12 Things related to Japanese Lifestyle you shouldn’t miss

If you visit the land of the rising sun, you are in for a treat. A visit to Japan is an experience of a lifetime. People generally think that Japan is all about culture, heritage and tradition. However, there is so much more to Japan than just that. Japan is an amalgamation of the old and the new. When you visit Japan, there are certain places you must visit and certain things you must do. Here is a list of experiences you must try out while you are in the country.

Spot Geishas in Kyoto

If you want to see real life Geishas, then a visit to the Gion region of Kyoto is a must. If you are in luck then you will catch a glimpse a real life Geisha all decked up in their finery and dolled up with extravagant make-up. However, you must be extremely alert if you want to spot them.

Image Courtesy: bit.ly/1mut11U

Image Courtesy: bit.ly/1mut11U

The Bullet Train

The Japanese bullets train or shinkansen in Japan is a very popular and much loved mode of transportation in Japan. The bullet train has now become a part of the lifestyle in Japan. These trains practically fly from one centre to another. The trains hit the speed of 300 kmph and this makes commuting really convenient for people who travel long distances. As centres are well connected, and the service is frequent, the bullet train is every travellers delight. If you are in Japan, you must take a ride on it.

The Shibuya Crossing

This crossing is one of the world’s busiest crossings. Made famous by the movie ‘Tokyo Drift’, this crossing is a must see during rush hour. You can actually see a gigantic ‘flood’ of people at this crossing.

Try Teppanyaki Cooking

This type of cuisine is cooked on a hot grill right in front of you. At diners, you get to sit at a common table with other diners as the chef rustles up your food right in front of you.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

You will find around 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan and each one of them is worth a visit. Don’t miss them for anything.

Image Courtesy: bit.ly/1fQKTDJ

Image Courtesy: bit.ly/1fQKTDJ

Vending Machine Meal

Eat a hot Japanese lunch from a vending machine. Vending machines are a huge part of the lifestyle in Japan and it’s something you won’t get elsewhere.

Capsule Hotel

A capsule hotel is worth checking into. These zero frill hotels put you up in a capsule each. Again, this is something that is novel.

Tokyo Pushers

‘People Pushers’ help people get onto a train during rush hour so that they don’t miss it in the crowd. They wear blazers and gloves, another unique experience.

Picnic under Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms are something that native to Japan and during the cherry blossom season, it would be criminal if you don’t picnic under one.

Image Courtesy: bit.ly/1e4aOnm

Image Courtesy: bit.ly/1e4aOnm

Play Pachinko

Gaming is huge in Japan. You must try out a game of Pachinko at a gaming parlour. It’s pretty much like pinball.

Robots at Work

Watching robots work in an assembly line is something that we have seen on in movies but if you go to Nagoya and take a visit to the Toyota Kaikan Museum and Plant, then you can actually see this sight.

Black Eggs

At Hakone, you can catch a wonderful sight of Mount Fuji, take a relaxing bath at an Onsen and taste delicious and world renowned black eggs.

Image Courtesy: bit.ly/1jhN83o

Image Courtesy: bit.ly/1jhN83o

If you go to Japan, you must give these 12 things a try. They are fun and will help you soak in the essence of the real Japan.

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The Food and View at Izu Peninsula in Simple Breathtaking

Japan is a very interesting place to visit if you like travelling the world. Japan is a mixture of the old and the new. On one hand you can see how technologically advanced it is and on the other hand, you will still find it deeply rooted in tradition, customs and history. The Japanese are a proud race and they take pride in their country. Therefore, when you visit Japan, make sure you soak in the true essence of the country.

outside-view
If you are wondering, where to go in Japan, where you can take some time off, eat Japanese food and behold the beauties of the country, then you must take a trip to the Izu peninsula. The Izu peninsula is just an hour away from Tokyo, so if you are staying in the capital city, a trip to this place will be quick.

You can go to Ajiro and stay at a ryokan there but on your way to Ajiro, try and stop at Atami. This town is by the sea and it is very popular, especially with tourists. You can take a walk around town and behold Japanese buildings that have aged with time. The walking paths in the city are gorgeous and therefore you will have a fun time taking a stroll. The town is extremely charming.

starterIf you visit Atami, and love Japanese food, then you absolutely must visit a few restaurants that sell exquisite food items. A restaurant called Kamatsuru sells excellent dried fish that you must taste. It is around 150 years old and now the fifth generation runs it. Apart from the dried fish, you must try out the bottled anchovy in this place. Near Kamatsuru there is this wonderful sushi restaurant and another tempura restaurant. If you are in the Izu peninsula, you must try the red snapper.

