JAPAN – REINVENTING PERFECTION

Posted on Dec 20, 2016 in Around the Globe

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WABI-SABI (Japanese):  A way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.  

Japan has truly outdone its own philosophies and values when it comes to preaching and practicing them. It is as if each and every citizen of the country one day sat together and decided that they would seek perfection in everything they do without forgetting that they are fundamentally agreeing on the wabi-sabi way of living. Travel with EdTerra to learn about reinventing perfection.

SAMURAI. SUSHI. ANIME. ELECTRONICS. CHERRY BLOSSOMS!

The vast expanse of a futuristic land filled with an aura of mysticism –  when it comes to Japan, many of us have quite a few preconceived notions.  What could it be like to visit this ‘Land of the Rising Sun’? Is it all about traditional tea ceremonies and Maiko dancers, or will I get to see some uber modern droids? What will the food be like? Will I get to eat with a spoon and fork, or just chopsticks? How do we greet people? What traditions do we have to follow at religious places?  How do we shop or bargain for things, without knowing the local language? Let us address this whirlpool of questions, one by one. Stay along!

DISCOVER YOURSELF AS YOU DISCOVER JAPAN

Discover religion in Japan on your visit to a number of shrines and temples during the course of your journey. From the Asakusa and Meiji Shrines in Tokyo, to the Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura, the Fushimi Inari and Kinkakuji shrines in Kyoto to the Todai-ji Temple in Nara, each visit will encourage more learning and understanding about the Japanese religion. Shintoism and Buddhism being the two primary religions followed in the country, the rituals followed at each shrine are sure to captivate our young travellers.

Fortune telling or omikuji is popular in Japan, and each visit to a shrine will prompt you to discover your fortunes through the fortune-telling paper strips. Another ritual to look forward to is writing a wish or a prayer on wooden plaques or ‘ema’. Architecturally, each shrine you visit is unique and breathtaking. Intricate wooden work, colourful exteriors, prayer plaques, massive cauldrons used at incense holders – everything adds to the sanctity and beauty of the shrines.

SHINKANSEN: GODSPEED

Shinkansen literally flying at the speed of 300 Km/hr, getting you from one city to another it is the fastest train experience you will ever have.

 

PICASSO, HENRY, OKAMOTO – ALL UNDER THE SAME ROOF CALLED SKY!

Soak in fine art in the midst of pristine natural surroundings at the Hakone Open Air Museum, where you come face to face with the great works of Picasso, Henry Moore, Yasuo Mizui and Taro Okamoto.

 

THE BEAUTY OF AN ACTIVE VOLCANO – MOUNT FUJIYAMA

Hakone has more to offer, including one of the most prized possessions of the country, Mount Fuji. The best views of the active stratovolcano (located on the Honshu Island) were from Mount Komagatake, opposite Mount Fuji. The cruise down Lake Ashinoko also makes for stunning views of Mount Fuji.And how can one forget the hot springs! Onsen (the local term for hot springs) is considered to be the most therapeutic form of relaxation, and a dip in the hot springs is a must when in Japan.

FOOD IS PERFECTION: PERFECTLY COOKED, PERFECTLY HANDLED, PERFECTLY SERVED

Did you know that a sushi chef undergoes about five years of internship with a master (itamae) before he is given his first important task of making sushi – preparation of the rice?    Even I use to wonder – why so much time?  Japanese culinary culture judges a good itamae (cook/chef) the basis of four important criteria:

How one handles the food

How one handles the utensils and knives

How one treats his clients

How one behaves, moves and works

If all of this finds a balance in your practice, the food is bound to be ‘perfect’. Indeed Japan has a beautiful culinary tradition that touches each of your senses.

Sushi, Sashimi, Udon, Soba, Tempura, Ramen, Yakitori – just a few of the Japanese delicacies that you get to sample on your travels through Japan. One aspect of Japanese food that is sure to leave you stunned is the sheer amount of artistry involved in its presentation. Everything one eats looks like a piece of art, a fusion of color, plated in the most innovative ways…very often leaving you dazing at your serving dishes and plates!

PURSUIT OF PERFECTION – LEARNING FROM JAPAN

Oh so much! Discover Japan with EdTerra as it opens up a whole new world of unmatched experiences lie in store for you. The learning acquired on this journey is for life. From simple lessons to life-altering   experiences, Japan offers it all. From lessons in technology to understanding the disaster management system of the country, from learning the craft of Origami to exploring Japan’s role in space technology at the Japan Space Centre, lessons in hygiene and cleanliness, discipline and technological advancement, kaizen (a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement and personal efficiency), and the general practice of being polite and peaceful…the list is endless!

And there is UNIVERSAL STUDIOS !

Of course, fun is guaranteed in high doses, always! Apart from all the fun sightseeing that you get to do on your journey, you have a whole day set aside to live a lifetime of fun at Universal Studios!

EdTerra Edventures is India’s leading student travel company and organises truly educational journeys to Japan and other parts of the world! If you are a student below 18 years of age and would like to travel to Japan and experience all of this and more, contact us and make this dream a reality!

Schools can get in touch with us by calling our helpline number: +91-11-48885800 or  filling up the program query form here.

                                                             

 

Christine Massey: Fifteen countries and counting! Nothing comes in the way of Christine   exploring a new geography. A PADI certified scuba diver, she finds peace in the magical   world underneath the oceans. Cooking (and eating), reading, animals, gardening, in that order. She is a program designer, blogger and journey mentor with EdTerra.

 

 

 

 

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