Japan: Weaving Tradition And Modernity

May 10, 2023

For those of us who love the prospect of getting to know an Asian country, one of the things we want to be prepared for is knowing how to handle cultural differences appropriately; this is especially true in Japan, where respect in all contexts is essential.

In this article, we will teach you a few key phrases in Japanese to help you on your adventure and give you tips and advice to help you plan your visit to the Japanese nation like an expert. Also, we would like to say that You can see Japan holidays packages on Voyage Privé, whether you are looking for luxury or traditional ryokan experiences. So keep reading further to know the highlights and landmarks you do not want to miss when visiting Japan!

Two magic phrases

Two relatively easy-to-memorise and pronounce phrases will make all the difference: “sumimasen” and “onegaishimasu”. They will be helpful in many contexts: ordering food in a restaurant, asking for directions in the street, communicating with the staff where you are staying, and so on.

“Sumimasen” is a polite Japanese phrase that can be translated as “excuse me,” “sorry,” or “thank you.” Its usage varies depending on the situation and context. “Onegaishimasu” is another common Japanese phrase that can be translated as “please” or “I humbly ask you”.

It is often used before or immediately after politely requesting or asking for something. For example, you can start by saying “Sumimasen”, then in the middle what you need (obviously, in Japanese!) such as “train station” or “pork ramen”, and close with “Onegaishimasu”, and even if it doesn’t make all the sense in the world what you are saying, it will make a difference if you show an effort. To get further into this, check this article by The Invisible Tourist.

Discover the best of Japan: From traditional culture to modern cities

Japan is a country that never ceases to fascinate with its unique blend of old and new, traditional and modern, and breathtaking natural beauty. And it has something for everyone, from the vibrant metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka to the serene and historic cities of Kyoto and Nara.

  • Tokyo and Osaka: the vibrant metropolises

It would be a shame to omit some of these two cities when visiting the Asian country. Likewise, a trip to Japan would only be complete with experiencing the energy and excitement of the country’s major cities.

The capital, Tokyo, is a vast metropolis with some of the world’s most famous buildings, such as the Tokyo Tower and Shibuya Crossing. In Tokyo, you can also visit the Imperial Palace, Asakusa Temple, and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, immersing you in Japanese culture.

Osaka is renowned for its delicious food. Whether your taste buds are exquisite or you enjoy visiting the local tasting joints, Osaka is where you are looking for. It is known as the “Kitchen of Japan” for a good reason. Do not miss a visit to the bustling district of Dotonbori, which is noted for its colourful neon lights; another must is Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most iconic landmarks.

  • Serene Kyoto and historic Nara

Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan, with more than 2,000 temples and shrines. Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, and Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. You can also participate in a tea ceremony or calligraphy workshop in Kyoto!

Nara, a short train from Kyoto, is home to some of Japan’s oldest and most revered temples and shrines. Todai-ji Temple, with its giant Buddha statue, Kasuga-taisha Shrine, famous for lanterns, and Nara Park, home to hundreds of friendly deer grazing freely. Protip: go during the cherry blossom season.

  • The natural wonders of Hokkaido and Okinawa

Japan is an island nation endowed with some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the world. From Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, with its snow-capped mountains, pristine forests, and crystal-clear lakes, to Okinawa in the far south of Japan, a paradise of lush tropical wilderness, white sandy beaches and beautiful coral reefs, all across Japan, there’s beauty.

Hokkaido offers skiing in winter, while in summer, you can go hiking and visit Shikotsu-Toya National Park, which is quite famous for its hot springs and volcanic activity.

You can snorkel, scuba dive, or relax in the sun in Okinawa. Also, take advantage of the opportunity to try some of Okinawa’s unique dishes, such as goya champuru (stir-fried with bitter melon).

  • Beppu in Kyushu: A Unique Japanese hot spring experience

Known as the “hot spring capital” of Japan, Beppu is famous for its numerous hot springs, which offer visitors the opportunity to relax in open-air baths surrounded by nature. The hot springs of Beppu are indeed memorable, but most of all: a renewing experience.

Luxury holidays Japanese-style: Exclusivity, comfort and exceptional service

A luxury experience in Japan can mean staying in a luxurious ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, but there are also conventional five-star hotels.

Both types of accommodation offer exceptional services and amenities. One of the most enticing is the private hot springs, as well as the personal concierge services.

The advantage of looking for such an experience is that their packages often include private guided tours of historical and cultural sites and exclusive access to events and attractions, so it is worth checking out the options available.

Conclusions: Why Japan should be your next travel destination

In conclusion, Japan offers travellers many opportunities, especially those who value spirit-filling experiences.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing hot springs holiday, an authentic dining experience, or to be amazed by the Japanese nation’s metropolis, you will not be disappointed.

The country’s unique blend of tradition and modernity, combined with exceptional service and attention to detail, makes Japan a destination. So take the plunge and choose this as your next adventure!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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