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Why Regional Japan?

       Regional Japan = the Japanese countryside, wilderness, villages and regional centres away from major cities such as Tokyo,        

       Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Hiroshima and Sendai …..

  • Many international travellers have already discovered the wonders of Japanese culture and landscapes. However, the majority of visitors still remain on the ‘tourist trail’ and miss out on experiences in areas of regional Japan that have not opened up to international tourism. Rich traditions still abound in ‘off the beaten track’ regional Japan. Food is grown, gathered and prepared locally in the traditional way. Festivals celebrate the seasons and milestones in the farming and spiritual calendar. Craft artisans uphold time-honoured traditions in family-run workshops, using methods that have been passed down the generations. These are living traditions that continue to be a part of the everyday life in regional Japan today. It is unfortunate that many ‘traditions’ travellers experience in tourist areas are sustained purely for tourism. The Japanese food culture in cities and tourist areas that many tourists experience is far removed from the healthy, traditional farmhouse cuisine that is still the norm in regional areas. Experiencing living traditions in regional Japan provides an opportunity to experience the ‘real’ culture, and a deeper understanding of the cultural, environmental and historic background to the traditions.

  • Traditions in regional Japan are based on a belief in harmonious co-existence with the natural environment. This reverence for nature has, over millennia, gave rise to a system of environmentally sustainable land use in which natural resources are managed carefully and recycled. As a result, the Japanese have traditionally managed to secure an abundant supply of food, textile and timber resources in a small island nation with challenging conditions, and maintain a healthy lifestyle and natural environment. The traditions of regional Japan offer an insight into how we, in the modern world, may be able to live more sustainably on our planet.

  • The wild, natural side of regional Japan is only beginning to be discovered by international tourists. Thanks to their traditional respect for nature, the Japanese have managed to preserve numerous areas of scenic beauty that are world-class. Lofty peaks, verdant forests, fast-flowing streams, steaming volcanoes and rugged coastlines all contribute to a mosaic of natural wonders that are best enjoyed on foot in small private groups. The natural environment of Japan also provides an opportunity to understand the origins of Japanese culture, traditions and way of life. Most of wild Japan remains virtually unknown to the international traveller. Regional Japan is a trove of such hidden natural treasures that travellers of all genres can enjoy, from easy day-hikes through to physically demanding multi-day treks.

  • There is a real danger that many regional traditions in Japan may disappear over the coming years with aging and depopulation. Travelling in regional Japan provides a precious opportunity to glimpse these traditions that may no longer be available in the years to come, as well as raising international awareness of these fascinating traditions.

  • On the other hand, there has been a growing movement especially among the younger Japanese to abandon their city lives and settle in (or return to) regional areas. This new generation has not only helped to continue or resurrect the traditions, but have also injected fresh ideas into regional areas. These ‘new’ traditions, whether they build on the old traditions or represent a complete innovation, add to the variety of experiences that regional Japan offers. In fact, regional Japan today is not only about time-honoured traditions, but diversity—where you can admire ancient art in temples and shrines as well as contemporary art in modern galleries, and rustic food in farmhouses as well as international cuisine in gourmet restaurants. Tranquil rural landscapes and unpopulated wilderness areas, where you can find all the peace and solitude, are punctuated by thriving towns and small cities that offer a range of urban comforts, but in a relaxed country atmosphere.

  • Regional Japan offers you a wide range of authentic experiences that are not available in the large cities or on the main tourist trail. Whether you would like to experience ancient traditions in their original setting, explore the wild beauty of the countryside, savour traditional and contemporary cuisine using the freshest local produce, or simply find out how ordinary Japanese outside of the cities live, there is something for every traveller. Regional Japan awaits you.

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