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Kabuki, Noh and Bunraku – Japan’s traditional theatre

Here at Heartland JAPAN, we love including authentic, traditional Japanese performances into the itineraries of all the exciting, off-the-beaten-track package and custom tours we create. For many of our customers, this means experiencing something brand new that they may not even have ever heard about before visiting Japan.  To help shed some light on the …

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Understanding Japanese Accommodation

When it comes to planning your perfect Japan tour, you’re sure to come across some confusing, unfamiliar terms – especially when it comes to accommodation!  Here at Heartland JAPAN, we love to include some of Japan’s authentic and unique accommodation options into your special, once-in-a-lifetime trip itinerary. That’s why we’ve created this handy glossary, to …

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Discovering the Geisha: Japan’s misunderstood hidden world

When it comes to traditional Japanese culture, few things are as globally-misunderstood as the art of the ‘Geisha’ – beautiful women with flawless hairstyles, intricately-detailed silk kimonos and faces coated in thick white makeup.  While the western media and pop culture have built a reputation for Geisha as expensive, high-class escorts living a glamorous yet …

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The People’s Railway – A Story of Community Spirit From Choshi, Chiba Prefecture

Cutting its way through the beautiful coastal countryside of Tokyo’s neighboring Chiba Prefecture, the Choshi Electric (Dentetsu) Railway serves around 20,000 local residents and is the only service that can be used to access the Kanto Region’s most eastern location, Inubozaki Point.  Dating back over a century to 1913, the railway is far quieter than …

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Tradition, Arts and Crafts: 7 Must-Do Activities in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture

The city of Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture, is well known as the host of the Ube Biennale, an international sculpture contest and exhibition that has taken place every two years since its conception in 1961. However, there’s a lot more to Ube than just its Biennale; from discovering its traditional, artistic side to the area’s rich …

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Ube: a city of art and craftsmanship

There is no denying that Ube is a city with art pulsing through its veins. Playing host to the internationally-renowned ‘Ube Biennale’ sculpture competition every second year, the city’s links to the art world date back to 1961, when local residents sought to beautify their heavily industrialised, war-torn area with sculptures carved by artists living …

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Ube Biennale

Following the end of World War II, the war-torn and ruined Yamaguchi prefecture turned to industry as a way of rebuilding; within a few years, it had developed into one of the most industrialized prefectures in Japan. The increased rate of industrialization lead to more jobs for citizens and a boost to the local economy, …

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Obama: a historical landmark waiting to be discovered

Situated just a few hours from the bustling streets of Kyoto by rail lies the coastal city of Obama. Considerably quieter and smaller than its tourist-centric neighbour, Obama remains, for the most part, relatively undiscovered by visitors. Yet, what this city lacks in size it more than makes up for in history and charm.  While …

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Chichibu: a hidden gem awaits you.

A land of mystery, spirituality and tradition awaits you in Chichibu, the Kanto region’s hidden gem. Join pilgrims past and present as you weave your way across Chichibu’s beautiful rural landscape, delving deep into the rich history and culture that makes this such a unique and unforgettable location.  Chichibu is home to 34 temples, included …

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