Japan is a land of surprising variety and strong contrasts, which is in evidence everywhere. Between Japan's rich history and tradition, vibrant modern culture, and geographic diversity from north to south, visitor to the country certainly don't lack in options for activities to keep them busy. – please contact us if you would like options in a specific area.
Cha-no-yu (the tea ceremony) or Sado (literally "the way of tea") was introduced from China to Japan, where it was then perfected by Master Sen-no-Rikyu, incorporating the spirit of Zen, in the 16th century. For the Japanese people, cha-no-yu is a mental discipline for pursuing "wabi" - a state of mind in which a person is calm and content, featuring a profound simplicity - and is at the same time a performance in which form and grace are paramount.
Today, groups can experience the tea ceremony in venues around the country. A particularly spectacular way to achieve "wabi" is to be part of a tea ceremony in a traditional Japanese garden, where the perfection of nature helps to achieve a state of calm.
Many of central and northern Japan's mountainous regions are famous the world over for their reliable, excellent powder snow. Japan's ski resorts have hosted the Winter Olympics twice (in Sapporo and Nagano), and these areas are still some of the best places in the world to ski, snowboard and experience all that winter sports have to offer.
In zazen (literally "seated meditation"), the practitioner sits with a practiced posture, concentrates on their breathing, and focuses on abandoning worldly thoughts. This style of meditation was introduced from China, yet perfected in Japan, and today visitors to Japan can have the unique experience of learning zazen in a Zen Buddhist temple and working towards spiritual enlightenment. In fact, research has shown that starting the day with zazen leads to greater concentration levels in conference sessions later in the day!
"Tate" is a series of movements used in ancient Japanese sword fighting, which is still seen today in Samurai films. Groups coming to Japan can learn the basics of these moves in classes, and experience the thrill of hand to hand combat.
Tropical Okinawa, in the south of Japan, is home to large coral reefs and the marine life that come with them. Okinawa used to be one of the best natural environments in the world for these ecological wonders, but now they are under attack due to global warming and appearance of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish. Groups visiting Okinawa can now make a difference by getting involved in coral planting programs, where they will learn about the importance of preserving the environment first-hand.
As a global leader in advanced technology and manufacturing, Japan is a fantastic destination for industrial tourism. It's possible to tour a wide variety of industry and research sites, with the Toyota Techno Museum being a prime example.
The TOYOTA Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is a joint creation of the Toyota Group. It is located on the site where in 1911 Sakichi Toyoda, founder of the Toyota Group, established his plant for developing automatic looms. As part of its exhibit space, the museum utilizes an original redbrick building, one of the historical legacies of the Toyota Group.
Visitors can pleasantly learn the history of the Toyota Group and see the importance of "Making Things" and "Being Studious and Creative", through hands-on exhibits and demonstrations.
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