With countries relaxing their borders and welcoming international visitors with open arms, and with the airline industry gaining back its vigor, Pinoy travelers are urgently making up for lost time through ‘revenge tourism.’ And at the top of their list of dream destinations is no other than the “darling” of Southeast Asia, Japan.
With its rich cultural heritage, famed natural scenes, and exceptional gastronomic offerings, Japan entices Pinoys with its promise of great adventure and indulgence.
Here, tickle your wanderlust and take a deeper dive into understanding Japan through these truly unique experiences.
1. Mino Washi at Nipponia Mino Merchant Town
Mino Washi is a type of traditional Japanese paper with a history that traces back centuries. Try your own hand in creating handmade Washi paper panels through workshops at Nipponia Mino Merchant Town.
Nipponia Mino Merchant Town is a storied hotel that boasts several history buildings that are immaculately kept, preserving the charm and elegance of Japanese architecture. Formerly, these abodes served as homes of merchants of Washi paper.
Delight in the quiet and quaint ambiance in Nipponia Mino Merchant Town– or for more breathtaking views of the mountains, take a quick trip to the Udatsu Historical District, where you can see the roofed homes from the Edo Period.
2. Whisky tasting at Saburomaru Distillery
Located in Tonami City (Toyama Prefecture), the Saburomaru Distillery has been crafting renowned spirits that have made it famous for over 70 years. Surprisingly, the Distillery only recently opened its doors to the global market after it developed “Zemon,” the world’s first cast post still, with master craftsman Oigo Saisakusho.
Buy a bottle and savor a drink at this truly one-of–a-kind place.
While in Toyama, make a side trip to Rakudo-An Art Hotel, which stands proudly in the small village in Tonami. Surrounded by a rice field, this modern respite respectfully marries heritage and contemporary art through its well-curated displays and galleries.
3. Bamboo crafts by Chifuyu Enomoto
For those with a great appreciation for craftsmanship, head to the outskirts of Kanazawa City to discover the impressive bamboo art created by artist Chifuyu Enomoto. With his artist eye, he masterfully wields the strong and sturdy bamboo into delightful forms and practical pieces such as bamboo light and baskets.
4. Crafting your own sake cups and bowls at Nousaku
Nousaku in Takaoka City offers visitors the experience of Japan’s traditional casting, allowing you to sake cups, bowls, and plates to keep!
Through a workshop, you’ll be taught to handle the material, pour molten metal into the molds, and see your obra maestro come together into a beautiful décor piece – which you can further personalize with your own engraving.
5. Japanese Kimono at Kaga Yuzen Maida Kimono Factory
Discover the true art of kimono-making at this renowned factory in Kanazawa, which aims to elevate the appreciation and understanding of this traditional garment. Learn about the meticulous processes needed to create these handmade pieces – from choosing the fine silk fabric, to dyeing, hand-painting, and beyond. And also learn the meanings of certain designs and patterns that make kimonos coveted style staples.
Appreciate these traditional ensembles further when elegantly worn by geishas. You can relish the experience by heading to Higashi, Nishi, and Kazuemachi where you may find these lovely ladies performing.