All About Japan

Takigyo: Japanese Waterfall Meditation

Takigyo, or waterfall meditation, is a rare practice that samurai and ascetic Japanese Buddhists and Shintoists engaged in for centuries. There are several places around Japan where visitors can join the breath-taking training.

In the Footsteps of Japan’s Yamabushi Ascetics

Visit this isolated village in central Japan for a glimpse of Japan's ancient ascetic traditions that are still being practiced today.

Touch of Tradition with Modern 3D Cutter Cabin

This remarkable wooden cabin was constructed locally in the mountains of Japan using a Shopbot 3D wood cutter, with minimal impact on the environment. Click to learn more.

Englishwoman, Buddhist Priest, Country Mom

Victoria Yoshimura went from English teacher to Buddhist priest at a rural Kyushu temple, with many adventures on the way

Making Herbal Tea at Oyakuen Medicine Garden

Herbs and other botanicals with healing properties have been used for medicinal purposes in Japan for centuries. I had a chance to learn more about the historical cultivation of such plants, and make my own blend for tea, at Oyaku-en in Aizu Wakamatsu.

The Isolated Attractions of Shikoku's "Tibet"

Some dedicated people are intent on saving the small village of Kito, and the last 20 bears that live in the surrounding mountains.

These Traditional Dolls Are Earthquake Ready

As one kokeshi doll workshop's owners began cleaning up their shop, a flash of genius stuck them: why not equip their topple-prone traditional dolls with lights that can be used in case of future earthquakes?

Discharge Drill at Shirakawago Making Waves

The annual water discharge drill was carried out at Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, to the delight of visitors.

Learning Japan's Ancient Horseback Archery

Yabusame is a traditional samurai martial, involving shooting an arrow at a target from the back of a horse galloping at full speed. I attempted to learn this in one day. And so can you.

Architectural Techniques to Join UNESCO Ranks

Japan’s traditional wooden architectural techniques are set to be recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Nostalgic Trip to a Beloved Tokyo Neighborhood

The Shibamata neighborhood on the outskirts of Tokyo retains the essence of the city’s “everyman” past. An iconic films series has helped to preserve its charms.

Japan’s Ancient UFO: The Tale of Utsuro-bune

The utsuro-bune legend has has been a source of intrigue in Japan for over 200 years. Read on to discover what is behind the legend.

How I Learned to Wield a Samurai Sword

Spending a few hours, or even a day, at Meihodo, a complex of Edo-style buildings and gardens in the Mt. Aso caldera of Kyushu's Kumamoto Prefecture, is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in samurai culture.

In Samurai Footsteps: The 47 Ronin Tour

One of the most famous stories of historical times is the saga of the 47 ronin, a group of samurai who avenged their deceased lord in a famous vendetta. Tokyo has several spots where fans of the story can visit to pay homage to the dedicated warriors.

The City of Salmon – A Day in Murakami

Murakami, in northern Niigata, is home to the eerie tradition of hanging salmon. It is also famous for tea, sake, wagyu, and more!

Time Travel with Japan's "Warlord" Clocks

Tokyo's Daimyo Clock Museum showcases unique Japanese clocks and the old way of measuring time used in the Edo period.

Get Hands-on in Rural Japan: Akita Farm Stay

By giving people unique first-hand experiences, green tourism can help revitalize and re-popularize the lifestyles and customs of rural Japan.

Crown Prince Next in Line of Succession

Emperor Naruhito proclaimed his younger brother, Crown Prince Fumihito, as the first in line to Japan’s Chrysanthemum Throne on November 8.

Akita Confectioneries Celebrate New PM

Confectionery stores in Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide's home prefecture have started to sell sweets modeled after him.

Annual Bean-Tossing Events Held Across Japan

In a way to welcome good fortune and drive out the bad, Setsubun festivities were held in various parts of Japan on February 2 with limited participants amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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