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The traditional celebration of New Year’s in Japan is not so much glitzy so much as it is a nuanced acknowledgement and purging of the troubles of the past in preparation for the next year. These longstanding traditions in Japan are a sort of cyclical and reflective readying process, providing an ancient rhythm in an ever-changing, chaotic world.
Whether you’re a sophisticated Tokyoite or a curious traveler passing through, check out our end-of-year recommendations for truly immersive holiday activities with your loved ones.
Traditionally, the names and designs of wagashi were inspired by poetry, artwork and nature. Hand-picked sakura, peeking young grass, autumn leaf layers... each one symbolizing a moment in nature and also, the name of a wagashi.
Japanese music draws from its deeply historic roots, but has also skillfully evolved in more modern, creative expressions today. Read on to learn more about this lesser-known aspect of Japanese traditional culture and hear firsthand the power of Japan’s music.
Leisurely strolls under the momiji make for a perfect autumn outing, but that is just one option among many ways of celebrating fall like a local. Read on to find out which Japanese fall tradition best suits your style.
Mindful appreciation of nature is a theme that runs throughout Japanese culture, reflected in everything from subtly seasonal haikus, to Ghibli films that are famous for their featuring of lush natural landscapes. A practise that’s being rediscovered in Japan and receiving attention globally is the art of “forest bathing”, or shinrin-yoku (森林浴).
While we at Detouur love the occasional steaming-hot bowl of calorie rich ramen and a plate of crispy, juicy tonkatsu, in the long run we know that what brings the most comfort is home-cooked food, which nourishes both the body and soul.
While in Japan, you may see colorful, brocade objects attached to bags, wallets or keys. Although they are pretty, the primary purpose of these satiny, rectangular-shaped pouches is not decorative. They are in fact amulets or lucky charms called “omamori”.
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth”
Staying at a temple is high up on many traveler's Japan bucket list. But what is temple lodging really like?
Discover some local stories for inspiration:
Fusahiro | The Katana Swordsmith
The Nation Museum in Ueno was where Fusahiro Shimojima, a professional katana craftsman, saw his first katana. The museum visit was a middle school class trip, and it was the start of Fusahiro’s fascination with katana...
Nobuko | The Biwa Performer
The biwa is not Nobuko’s first love; She used to be an actress in love with musical theatre. Western style music was where she found comfort, beauty, and inspiration. While she became more familiar with Western music, she began seeing a gap in her knowledge of Japanese music...