Journey To The East Blog

News and articles about small group touring in Japan

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…

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tea ceremony, tokyo, kimono,

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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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Kyushu – Less Travelled Path

Speak of Japan and places likes Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Takayama spring to mind. All these places are on the main island of Honshu. There is an island in Japan that is steeped in history, has wonderful natural wonders (like volcanoes), is renowned for food & festivals and yet it is less visited. You may…

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Sake Tasting

Australians have great wine and the knowledge of wine often causes confusion when considering Sake. Just like wine there is a very large choice. Some sake has pronounced fragrance and yet others have almost none at all. Sake offers a range from dry to quite sweet and yet another dimension is the way the alcohol/acidity…

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Outdoor Onsen

A Japanese person’s view of Paradise

Ask a Japanese person what they believe paradise is and almost universally the response will be being in an onsen, especially an onsen with a beautiful view of nature.  So what is an onsen? An onsen is bath (some the size of a small swimming pool) where mineral hot spring water runs continuously. Before you…

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