Japan's rich cultural heritage permeates every aspect of modern life, from the daily interactions of folks on the streets to the way dinner is served at local eateries. Attention to detail, appreciation of subtle beauty, and impeccable customer service are all elements that add to the Japanese experience.
The storied history of Japan is unlike that of any other nation on the planet. Samurai battles, imperial court rituals, and a blending of ancient domestic animism and imported Buddhism continue to add to the mystique of modern Japan.
Okonomiyaki, sushi, udon, and tempura are just a few of the incredible kinds of cuisine that originate in Japan. Known for subtlety of flavors, Japanese food coupled with a cold domestic beer or hot sake is sure to please, and surprise, the pallet of even the most ardent foodie.
No where else on earth will you find such a seamless co-mingling of ancient, traditional architecture with futuristic buildings that scrape the sky. Thousand-year-old temples are quite often sandwiched between modernistic office buildings, providing a uniquely Japanese blend of old and new.
Subtle and natural, yet highly refined, the gardens of Japan provide oases in the concrete jungles of the country's modern cities. Meditate quietly overlooking expertly placed dry landscapes, or slowly stroll along meandering paths lined with lush green maples and cherry blossoms.
Bonsai is a uniquely Japanese practice, incorporating a deep cultural appreciation of nature and unmatched attention to detail and craftsmanship. The art, as practiced in Japan, is unrivaled anywhere else in the world. Bonsai passed on from one generation to the next, developed over decades or centuries, are a testament to the resilience and dedication of Japan's professional artists. Seeing these living works in person will undoubtedly change the way you see nature and art.