Journey To The East Blog

News and articles about small group touring in Japan

Japanese Gardens

When you think of Japanese Gardens, order and tranquility seem to spring to mind. There again, there are the Japanese sand and stone (or dry landscape) gardens made from such harsh substances yet they convey idealism and potential for contemplation on a totally different plane. The variety of gardens in Japan is staggering. Some of…

Read More

Traditional Washoku Japanese Cuisine

Until recently, UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage included only one traditional cuisine – French.  However, there are now two cuisines listed; French and Japanese. The traditional Japanese cuisine known as “washoku” was recently added to this exclusive list. We are all familiar how good chefs around the world have frequently turned to the foundation…

Read More

Ryokan & Minshuku

There is a wide variety of accommodation in Japan, from the large 5* international chains to the smaller more personal type of accommodation. Of interest here are two particular types of accommodation in Japan; ryokans and minshuku. Some ryokans can be quite large up to 100s of rooms, whereas minshuku approximate to our family operated…

Read More

Japanese Tea Ceremony

The roots of  tea ceremony were in China and appearing in Japan more than 1000 years ago. Having seen the Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies, apart from consuming tea, it is hard to discern what else is in common. The Japanese tea ceremony has evolved in its own way over time with its own purpose and…

Read More

The Buddhist Monk

The two major religions in Japan are Shinto (the indigenous faith of the Japanese people) and Buddhism. Buddhism originated in India and apparently arrived in Japan via two routes, Korea and China. Buddhism came to Japan about 1500 years ago. Buddhism took some time to get a foothold in Japan because of its more complex theories.…

Read More

How To Get Free WiFi in Japan for Travellers

One of the most frustrating things about travelling in Japan has been the difficulties associated with communicating home. With 10+ million foreign tourists a year going to Japan, the pressure for change has had some effect. Free WiFi in Japan for travellers  just got easier. There is now a free app (pc, iphone/ipad and Android…

Read More

Four seasons in Japan

You often hear that Japan is blessed with a beautifully distinct four seasons. But you’ve got to experience one or more of the seasons to actually know what it means. We have just completed our signature spring ‘Cherry Blossom Spectacular Tour’ and comments we received from the members of the tour demonstrate that the experience…

Read More

Takayama Festival

The Takayama Spring Festival starts mid April and runs for two days. The centuries old Takayama festival apparently started in the 17th century. There is little documented history about the start of the event, it is held to commemorate a good harvest. One of the largest festivals in Japan, it is a spectacle not to miss. The…

Read More