Japanese History & Culture
A Martial Arts Journey in Japan
In tiny Tadotsu, Japan, sits the sprawling Shorinji Kempo headquarters, home to the coolest martial art you've never heard of.
Steeped in Tradition: Tea Leaf Picking
Japan and tea go together, like, well, Japan and sushi. But tea is not just a drink to be sipped. In Japan, tea -- mainly ocha, or green tea -- is a lifestyle and includes rituals, ceremonies, celebrations, and unrelenting university research. It's also, at its most basic level, a thing to be planted and picked. Here we look at the tea-picking tours of Japan.
Tokyo Gas Museum Is Illuminating
It wasn't until the late 19th century that Japan warmed up to the gas energy revolution, brightening streets in Osaka and Tokyo with gas-powered lamps by the early 1870s. And throughout the years, gas has played an important role in the nation's development. This history is documented at the Tokyo Gas Museum in Kodaira.
These Tiny Towns Are Big on Small Wonders
Deep in the countryside of Kagawa prefecture, about two hours from Osaka, are two small neighboring areas that produce 80 percent of Japan's pine bonsai. Tens of thousands of the dwarfed plants grow there in hundreds of nurseries that span as many acres, creating miniature forests of magnificently manicured and manipulated trees. Here's your guide to the small wonders of bonsai in Kinashi and Kokubunji.
Branching Out: Top Bonsai Destinations in Japan
Bonsai may have roots in ancient China, but Japan owns its own tradition of the living art form. And for fans of the craft, plenty of festivals and destinations await on the archipelago. Here's your guide to bonsai in Japan.