Tokyo is one of the world’s amazing cities, offering much to see, taste and experience. This vibrant city has something for everyone, with its vast amount of temples and shrines, oddball cafes, fine dining, and expansive outdoor chill zones. We’ve compiled here four culture experiences that are a must when visiting this fascinating and quirky metropolis.
We couldn’t start a list of things to do in Japan with anything but sushi making! While the Japanese can’t claim responsibility for inventing this delectable cuisine, they have perfected nigiri into the form we enjoy today.
While there are many options for a class, we recommend a session with taisho (master) Katsualo Suzuki, an affable Zen-like character who’s risen to the top of the sushi world after dominating the culinary scene in Hong Kong. At the tender age of 31, his intimate seven-seat sushi restaurant, Ginza Iwa Habnare, is one of the most coveted spots in the upscale Ginza neighbourhood.
2. Geisha Entertainment
An icon of Japanese culture, Geisha, or “persons of art” emerged in the 1700’s as entertainers who provided music, lighthearted conversation and comical play to high society. Known for their focus on hospitality and guests’ experience, spending an enchanting evening with a Geisha is sure to transform you back in time and leave a lasting impression.
3. Study the Art of Iaido Swordsmanship
Iaido is a Japanese martial art which encompasses grace and discipline, with a practice in pursuit of spiritual perfection. It’s meant to be a defence for surprise attacks, by attempting to strike down an opponent with a single strike and to unsheathe and replace the katana while immediately returning to a still mind.
Attend a 90-minute private class at a school of the Mugairyu discipline of Iaido, where you will learn the basics of samurai etiquette and six kata sword movements. Thereafter, put your skills to the test by performing a tameshigiri test slice, where you will use a real katana to cut through a straw target.
4. Appreciate the Power of Sumo Wrestlers
As Japan’s national sport, professional sumo is not to be missed. These powerful athletes take their training and sport very seriously, leading extremely regimented and hierarchical lives. Sumo’s traditional elements are still in focus today, nearly 1,500 years later. Visit a renowned sumo beta stable (residence for the wrestlers) and witness the spiritual and fierce practice.
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