The last 12 months have been challenging to put it mildly! Family life may well have felt more of a challenge than normal; same places, same routine, home-schooling pressures to name but a few of the concoction of issues that the pandemic has thrown up. Here at The Dragon Trip, we feel everyone deserves a break and a taste of something totally different. Our 2022 Japan Family tour is designed to ensure you can break free of the difficulties of the last 12 months and see somewhere new. Japan is an ideal location for all the family and has something to offer all ages as we all start the steps towards recovery! This blog outlines a few of the ways that this trip can be an ideal antidote to the last year.
You might have got pretty used to doing the same old thing when the family is all together. Netflix might have got us all through a fair chunk of lockdown but there’s so much more to life than sitting in front of Bridgerton or Lupin, night after night! Our 2022 Japan Family Tour is packed with fresh, new and different activities. These are likely to be pretty different to the things that you have been doing in the past few months.
Our favourites include a sushi-making class, meditation experience and calligraphy class. Learning how to make sushi with our local chef will give you an insight into the culture behind this delicious food snack and the care with which it is prepared. Interestingly, sushi did not actually originate in Japan and was originally a fast-food snack. Today, there’s a whole load of options across Japan and we’d advise trying a real variety whilst you are here.
Our meditation experience is another one that might come in useful as you try and relax and let the pressures wash away from you. Whilst Buddhism is not a predominant religion in Japan- it is a key part of the culture. 90% of Japanese funerals are performed by a Buddhist monk and this culture is also a part of some of the nation’s key festivals. Obon- in the middle of summer- involves chants by a Buddhist monk as well as the family members clearing the gravestones. These traditions are still a part of modern Japan although are losing prevalence. You will also visit various Shinto shrines whilst in Japan but these two religions are harmonious and you’ll often see shrines and temples within the same place.
Taking a pirate ship on a lake under the shadow of Mount Fuji is an activity that feels like the complete opposite of most people’s experiences of the last year. New, exciting and interesting with a dash of stunning scenery. It’s the kind of thing that has felt more like a dream than reality in the last year and it’s an awesome experience. We stay in Hakone – a charming mountain town- filled with onsens, fresh air and charming vistas. Whilst there- you can get some dreamy views of Mount Fuji. Standing at 3,776 metres- this cone shaped behemoth is actually 3 volcanoes on top of each other. It is also possible to climb, in a day, and takes around 6-8 hours to scale the top of it.
Manga and Anime
If part of your escapism of late involves manga or anime then you are in luck as you enter the home of these art forms. We visit the international manga museum in Kyoto and the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. For the uninitiated, manga means cartoons in Japanese and is hugely popular here and around the world. The comic strips need to be read from right to left. Amazingly, more paper is used for manga than for toilet paper. As for anime, it is another significant aspect of the local culture. The word is an abbreviated version of the Japanese word for animation and was started in 1917. There are more than 40 new amines produced, on television, per week! The Ghibli Museum houses a children’s, technology and fine arts centre and is a fascinating place to spend some time.
Our calligraphy lesson is another window into an important part of Japanese life. It was originally known as Shodo and has been around for almost 1,500 years. You can learn the basics with our expert teachers and get a sense of how it works as well as producing your own work to take home with you. There’s plenty more to enjoy in the country with all the family and you can discover a whole range of new things with the family on our 2022 Japan Family Tour. If you would like to join any of our existing departure dates then let us know or you can pick a date for your own private tour!