Another restaurant called Unamasa is a specialist restaurant that has only eight seats and the delicacy they specialise in is baked eel. As the restaurant uses eels that are domestic, the produce is highly restricted. Therefore, if you want a taste of the lovely delicacy, go there during lunchtime.

The third restaurant that must make it to every foodie’s list is Tokiwagi, there specialty is sweet bean jelly. This jelly is a sweet native to Japan and is called Yokan. It is prepared with simple ingredients such as sugar, azuki beans and water, and the taste is delicate and subtle. They have various types of traditional sweets along with sweets with a modern twist.

tsukinoakari1The ryokan in Ajiro is beautiful and complements the picturesque view of the town. The rooms have open-air baths that are splendid indeed and view of the ocean from the rooms is simply breathtaking. You can eat dinner that is served Kaiseki style and there are around eight to ten dishes as each dish is rather small. Every single dish is scrumptious and will have you asking for more. So if you don’t want to visit the Izu peninsula for the view, do visit it for the amazing food that is served.

The Kyushu Seven Stars: Aiming to Rival the World’s Most Luxurious Train Journeys

Japan’s first all-new high-tech luxury sleeper train was launched recently. The Kyushu Seven Stars coasts through the beautiful landscapes of southern Japanese island of Kyushu.

Picture Source : bit.ly/19DglMF

Picture Source : bit.ly/19DglMF

Aimed to rival the world’s best luxury train journeys like the Ghan and the Orient Express, the Kyushu Seven Stars has been built with precise perfection and aesthetics. The hand-crafted woodwork and fine art throughout the train give a luxurious and timeless feel to the passengers on board. The musician, magicians and train staffs have been given the pre-launch training for almost a year. Everything comes at a cost of three billion yen, around £20 million.

The Japanese national media lined up at the platform on the morning of departure to film the first journey of train and the fortunate foreigners on board. The luxury train does not accept the registration for the next six months, as it is completely booked. A bunch of European journalists also experienced the launch trip of the luxury train.

Picture Source: bit.ly/1gNaOKi

Picture Source: bit.ly/1gNaOKi

The president of Kyushu Railway Company, Koji Karaike was quite enthusiastic over the launch trip and the features of trains. The train features ceramic sinks influenced from Satsuma porcelain, showers inspired by aromatic hinoki cypress wood, shoji and bamboo blinds and Japanese paper screens.

It was on the insistence of Eiji Mitooka, the designer of train, that such details were given to the train to make each coach seem different. Mr Mitooka was present on the platform while the Seven Stars pulled out.

The Seven Stars features with two luxury suites and 12 en-suite rooms. The occupancy of the suites was decided amid the tense moments through a lottery.

While on the journey on board, travellers were stunned with the sight of splendid green light of rice paddy fields, the volcanic landscape from the ornately-carved bed with Japanese maple.

Kyushu is an exotic place to excite you and if you are on the train’s itinerary, there is a lot packed in. The Seven Stars cover two different routes, the short and the long one. You are offered numerous outings on both the trips. In one of the outings, you are offered a walk on the largest volcanic caldera in the world near the green and fertile terrain of Aso.

Picture Source: bit.ly/17vkW35

Picture Source: bit.ly/17vkW35

On the longer route, you are offered to spend a night in a traditional Japanese inn or ryokan. The real magic of Kyushu comes alive at the ryokan. The stone paths leading to the wooden houses have a humble vibe. Inside the ryokan, floor is covered with traditional tatami mats and yukata cotton robe offered to all.

The foods in Kyushu are dainty and often decorated with flowers and twigs of maple. Besides taste, texture and appearance are equally elegant. One can taste the some of the best beef and fish at this place.

Overall, the experience at Kyushu Seven Stars is wonderful. The island of Kyushu is itself a wonderful place with abundant volcanoes and bubbling with greeneries.

How to Prepare Delicious Japanese Food, Chestnut Rice with Pacific Saury?

