Japan is an ancient culture that is remarkably unique. Japan has a fascinating and multifaceted culture. It is steeped in the deepest of traditions dating back thousands of years.
Japan has been influenced by Asia, Europe and America but each new idea from abroad quickly takes on Japanese dimensions until it is transformed into something distinctly Japanese.
The culture has also been influenced by the landscape including factors as diverse as earthquakes and fish.
This is part of what makes it such a fascinating country to visit. If you are looking for something great, you are sure to find it here!
The following are a few examples of Japanese culture.
Traditional Japanese buildings were mostly made of wood. Japanese carpenters developed advanced techniques and occasionally built large wooden structures without using a single nail.
Architecture in Japan evolved along unique lines that reflected religious and aesthetic ideas as well as practical concerns such as weather and earthquakes. Japanese architecture, both traditional and modern, is something to see.
Japan has a rich tradition of bowing for greetings, rituals, ceremonies and apology. There are several styles of bow that range from a casual greeting to a sincere and dramatic apology.
Izakaya are a type of informal Japanese gastropubs that are found in large numbers throughout the country. They are casual places for after-work drinking.
In the countryside they are often the only nightlife in town. In cities they are popular spots to begin an evening that may progress to karaoke and other nightlife options.
Hanami, literally “flower viewing”, is the Japanese tradition of holding parties under cherry blossom trees when they bloom. Cherry blossoms are a symbol of Japanese culture that have been celebrated in countless ways by art, music, literature and film.
The format of hanami parties is fairly simple, you lay down a mat under the trees and enjoy snacks and beverages.
Food is an important part of Japanese culture and there are many unique aspects of Japanese cuisine.Japanese cuisine is unique, varied, exciting and delicious.
Washoku (和食) offers an abundance of gastronomical delights with a boundless variety of regional and seasonal dishes as well as international cuisine.
Japanese food includes thousands of dishes that represent one of the world’s great culinary traditions associated with distinct preparation methods, aesthetics, ingredients, tastes, customs and manners.
Kabuki is a type of traditional dance-drama theatre that was once a popular form of entertainment typically located in pleasure districts. All the roles in a kabuki play, including female characters, are traditionally performed by male actors.
In the Edo-era (1603〜1868), it was common for Kabuki performances to run all night and actors were the nation’s top celebrities. Actors take the stage name of their teacher who is often their father or grandfather.
Families of actors are known to preserve the same style, spirit and techniques of performance for hundreds of years.
Karaoke first emerged in Japan in the 1970s and large multi-floor karaoke with private booths were a common sight in Japanese cities by the mid-1980s.
Karaoke is old enough that it’s beginning to feel like a traditional Japanese activity. Nevertheless, karaoke remains a lively and popular nightlife option. Japan has an incredible supply.
Kimono is a type of traditional Japanese clothing. They are quite expensive but were once considered everyday wear in Japan. As a result, the Japanese historically took great care not to damage their clothing.
Kimono fabrics were usually recycled over and over again until they were finally used as toys and crafts. In modern times, kimono are considered formal wear and come in dozens of types that vary in formality, cost and function.
For example, there are special kimono for young single ladies, brides and geisha.
Manga (Japanese comics) and Anime (Japanese animation) have become a global phenomenon – and their popularity is growing every day.
Manga is an artistic genre and literary format that is remarkably popular with everyone from children to senior citizens in Japan. They cover as many topics as regular fiction from business stories to science fiction.
Manga has both hardcore fans who devote much of their free time to it and casual readers who take a glace once in a while.
Omotenashi is the spirit of Japanese hospitality and service. Japan has a number of customer service practices that are reasonably unique such as the practice of yelling “irasshaimase” to welcome customers.
Differences in service represent a bit of culture shock for visitors but are one of the charms of the culture.
Onsen are Japanese hot spring baths that are surrounded in a number of customs and traditions. Japan is extremely geothermally active and natural hot springs can be found all over the country. In Japan, hot springs bubble up everywhere.
Now Hot Spring has become an entertainment in Japan include sightseeing tour. Onsen are one of Japan’s great national pastimes.
Sumo is as much culture as sport. For example, it’s associated with rituals such as purification of the ring by each wrestler with salt. Sumo wrestlers are required to live a traditional lifestyle and dress in traditional clothing at all times.
Tatami are soft mat floors that are found in Japanese houses, temples, shrines and businesses such as ryokan. They are an important part of the traditional Japanese lifestyle of sitting and sleeping close to the floor.
For this reason, it’s common for new houses and apartments to have a single tatami room. New tatami have a sweet smell that tends to invoke nostalgia.
Tea ceremony is the pursuit of an aesthetic ideal in the humble act of preparing, serving and appreciating tea.
Japan has around 100,000 Shinto shrines and 80,000 Buddhist temples. Some are architectural wonders while others are quiet neighborhood spots that offer ceremony, rituals and festivals to their communities.
Every neighborhood shrine and temple in Japan holds at least one annual festival meaning that there are well over 100,000 festivals held each year across the country. Japanese festivals range from dance competitions to rituals that involve large scale fires. They offer an interesting view into Japanese life.
Miko are shrine maidens who play an important role in the rituals and operation of Shinto shrines. They have a mysterious past and historically were involved in what might be described as magic and sorcery.