Sword-wielding soldiers known as samurai are one of the most emblematic images of Japan, and they have a fascinating history.
Samurai started as warriors in pre-modern Japan, rising in status to become the highest social caste in the Edo Period (1603–1867). The famed samurai sword was the main weapon, although they did also use spears and guns.
Some of the mysticism behind samurai stems from their ethic code, known as bushido, or way of the warrior. Samurai were also known for their affinity with Zen Buddhism. Under the Edo caste system, all samurai had to live in castle towns, where they were the only people allowed to own swords, and received payment in rice from their lord. Those without a master were known as ronin, and became known for robberies and assaults during the 1600s.
By 1868 the caste system ended and the samurai abolished shortly after, but you can still visit some of the castles dotted around Japan. Other ways to learn more about the samurai include a visit to the Sword Museum in Tokyo, the Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya, with loads of samurai artifacts, and the Maeda and Honda Museums in Kanazawa, dedicated to two famous samurai families.
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.
Each year, luxury travel provider Virtuoso puts together its Luxe Report, which surveys a network of worldwide travel providers to learn more about travel in the year ahead. Looking at this data, Virtuoso reveals what it expects to be some of the top wanderlust-worthy experiences of 2020. Here are the top five travel activities everyone will be after this year.
Hiking is a good way to get your cardio exercise while enjoying nature. It is also a good way to stay physically active and it can help with your mental health by reducing your stress and anxiety levels.