©Nagano Prefecture/Kurabito Stay
Japan is a destination that is meant to be experienced with all five senses. Where some may be content to merely stop and photograph beautiful scenery, Japan begs to be felt and known by those who visit. From the bustling city streets to the sleepy rural villages and everywhere in between, exciting and immersive experiences await. Explore Japan’s seven passions with our dedicated Japan Experiences page and discover unique and inspiring ways to deepen any visit to Japan: https://www.japan.travel/experiences-in-japan/en/
Train with Yamagata’s Mountain Mystics in Yamagata
Deep in Japan’s northern Tohoku region lies the sacred mountains of the Dewa Sanzan. Journey through this sacred area guided by the yamabushi, followers of the ancient mountain mysticism known as Shugendo. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you don the white robes of the yamabushi and hike sacred trails, enjoy traditional cuisine, stay at a pilgrim lodge, and even experience a transformational waterfall meditation.
Learn Sake Brewing from the Masters in Nagano
Experience the time-honored tradition of sake brewing first hand with this weekend retreat at Kitsukura Shuzo Sake Brewery in Nagano. Under the masterful guidance of the brewery’s sake experts, you’ll be able to experience the various stages of the brewing process such as washing and steaming the rice, preparing the koji for fermentation, stirring the starter mash and even designing your own unique sake bottle label. Sake tastings are of course a must and you’ll learn to hone your palette like a true sake sommelier with a sake tasting workshop. Finally, the 100-year historic property offers comfortable guest rooms and partners with local eateries to deliver authentic local cuisine during your stay.
Create Your Own Stunning Handmade Lacquerware in Fukui
Though there are many handmade craft experiences in Japan to choose from – such as silk and indigo dyeing, and pottery making – the art of lacquerware remains an accessible and fun hands-on activity that produces unique and beautiful souvenirs to take home. Fukui’s Echizen lacquer is a 1,500-year-old tradition that is still prevalent today. Not only can you watch the master artisans at work but you can choose from three different workshops: e-tsuke (painting a design with a brush), chinkin (carving a design with a knife), and fuku-urushi (applying lacquer to the wooden base). Enjoy an afternoon creating your own personal lacquerware masterpiece and then head over to the gallery to take in the work of local artists and craftsmen passing down this important tradition.
Farm to Table in Akita
Discover a different side of Japan with an authentic farm stay in Odate, Akita. Experience a day in the life of a farmer as you help tend the rice fields, pickle vegetables, pick apples, and help with general farm upkeep. After a day tending the farm, head inside and assist the host with preparing an Akita specialty dish featuring the harvested rice – kiritanpo stew. The warm and comforting dish is the perfect way to end a busy day on the farm while learning about and enjoying a local delicacy.