Oku Japan Insights
Welcome to the Oku Japan blog, full of our latest news and stories about Japan. Here you can find anything from practical information for your next trip, interesting stories of the local people living along our trails, or trivia about the Japanese culture.
A small book that folds out like a paper screen, adorned with calligraphy in red and black ink…or sometimes with a cute animal. The ancient tradition of collecting goshuin (御朱印/red seal) is still alive and well, but now has a few modern twists.
After more than a decade of working with the local community, in 2019 Oku Japan became the first and only tour operator to open a branch office in the Nakasendo post-town of Tsumago.
Even now, the area stands – or rather floats, like a gigantic cloud – at the top of my consciousness.
Many visitors to Japan put Kyoto on their list of must-see places. It’s no wonder – the city is rich in history and traditions from its over-1000-year tenure as Japan’s capital. But did you know that there are even older capitals of Japan that are just as magnificent?
While walking in Japan, you’ll ikely spot small stone statues shaped like children or depictions of Buddha. These may seem like mischievous forest sprites, but their real identity tells a different story.
While there is a plethora of rules connected to Japanese cuisine, the truth of the matter is that they have become quite relaxed over the years as foreign cuisine started to mix with mainstream culture.
The Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James, and the Kumano Kodo, are both listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites because of their cultural and historical significance. In fact, these two pilgrimage routes are the only ones with UNESCO status in the world.
The white-clad figures that pop up frequently during a search about the famous Shikoku 88 pilgrimage have an official name. They are called Ohenro. It is not an exclusive term - anyone can become one when walking the trail.
In March and April, cherry blossom mania begins - forecasts as to when and where the blooms will appear first and when they will peak make the morning weather reports. Sakura -flavored items make their way into restaurant menus, coffee shops, and supermarkets.
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