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.

Preparing for the Michinoku Coastal Trail: Advice from Oku Japan

Tania Jensen

While preparing for the Michinoku Coastal Trail takes a bit more consideration – and Tōhoku hiking takes a little more care – it’s a journey that hundreds of people have found to be awe-inspiring. Our Oku Japan team members came back from their Michinoku trip with many new, beloved memories.

Read more >>

Goshuin Temple and Shrine Stamps

Ilse Montald

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.

Read more >>

Oku Japan's activities in Tsumago

Samantha Marino

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.

Read more >>

Oku Japan on the Michinoku Coastal Trail: Tracing the Sanriku Coast

Tania Jensen

‘There’s a sense of sincerity here. The people hold onto their roots, and their treasure is the land itself.’

Read more >>

Hiking the Afterlife: Kumano Kodo Ogumotorigoe

Adrien Peilleron

Even now, the area stands – or rather floats, like a gigantic cloud – at the top of my consciousness.

Read more >>

Nara and Asuka: Japan’s Ancient Capitals

Tania Jensen

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?

Read more >>

Japanese Jizo statues: ancient protectors of the trail

Ilse Montald

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.

Read more >>

Understanding Dining Etiquette on Your Trip to Japan

Ilse Montald

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.

Read more >>

Do you want to become a Dual Pilgrim?

Oku Japan

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.

Read more >>

Featured Articles