Japan has a fascinating culture best experienced through the country’s many festivals. Here are six you should check out while visiting the land of the rising sun.
Otherwise known as Bon, this Japanese tradition originates as a Buddhist-Confucian custom that became a tradition of family reunion. For three days, people are supposed to visit their ancestral homes along with the spirits of their relatives.
Onbashira translates to “the honored pillars,” referring to the 1,200-year-old tradition of riding enormous tree trunks down the mountains of Nagano. The festival happens every six years and has a reputation of being the most dangerous cultural event in Japan.
The “Festival of the Steel Phallus” is thrown by Kawasaki’s local penis-venerating shrine. In modern times, the event is used to raise STD awareness and money for HIV research.
Sapporo Snow Festival
In 1950, six high-school students began the tradition of building snow statues in Odori Park. Japanese military from the nearby Makomanai base joined in five years later, giving way to the Sapporo Snow Festival.
Cherry blossom festivals can be found all over the world, with many of America’s trees gifted from Japan. The annual bloom is closely forecasted by the Japanese Meteorological Agency.
Gion Matsuri is one of the most important festivals in Japan, taking its name from Kyoto’s Gion District. It originates from a purification ritual done to appease the gods for protection against floods and earthquakes.
You've planned every last detail of your trip, from the perfect accommodations to tours to enjoy, but overlooked one crucial element: sleep. Travel and time changes throw off our circadian rhythms and lead to sleep loss. However, sleep deprivation can dull your response time, throw you into a depression, age your skin and pack on the pounds. It also just makes you irritable during much-deserved vacation time. Although you may not be able to restore your sleep to its full capacity on the road, you can get more rest with these products that help you sleep while traveling.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the largest airline in Japan. With flights from the United States to Japan and all of Asia, it's the perfect airline to book your next trip with. From ANA's amazing in-flight food to its excellent customer service, it comes as no surprise ANA has been awarded five stars for its seventh consecutive year by the SKYTRAX World Airline Rating.
The novice traveler visiting a foreign country for the first time may face apprehension in knowing where to start in terms of planning, and even a seasoned traveler may find himself lost among the blogs and travel sites that recommend what to see and do. Booking a private tour can be one of the best ways to see the highlights without having to worry about the logistics. When researching such tours in foreign lands, here are a few tips to follow for the best experience.
Once business concludes, a world of wonder awaits in many of Italy’s incredible cities.
Russia is largely a safe city for tourists. Much of the country relies on tourism to bolster the economy, and local governments take great pains to ensure safety for foreign citizens. Crimes against locals and foreigners drastically reduced over the last decade. That’s not to say certain minorities shouldn’t take precaution, but the chance of getting accosted walking down the streets is pretty slim.