Traditional Japanese 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. After visiting the shrines and temples to your heart’s content, why not try an 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. If you’ve always marveled at the beauty of the tea ceremony, or don’t know the first things about it, you can learn here. A centuries-old tradition, you’ll be mesmerized by the process and get to experience a beautiful part of Japanese culture.
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!