’in is the land where Japan began. Take another look at yourself and discover a new future by understanding the spirit of Japan, born in this land, and conversing with nature through the water, forest, and air that connects the sacred mountain and sea. In this new form of tourism that focuses on regeneration, health, and spirituality, have an experience that can change yourself and way of living while learning deeply about the nature and culture of this land.
1. Health tourism for “purification” and “healing” in the land of the purification of the six roots of perception and the healing of the six senses
- Experience Shugendo, a Japanese mountain asceticism that incorporates Shinto and Buddhist concepts, near the National Treasure Nageiredo Temple with monks and the world-class Misasa hot springs, which contain radon.
2. Spiritual tourism that adjusts mind and body in Japan’s oldest sacred mountain
- Visit the Daisen Japanese beech forests and Ogamiyama Shrine with an expert guide, and experience the connection between the water, forests, land, and living things.
3. Geotourism in the San’in Kaigan Geopark, where an eternity has been carved
- Learn about the formation of Japan's diverse and rich landscape, from the formation of the Japan Sea to the landscape as it is today.
4. Experience healing by interacting with the heart of “the beauty in functionality” in rural crafts and local industries
- Experience the beauty of handmade items that can only be felt in the land where the traditional, rural craft began, and learn about new efforts in the rural art movement.
5. Serving top-level ingredients
- Top-level ingredients from Tottori, born from rich and ancient waters (natural water, vegetables, natural fungi, Tottori wagyu, Matsuba crab, etc.), are served for diners' satisfaction.
Nara Traditional Crafts Experience, Traditional Dance and Music Tour, and Special Exhibition of Nara Crafts, Shrines, and Temples
Nara's traditional crafts have a history that developed together with Nara's shrines and temples, and the techniques of these crafts have been passed down to the present day.
This event will feature the following four projects to allow participants to immerse themselves in its history and traditions.
Event Duration: (1) & (2) November 1 and 15, December 1 and 15, 2023, and January 15, 2024
(3) & (4) November 15, 2023, to January 21, 2024
Closed: every Monday (*Excluding January 8, 2024), the day after a National Holiday (November 24 (Fri.) and January 9 (Tue.)),
Year-end and New Year holidays (December 26 to January 5)
(1) Experience making Nara's traditional craft, korakumen masks
Participants can try their hand at coloring korakumen masks, which are used in Shinto rituals with bugaku music and dance performed at shrines and temples in Nara. This is a valuable experience where Ryudo Nakabo, an artist who has worked in the field for over 60 years, will provide instructions on how to make the masks and tell stories about korakumen masks.
(2) Himuro Shrine: Watching Nanto-style bugaku music and dance performance, and lighting ice lanterns
Participants will have a special seat from which to watch the bugaku performance, which has been passed down through the historic Himuro Shrine in Nara and can only be seen there. They will also experience an ice lantern lighting, which is unique to Himuro Shrine. (The god of ice is enshrined at Himuro Shrine, and the name of the shrine, Himuro means 'ice room.)
(3) Nara Crafts Museum: Special Exhibition of Traditional Crafts "Crafts, Shrines and Temples of Nara"
Please enjoy the works of contemporary artists together with the history of Nara's crafts, which developed hand in hand with the ancient and famous temples.
(4) Nara Crafts Museum: Sales of traditional crafts
Visitors can purchase artwork produced by Nara's craft artists. Visitors will be able to see firsthand and purchase the crafts of Nara, which have been produced using methods handed down and refined for over 1,300 years.