Japanese people are sometimes called “90-day people” because of the importance of four distinct seasons into their life. Each of these four seasons is three months long. With a change in the season, climate of the country, fashion trends and even the food culture change.

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Autumn is almost there in Japan and leaves have started turning to the beautiful shades of orange, red and yellow. Lots of holiday events are taking place and stews and other hot dishes are being served to keep you warm, as the temperature go down.

Autumn is the ideal season to celebrate the glories of Japan and oftentimes referred to as the “season of healthy appetites.” As this is the season of harvest, plenty of healthy and home-grown vegetable dishes can be found in the restaurants across the country. So, if you are planning a holidays in Japan around the winter season, enjoy the delicious Japanese food in autumn and do not miss to view the flowers change their colours.

Chestnut

Chestnut

Various autumn delicacies have already started being found in the shops. If you are looking for the delicacies prepared with home-grown ingredients, you can go for chestnut rice with home-grown chestnuts as primary ingredient. You can accompany the delicious chestnut rice with another yummy autumn delicacy, Pacific Saury.

Now, take a look at the recipe for preparing chestnut rice, at first,

Ingredients

  • 360cc of sticky rice
  • 12 chestnuts
  • 1 tablespoon of sake
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 table spoon of mirin
  • 1 small cut of kelp

Preparation Method

  • Firstly, wash the rice and allow it to dry for around 30 minutes. Use sticky rice, not the normal white rice.
  • Meanwhile, take a pan and boil the water into it. Add the chestnuts and bring them to boil again. Continue the boiling process for a few minutes.
  • Now, take away the pan from heat and place the chestnuts into cold water.
  • When the chestnuts are cool enough to handle with ease, use a knife to peel off their outer skin from the bottom to top.
  • You will find another layer of skin underneath the chestnuts, peel this as well.
  • As they easily get discoloured, place them in water soon after peeling off their skin.
  • You can use a rice cooker and put dried rice in the cooker and add cut kelp, sake, salt and mirin.
  • Add 330 ml water and place the chestnuts into the cooker. Switch on the rice cooker.
  • It will take a few minutes for chestnut rice to cook properly. When it is done, add mixed grated black sesame seeds and salt on top of rice.
  • While the rice is cooking, utilise the time in grilling the Pacific saury.
  • Enjoy the chestnut rice with grilled Pacific saury.
Chestnut-Rice

Chestnut-Rice

So, do not forget to munch on this delicious dish while staying in Japan. You can also try other seasonal dishes made of home-grown ingredients.

Wonderful Places you must visit in Japan

Japan is a traveller’s paradise. The country is picturesque and considered to be the epitome of culture and tradition. A trip to this wonderful country where modernity and antiquity collide will be spellbinding and a life changing experience for you. There are many places in Japan that are worth visiting. As Japan is an amalgamation of beauty and history, the tourist spots in the technological capital of the world are breathtaking and really exciting.

Here are a few places that you must visit while you are in Japan:

Great Buddha of Kamakura

If you like to visit places that are culturally inclined, Japan is the right place. If you are spiritual and like tourist spots that speak volumes about the country’s cultural past, then the Great Buddha of Kamakura is a must visit. This is a massive representation of the Amida Buddha which is an extremely popular Buddhist figure in Japan. This statue weighs 93 tonnes and is 40 feet high. The statue stands outdoors in open air. It is cast in bronze and it is a tourist hot spot.

Image Source : bit.ly/13SRjfW

Image Source : bit.ly/13SRjfW

Himeji Castle

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also called the “White Egret Castle” as it looks like a bird that is about to take flight. This is one of the ideal places to visit in Japan as it is one of the greatest examples of Japanese castle architecture. It was built in the feudal period and survived the bombings of the Second World War. This castle is the perfect place to visit if you are truly interested in history and art.

Image Source : bit.ly/15cweat

Image Source : bit.ly/15cweat

Ginza, Tokyo

Ginza captures the essence of technology and shopping in Tokyo. It is home to shops, malls and a lot of neon. It is best to visit Ginza at night as it is all lit up. If you are in Tokyo, you cannot afford to miss this place.

Image Source : bit.ly/177h1Ov

Image Source : bit.ly/177h1Ov

Japan is full of fantastic and exquisite sights and sounds. If you are planning to visit Japan, make sure that you chalk out the places you want to visit so that your trip is memorable.