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Shojin Ryori: The Japanese Dishes Anyone Can Eat

Japanese food is famous around the world for its rich ‘umami’ flavour and healthy yet delicious ingredients, but the common use of fish broth and animal-derived ingredients can make it difficult for vegetarians, vegans and allergy sufferers (amongst others) to truly enjoy the local cuisine when they visit Japan.  While vegan-friendly restaurants and meals are …

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Discovering Sumo: The ultimate guide to watching, eating and meeting

The traditional Japanese sport of ‘Sumo’ is widely-known across the world, with the instantly-recognisable image of a Sumo wrestler now considered synonymous with the country’s global reputation.  Yet despite Sumo’s global appeal, very few people outside of Japan have ever actually watched the sport, or know much about it. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways …

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Kagura – Good and Evil, Demons and Gods

Few traditions are as thrilling and mesmerising as Kagura, a special form of dance-based performance worship that has existed within Japan for over 1,300 years. Dressed in elaborate, brightly-coloured costumes and masks, Kagura performers twirl and dart across stages erected within and around Shinto shrines in order to reenact well-known Japanese folktales to entertain and …

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Experience-based travel: what does it mean, and why should you do it?

Planning your dream holiday can be pretty tough. Quickly search for your ideal destination online and you’re sure to find hundreds of different companies, all claiming to provide ‘perfect’, ‘unforgettable’ and ‘once in a lifetime’ trips that sound suspiciously similar to what all of their competitors are offering too. What’s more, you may discover that …

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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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