Have you been ever served with the dish “Sushi”? Yes that authentic Japanese dish! You know where it came from? The answer is Japan. Japan is globally known for its traditional art forms, calligraphy writing, flower arranging and tea ceremonies.
In addition, Japan is a home to dozens of UNESCO heritage sites, worldwide. Talking about its economic and business powers, Japan holds the 3rd largest title of economy when it comes to estimation of GDP.
An island country in the East Asia, Japan is a home to 138.64 million residents (as per the census of 2017). In terms of population, Japan is ranked 10th, consecutively for almost 40 years (i.e. from 1968-2010). The country of Japan stretches over an area of 145,920 sq. miles.
Touching down to its population, it comprises of the following species:
- Japanese (approx.98.5%)
- Koreans (0.5%)
- Chinese (0.4%)
- Others (0.6%)
The official language is Japanese. However, dialects of Kansai, Kyoto, Tohoku and Osaka still prevail in Japan. Although, the capital of Japan is Tokyo; this is located on the pacific coast of Honshu, in the center.
Tokyo is hub of industrial agglomeration and urban sectors. In terms of a metropolis, Tokyo is the most populous. Being an abode to 23 central cities, towns, villages and wards, Tokyo, is among the 47 prefectures of Japan.
When speaking about the Pacific Ocean, Japan has more than 6,800 islands within its periphery. This is the reason why Japan is also known as “The land of Rising Sun”. Major Land of Japan is covered by the islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu (located from north to south).
Nearly about, three-quarters of Japan is left aside for the forests and mountain regions. Due to this, huge metropolises and high population density is visible on the coast side.
As far as, the existence of volcanoes is questioned, the “Archipelago” (cluster of more than 100 volcanoes) is located on the huge volcanic zone in Japan. Just like the model of UK, a constitutional monarchy predominates in Japan accompanied with liberal democracy.
Landing on to the educational system, the literacy rate is 99%, here in Japan. The entry and exits of students in the higher education is almost the same, every year and increasing with regards to the population. As of the census of 2015, 2 of japan universities are listed among the top 30s, 3 in top 100 and 9 in the top 200, globally.
The temperatures of Japan are not specifically severe, except the northern regions where the snow and ice fall dominates in winters. Unlike, other countries, Japan is hit by torrential typhoons and rains in the autumns.
Climatic conditions of japan are very much influenced by the monsoon circulation and its winters are affected by the cold currents in the north-west regions whereas the summers are influenced by the humid and wet currents of tropical origin.
Culture In Japan
As long as the culture of Japan is involved, a student usually learns more than particularly Japanese language, because of its uniqueness and distinctly carefree nature. I.e. you seek deep meanings and traditional values of the “Ancient Japanese culture”.
Japan is intensely diverse and rich in terms of art and its aesthetic creativity remains prominent like painting (the famous Ukiyo-e), calligraphy, ikebana (flower arrangement), lacquerware, pottery, manga and theatre (Noh, Kabuki) are one of the most popular ones.
You can say that the culture of japan is multi-layered and complex to understand! Perhaps it’s true because the country is constantly working on it since last 1000 years. Eventually when the westerners imagine the Japanese culture, the picture of ancient “Samurai warriors” wielding their heavy swords or may be the image of a “young Geisha” serving sushi and pouring tea, is quite obvious.
Okay so these factors of imagination can represent a bit of gist of japan but just for your knowledge, the history, its entire meaning and Japan itself as a whole, is much vast than what you can expect.
NOTA BENE! That more preference is given to, how you are looking like from outside? And not on what is hidden privately. Indeed, the Japanese value outside appearances and presentations a lot than you can ever think of!
Customarily, great importance was given to “WA” (group harmony) which means it was more vital to worry about others and take care of them instead of focusing on one’s own need. The hierarchy to apply this principle was first in schools and educational institutes then in social groups then in real life and later in workplace as well.
“Tatemae” is their way of calling “appearances” which is so essential from your reality and family type and this is prevailing since the older times. This may look like being hypocrite or negative to you being a westerner but the Japanese call it their normal way of living life.
Learn The Japanese Way Of Life With A Local
It’s hard to believe that the current population of Japan is, more than 124 million, out of which around 75% prefer to live in the urban areas of Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Nagoya and Osaka. These are some of the densely populated sectors where land prices are skyrocketed and the only matter of fact is space to reside in.
