Best Virtual Experiences: Journey through Japan from your sofa

Staying at home has forged beautiful relationships between us and the couch but even the best relationships need a little spicing up! How? Armchair travel, of course.

Movie nights don't need to just be movie nights - pop on some Japanese music to set the scen, feel like a traveller discovering what's inside your Peko Peko Box filled with hand picked souvenirs straight from Japan! That's when you'll be ready to push play on one of the many Japanese films currently available on Netflix and the BFI Player (enter our 'JNTO21' code when you sign up for a whopping 1month extra for FREE until the end of April 2021). Make it a night to remember and gaze longingly into Japan's eyes as it gazes back into yours over a romantic homemade Japanese dish
And for those of you ready to make it official, we've prepared a list of exciting experiences you can try, from sightseeing to cooking classes and sake tastings, kicking things off with iconic experiences to truly speak to your helplessly besotted inner Japan fan!

Our first three recommendations come courtesy of Arigato Japan Food Tours, who also run experiences you can try during your future stay in Japan. All online experiences are organised from Japan but you can join from your couch in the UK. Just make sure to double check the time because it’s shown in Japan Standard Time (JST) on the website. To get the most out of the experience they have set a maximum of 10 guests per experience which are all held on Zoom. Get some snacks and drinks before joining the online fun and don't forget to ask your questions - you'll have local experts at your disposal! 

Become a Tokyoite

Join ‘Tokyo Online: Virtual Experience in Shibuya and Shinjuku with a Local Expert’ to learn about the history of those two areas, the best time to travel, and tips for visiting the bustling metropolis that is Tokyo! Fans of Japanese food like ramen and yakitori won’t be disappointed by the programme. If you were worried about visiting for the first time, the local guides will share their expert do’s and don’ts so you can relax and enjoy. We especially recommend this experience to everyone planning their trip to Japan, as a fun way to polish up that itinerary and get some very useful inside info! 

Mt. Fuji without secrets

Thinking about climbing Mt. Fuji but not sure where to start? Then the ‘Discover Mt. Fuji: Online Experience’ is for you! Climbing Japan's tallest highest peak can be one of the highlights of your trip but it's always good to ask someone experienced for advice. Join a local expert to learn more about Mt. Fuji, the history and culture of the surrounding area and get answers to all of the daunting questions you might have about planning your bucket list holiday in Japan. All participants get an info sheet after the event so no stress if you get carried away with the fun!

Foodie paradise

Before joining this experience you should stock up on snacks simply just to avoid drooling uncontrollably. The Top 5 Japanese Foods experience will give you all the intel on Japan’s delicious cuisine – not every country’s traditional food is UNESCO acclaimed after all! Learn surprising facts about Japanese food, delve into history and origins of dishes, and prepare yourself for different dining experiences Japan has to offer! Japan has a wealth of culinary traditions so the next time you visit a restaurant you will know the where, the how and most importantly: what to order!

Arigato Japan Food Tours organise other exciting online experiences, for example Shizuoka’s green tea or a special cherry blossom experience which is only available from the 15th of March until the 28th of April!

Put your chef hat on

You can choose to go a step further and book an online cooking class! Sozai Cooking School offers a wide variety of different classes from the classic sushi masterclass to how to make ramen, Japanese sweets or vegan shojin ryori (traditional Buddhist cuisine eaten by monks)! Their classes tend to last between an hour and two hours, and you receive a list of the ingredients that you'll need to prepare before the big day. The perfect way to spice up your weekend or turn an ordinary weekday into an international celebration!

Drink like a pro

Have you always wanted to try Japanese whisky and sake? This March, Japanese bottle shop and bar Sakaya at Pantechnicon is organising three extraordinary Masterclasses. You can sign up through their website here. Before the event you will receive a tasting kit so try to resist temptation before tucking into the incredible drinks selection on the day! Lorenzo, General Manager of Sakaya and Sachi, and his guests will teach you about Japan’s famous breweries and distilleries and the unique history behind each drink.

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