There’s nothing better than a holiday, and very few things can beat the excitement and anticipation that accompany a trip to Japan.
Unfortunately, travel restrictions and health concerns mean that for most people, travelling abroad is not a current possibility. For those who had plans to visit already in place, this is understandably disappointing – yet, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy Japan from home while you wait for the situation to change and for international travel to resume.
Indulge in books and films
Japan is known around the world for its high-quality films, books and animations; from the enchanting worlds created by Studio Ghibli to the immersive narratives of Haruki Murukami, Japanese pop-culture has an international appeal.
Whether you’re a fantasy aficionado or mesmerised by mystery, Japanese films and novels are often heavily influenced by the country’s rich traditions, culture as well as the typical events of day-to-day life, which can make them wonderful tools through which you can discover and get to know what makes Japan such an inspiring place.
In addition, the locations used as settings for many films and animations are actually real places – perfect for gathering inspiration for your next Japanese travel itinerary!
Discover Japan through taste
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to sample some freshly-prepared sushi or a bowl of high-quality ramen in Japan, then you’ll know why Japanese food is considered some of the best in the world.
They say that one of the best ways to experience a country is through the medium of taste, and luckily this is something that can be easily done from home. If you’re fortunate enough to live near a Japanese restaurant in your own country, then make sure to take advantage of your luck and order some to enjoy as you watch your favourite Japanese film.
Alternatively, why not search for your favourite Japanese recipes online and attempt to recreate their unique flavours and textures yourself? Japanese cuisine can seem a bit daunting for beginners, but there are plenty of blogs, videos and cook books out there that can help even the most inexperienced of chefs to recreate these delicious dishes at home.
Explore from afar
Across the world, businesses and attractions have been turning to virtual experiences as a way of adapting to a lack of international travellers. As a result, it’s now possible to visit famous museums, explore heritage sites and even take part in special seminars from the comfort and safety of your very own home.
Plenty of companies and organisations in Japan are offering virtual experiences that you can enjoy, usually for a very low cost and offering an opportunity to socialise with other international participants as well. A great example comes from our friends at Arigato Japan, who have turned their popular food tours into a series of wonderful online experiences for you to enjoy.
Taking part is easy, and makes for a welcome change from your current daily housebound routine.
No matter where your interests lie or how much time you have on your hands, there are plenty of ways to experience Japan without ever setting foot past your front door. It won’t be able to replace the excitement of exploring Japan for real, but in the meantime, there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had from munching on some delicious homemade gyoza while watching your favourite Studio Ghibli movie, or sipping a cup of green tea as you discuss Japanese tea farming with experts and fellow enthusiasts via a virtual event.