Tea came from China to Japan sometime in the 9th century. Although it became popular with the aristocracy and the upper class for its alleged medical healing arts, it was not until the samurai class adopted the tradition of tea ceremony or chado that the tea really began to flourish. It reached its height in the 16th century, with practitioners such as Sen-no-Rikyu establishing the ceremony in a form that has continued to this day. Participate in a traditional tea ceremony, a contemplative exercise that combines ritual movements with handmade tools that are considered more beautiful for their “imperfections”. A highlight of the ceremony is the chance to try the wagashi, traditional sweets that are designed to complement the “match” served during the tea ceremony. and a tea ceremony. You can also order a special kaiseki meal, which is arranged during the ceremony.
Sake (pronounced sacke, not sackéé) or nihonshu is Japan’s traditional drink, created through a two-stage fermentation process that includes rice and koji. You can find sake from high-class ryotei (traditional restaurants) to casual izakaya (bars) and it can be served hot or cold. You will learn the complicated fermentation process when you visit a local brewery. Some plants use modern techniques, while many still follow the traditional methods of brewing. Of course, it will be time for tasting. You will discover a whole new drink and get tasting experiences you never thought of sake!
Maiko (Geisha) is one of Kyoto’s best known figures, and many visitors dream of photographing a kimono-clad maiko tripping through the cobblestone streets on the way to an evening engagement. Now you can have a personal meeting with one of these engaging artists. Here you will learn more about this iconic profession. You will meet maikon in an exclusive ochaya teahouse, which is usually limited to all but established customers. Take the chance to talk to Maikon and play some games before settling down to an exciting kaiseki dinner. Enjoy the delicacies of the season and a music and / or dance performance. End the experience with a visit to a nearby traditional garden.
Torii Gates in Fushimi Inari Shrine in southern Kyoto is one of Japan’s most iconic sights. Visit the 1300-year-old sanctuary and hike up the mountain to the vantage point with the impressive view of southern Kyoto. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Inari, who will bring happiness when doing business. The thousands of Torii gates leading the way were built by those whose prayers were answered and these have been used as a backdrop in several films (including “A Geisha’s Memoirs”). See the many fox motifs that are everywhere. The fox represents Inari’s messenger.
Akihabara has long been considered a central point for Japan’s counter-movement to traditional Japan. From the postwar era’s well-known electronics district to its current role as a high seat for animation and otaku culture (a kind of Japanese underground culture – a mix of electronics / manga series). A fascinating neighborhood to explore. In Akihabara you will see everything from vintage Nintendo games to animated cartoon characters to the latest Sony electronics. Stop by a cafe for a look at cosplay (a kind of costume game) or read a manga comic book on a “Manga Kissa” (a cafe for readers of Manga – comic books / books). Don’t miss going to the nearby Manseibashi shopping complex, which is a renovated train station. Don’t forget to visit the 100-year-old Kanda Myojin Shrine. You notice the influence of Akihabara here, which becomes especially evident in the prayer signs and special amulets in the form of memory cards.
Tokyo’s many Michelin-starred restaurants are world-renowned, but if you want to save your yens, the city’s “street food” is at least as good and costs a fraction of the price. Explore the Japanese term “B-kyu gurume” or “B-grade cuisine”, these tasty dishes that the locals love. chicken or a lovely bowl of steamed ramen.Follow the red lanterns of an izakaya, where you taste edamame or some sashimi. If time and appetite make it possible, you may end with a delicious taiyaki, a fish-shaped pastry filled with red bean paste or cream served directly from the grill. Regardless of the menu, you will not go home hungry!