Japanese Culture/Japanese Culture

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Question
At some stage, I would like to visit Japan but have no interest, whatsoever, in any westernisation of Japan. So I have a leery view of Japanese dying their hair brown or blond, or of Japanese Karaoke Bars or whatnot. What traditionl, ancient Japanese aspects of culture exist that I can avail myself of? Thanks Geoff

Answer
Hello Geoff,
If I understand you correctly, you are interested in the classic history of Japan; the time of emperors, samurai, no theater, temples, rice farming, and so on. Is that correct?

If that is the case, you should first visit Kyoto. This city used to be the capital of Japan before any modernization as we know it started. The buildings of that era still stand mostly. The world famous 'golden shrine' is here, with a beautiful garden around it (1).
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinkaku-ji

Next, Nara is a similar case; it used to be a capital and this history is still preserved.

In Nagoya, you will find an important castle (2). There is a ninja museum which is nice for children (3).
(2) http://www.nagoyajo.city.nagoya.jp/13_english/
(3) http://www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/en/e/archives/621

You will still find a lot of ancient history in Tokyo too, but sparsely spread over the map. There is the Meiji shrine (4), and the Edo-Tokyo museum (5).
(4) http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/index.html
(5) http://www.edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp/english/

Even Hiroshima still has some important history. Near the sea is a temple gate that is flooded at high tide (6).
(6) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itsukushima_Shrine

The same is true for Nagasaki, and so on for every other city in Japan. I have mentioned the most visited ones. Furthermore, you might want to visit Mount Fuji. To make your stay special, please stay one or two nights at a ryokan, a traditional style Japanese hotel where you will be wearing Japanese bathrobes and slippers, eat sitting down and bathe in a big heated common bath (7).
(7) http://www.booking.com/ryokans/index.en.html?aid=309654;label=ryokans-g*eIyS5Pta


Have lots of fun.
Regards,
Philip.

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Philip Lafeber

Expertise

Are you doing business with the Japanese? Do you wonder how to approach them, what to do and what not to do? I am happy to provide some advice.

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I have worked for a Japanese company for 6 years and taught myself how to work with the Japanese and also some of the Japanese language. Also, my wife is Japanese, which is why I have also learnt about Japanese in private life.

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None. All based on experience.

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