The official ladies and salarymen are the names which are given to the working residents of Japan. The Japanese follow a strict code of conduct and work ethic where the management is hierarchical and the overtime hours are pre-assumed even before you decide to join the organization.
So in case if you have a habit of leaving the offices on time, it is considered to be as disloyalty or lack of commitment for the organization. No worries because even after this, people usually have high standards for living.
The kind of house in which Japanese live are termed as “Mansions” yes that’s what they call it be it a grave size place or really a big one. You might find traditional futons and straw mats (tatami mats) in the ancient homes which are situated in suburbs. Whereas, the western styled houses are becoming popular in the rural regions where modern and well-furnished chairs and table are present inside them.
The most common way of transportation is via trains which people mostly prefer to and fro from their respective workplace. This is the reason why you can find a cluster of people accommodated within the trains which is almost unbearable for the immigrants. It is recommended for you to avoid the popular trains in between 7 am – 9:30 am and from 5 pm – 6:30 pm.
However this well-connected and prevailing train system and subways make it very pleasurable for you to travel across Japan as far as you want and are the best way to get yourself around.
Don’t bother yourself, overthinking about this; because once you find your bearings, you’ll be fine.
Food In Japan
Being a glutton, where is the best place to look for happiness and pleasure apart from the food places! Since we are Indians, we love to stuff an enormous portion of our mouths with the cuisines. Isn’t it?
In terms of traditional dishes, Japan has established its own identity which has early influence of that from Korea, south East Asia and China.
All of the meals served in Japan has a common staple element i.e. rice there are also some other ingredients such as soy products, row/grilled fishes and thinly sliced pork which is stir-fried with bean sprouts and vegetables.
Another famous Japanese dish is, the “Miso soup” which is made out of miso paste (containing fermented soya beans and barley). The next one is tofu served with an essence of local Japanese vegetables.
As japan is the birth place of “Sushi”, it is the most demanded meal which is served as seafood with vinegared rice, vegetables and a raw fish. So if you are up for a typical Japanese meal, you will be served with a number of dishes on the table apart from the main course.
There are some of the personalized and specialized restaurants like the “ramen shop” which only serves ramen or the “sushi bars” which only serve sushi. Don’t even expect large menu’s in such places as they serve only a single type.
“Izakaya’s”! These are the Japanese styled restaurants/pubs which are present in almost every second street, you come across. They provide you with much larger menus and are quite livelier than size of other locally build shops.
The most moderately priced food places are mostly found with pictures so contemplate to pay for around 2000-5000 JPY for dinner and for lunch 1000-1500 JPY.
The first kind of accommodation is:
Homestay: When living in a homestay, though you still have a private room but are supposed to share facilities. We recommend you homestays because; this is the best way to enhance your bond with the Japanese culture and customs.
Just like your own place, here in Japanese homes too, you are expected to maintain a sense of self-discipline and respect their family rules. So if you are budget constraint then it might get quite costlier for you as the price is 3000 YEN/ day.
Dormitory: the second kind of homestay is the dormitory; here you will have your own private rooms, still the facilities like laundry, study room and kitchen is to be shared with the other Japanese and western students.
The pros are you will meet and understand distinct variety of people with different lifestyle habits and will adapt some of the good things. Also the cost of living in dormitory is the lowest i.e. 20,000 YEN/ month. Furthermore, it creates a cosmopolitan atmosphere around you.
Shared apartments: The third type is the shared apartments which perhaps can be your best compromise at an affordable rate for your autonomous life.
While living in a shared apartment, you live more of an independent life but still the basic facilities are shared. It’s again a good way for you to meet new people without any curfew and many rules.
Private apartment or studio: The last kind is a “studio type apartment”. It provides you with all of your comfort needs you want but then again the living space is limited. You will get a furnished chair, table and bed. Still there are some basic things for you to purchase.
The price fully depends upon the services provided, location and its size. The budget is mostly between 40,000 YEN – 50,000 YEN. There is total privacy without any interference and hassle around your place.
What Is Cultural Tour?
Cultural tourism relates to the majestic art, fascinating architecture, age-old customs, impeccable hospitality, authentic cuisines, thriving nightlife, and many more amazing and fascinating facts related to the country of Japan. These compelling aspects build up the culture of the country.
The cultural tour also plays an influential role in developing and boosting the history of tourism in Japan.
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