Culture & Crafts
If you don’t have the chance to visit cultural capital Kyoto, fear not – from geisha to yabusame, Tokyo has its fair share of Japanese traditions on offer, so why not try onsen—the perfect way to relax after a day of walking. The potentially terrifying prospect of naked bathing is explained here—and you’ll forget your fears the instant you set foot in the calming, steamy rooms and feel your aches and pains melt away. We’ve got guides if you’ve always marveled at the beauty of the tea ceremony or wanted to try out the art of origami.
Shrines and Temples
Coexisting in the country, Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples are sacred, stunning and free, making them a perfect addition to sightseeing schedules. Whether you’re looking to improve your romantic future at one of the city’s love shrines, take a trip to the cat temple or to visit the oldest Temple in the city, we’ve got a guide on how to act, what to do and equally importantly, what not to do when you get there.
Traditional Japanese Festivals
As well as the more peaceful examples of traditional Japan, there are some more riotous options—namely the matsuri (festivals) and there are hundreds. The Tokyo area’s most iconic matsuri include Sanja Matsuri in Asakusa and the enchanting Chichibu Yomatsuri in the winter. With food stalls lining the streets selling everything from okonomiyaki to chocolate bananas, performances, processions, lanterns and mochi-throwing—there is no better way to get stuck into Japanese tradition. Held in the summer and often including fireworks displays they celebrate every aspect of Japanese life, from fertility to flowers to fabric dyeing, so take your pick and have fun!