Japan’s tourism industry is flourishing as the country heads towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A subsidy system has been set up to support the opening of basic accommodation facilities, and with backup such as multi-lingual support and WiFi, the number of accommodation facilities is on the increase. In addition, the advent of smartphones and low cost carriers has changed the style of traveling in so many ways, even in Japan. We have seen a rapid increase not only in urban-style hotels, but also guest houses and hostels that offer an experience of the charms of local travel. It is now possible to stay in stylish spaces—once-empty homes or buildings that have been renovated.
Travel as if you are living there
Sinc early times, Japan has been a place where people from different countries come and go and where different cultures mix. Living in Japan, one is able to feel the texture of the four seasons.
By reducing accommodation costs per day, travelers can stay for a longer time in places that appeal to them. So how about enjoying a local experience that is impossible to enjoy while sightseeing?
Enjoy “one time one meeting”
The Japanese language has the expression “ichi-go ich-ie,” which literally means “one time one meeting.” The expression has its roots in the tea ceremony. When attending a tea ceremony, we understand that the moment is a one-in-a-lifetime encounter that we will never experience again. Ichi-go ich-ie implies a spirit of sincerity toward the other on the part of the both the host and the guests.
Without a doubt, guesthouses and hostels are appealing in that they make available the rich world of relating to each other through interactions with other people and the encounters that can be had in different moments of the day.
When staying in guesthouses and hostels, we talk to other travelers and share information about the happenings of the day—we talk about where we visited, what we did. What we ate. The kinds of people we met. Journeys are always full of encounters with unknown.
So, it’s time to head out. To search for the Japan that is yours and no-one else’s.