What is Japan like?

What is Japan like?

Japan is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.
Each year, many foreigners from all over the world visit Japan.

But how did Japan become a country loved by people from all over the world?
In this article, we will introduce the diverse and profound appeal of Japan, including its nature, history, culture, and cuisine...just to name a few.

The beautiful Nature in Japan

Forests occupy about 70% of the country's land with countless mountain ranges and the vast ocean that surrounds Japan.
No other places are so blessed with such a natural environment.
The nature of Japan is heavily influenced by the seasons, so you can enjoy the most beautiful scenery at any time of the year.

In addition, Japan still has much of its nature untouched.
Behind this is the unique view on nature of the Japanese people.
It is the notion that humans are a part of nature and that we cannot control nature.
It has also been taught that the gods dwell in the seas and mountains that surround Japan.
Therefore, the Japanese have always chosen to coexist with nature without interfering with it.

The Dramatic History of Japan

Japan, being an island nation, has a somewhat distinctive history that differs from that of other countries.

There is a magnificent story that would take too long from the very beginning, but the first notable feature is the history of warfare from the Warring States Period to the Edo Period.
The samurai fighting with swords in their hands and the spirit of bushido, which emphasizes loyalty and morality, are famous throughout the world.
Since each of the warlords active during that era had their own unique personalities and lives, many foreigners visit Japan, maybe meet a warlord they like and visit his castles and other places associated with the warlord.

Also not to be forgotten in Japan's history is World War II, which in 1945 Japan became the only country in the world to be heavily bombed in the war. After the war, Japan recovered at a phenomenal pace, but the damage from the war has never fully healed.
Japan's mission is to make the world safe, and there are buildings and museums throughout the country, including the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to convey the tragedy of the war to future generations and to the world.
For better or worse, Japan's dramatic history has attracted a great deal of interest and has been able to live up to its promise.

The Profound Culture of Japan

Japan is a country that has incorporated many foreign cultures.
However, despite this, it has also developed its own unique culture.
In other words, rather than accepting different cultures as they are, Japanese people have modified them to fit their own lifestyles, creating a culture rich in diversity while preserving their own traditions.

First of all, an essential part of Japanese culture is its view on religion.
Shinto and Buddhism have long been the main religions in Japan.
However, most Japanese people do not distinguish between religions, but integrate them into their daily lives.
They visit shrines on New Year's Day and read Buddhist chants during Obon.
Furthermore, the Christian Christmas is a major winter event.
A flexible religious outlook that assimilates the appeal of each religion avidly is the foundation of Japanese culture.

Japan also has a culture born of diverse aesthetic concepts.
One of Japan's oldest aesthetic principles is "wabi-sabi."
"Wabi" refers to the idea of imperfection, while "sabi" refers to the idea of finding beauty in antiquity and stillness.
The Japanese tea ceremony, for example, is a typical example of "wabi-sabi."
It was born out of the pursuit of beauty in the time of scarcity, where tea is enjoyed in a modest room and with simple utensils.
Recently, the aesthetic sense of "kawaii" (cute) is also spreading throughout the world.
Unique outfits that defy common sense and colorful food and drinks are examples of a culture born from the uniquely Japanese concept of "kawaii."
Ingrained in Japanese culture, it has always had a sense of beauty that has eliminated all stereotypes and appeals directly to one's emotions.

Furthermore, manga and anime, a part of Japanese culture, are also world-famous.
In Japan, they are characterized by narratives that can be enjoyed not only by children, but also by most adults.
The more one reads, the more one is drawn into the story through surprising foreshadowing and complex psychological depictions.
The obsessive attention to detail in the panel layout and subtle touches that deftly guide the reader's eye is what makes the story so appealing and engages the reader's emotions so instantly.
Many foreigners who become interested in Japan as a result of manga and anime visit Japan to participate in cosplay events or to tour the areas where the works were set.

Japanese Gourmet Food is fun to see and eat

In 2012, Japan's "Japanese food" was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Japanese food, which makes the most of the abundant resources of the sea and mountains, is now becoming a global standard, and is so popular that many foreigners come to Japan just to enjoy authentic Japanese food.

Japanese food is most famous for sushi and tempura, but the flavors are truly exquisite, and the use of Japanese seasonings such as soy sauce and miso, as well as dashi (soup stock), which is full of flavor, brings out the natural flavors of the food to the fullest.
The raw food culture that permeates Japanese cuisine is also not to be forgotten. Sashimi, the raw fish, is well-known, but many people are surprised to learn that eggs and meat are also eaten raw.
However, it is a highly precious food culture that can only be experienced because of Japan's sanitary environment, which is considered to be the best in the world.

Another attraction is the detailed and delicate appearance of the food.
Japanese food, carefully handcrafted by professional chefs, is a one-of-a-kind gourmet dish that will impress and surprise you both when you see and eat it.

Feel Japan's Four Seasons through the Five Senses

The four seasons in Japan are spring, summer, fall, and winter.
They change approximately every three months.

Spring is a warm and mild season.
This is also the time when the cherry blossoms bloom.
Summer is hot and very humid. The weather is unstable, and in some years there are numerous typhoons.
Autumn is the season when the heat subsides and it is very comfortable.
It is also called "the harvest season," when crops are harvested in abundance.
Winter is the season of bitter cold. Many areas in Japan are covered with snow.

Of course, there are many countries that have four seasons, but Japan's four seasons are characterized by the fact that the changes in the natural environment can be distinctly felt with all five senses.

In addition, there are many annual events associated with the four seasons in Japan, and the culture encourages people to enjoy the arrival of the seasons by participating in these events. For example, cherry blossom viewing in spring, fireworks in summer, and so on.
Japanese events, filled with ingenuity and knowledge to maximize the enjoyment of each season, have become popular among tourists visiting Japan, as they provide a valuable opportunity to experience Japanese culture firsthand.

Japanese "Omotenashi" That Soothes All people

Omotenashi or hospitality, refers to the spirit of showing consideration for the people you care about.

For example, when you arrive at a ryokan in Japan, the first thing they do is carefully check your baggage.
Even the elevator buttons will not be pushed by you.
When you get to your room, your baggage has already been dropped off, and there are tea and snacks to satisfy your hunger.
When you return from your bath and take a breather, dishes served at the right temperature will be placed in front of you.
The next day, when you return to the ryokan after a day of sightseeing, you will find that every corner of your room has been thoroughly cleaned, and you will once again be able to enjoy in comfort.

Omotenashi is a symbol of Japanese culture, where you can feel the thoughtfulness and attention to detail of the people you are visiting.