Japan is singularly defined by its ability to preserve ancient traditions while thriving amidst the most modern of societies. The nation’s rich history and technological prowess provides many points-of-interests to explore – from modern Tokyo’s bustling streets, Kroto’s cultural treasures, picture-perfect valleys in Takayama to the bubbling and therapeutic mineral spas of scenic Hakone. It’s the land where the national sport, Sumo wrestling (dating back to 200 AD as a Shinto rite to produce an abundant harvest), vies for TV time with the post WWII-era baseball craze. Highly ritualized yet simple, elegant yet bold, traditional yet evolving, static yet dynamic -- Japan's contradictions are utterly fascinating.
Japan is a land of incredible beauty, rich customs and warm, welcoming people. With so much to see and do in this island nation, activities in Japan are plentiful for the enthusiastic traveler.
Studying Japanese Arts
If you are interested in studying traditional Japanese arts, such as martial arts, music, tea ceremony, ceramics or dance, or you would like an introduction to Buddhist religious studies, talk to your Japan Travel Specialist. Sessions lasting from a half day to weeks may be arranged. The principal centers for study in Japan’s most traditional arts are Kyoto and Nagano.
If you're looking for an active way to see the sights, multi-day treks in the Japanese Alps - one of the many distinctive things to do on group trips to Japan - can be arranged. Often these routes follow ancient footpaths of samurai warriors or philosophers, and stop at traditional inns that are centuries old. Contact an ATJ Asia travel expert for more details.
One of the best times of the year for luxury trips to Japan is during July. The Gion Matsuri is celebrated in Kyoto in the month of July and is a site not to be missed. Large floats carry musicians and revelers through the streets, and everything looks a couple of centuries out of place.