Visit a typical Japanese home in Kanazawa
One of the challenges of travelling is working out how to get beyond the tourist ‘glitz’ and experience the true heart of each destination; its authentic character. Being welcomed into a typical Japanese home gives you the chance to spend time with remarkable people and experience what everyday life in Japan is really like. No two visits will ever be the same, which shows just how extraordinary the ordinary can be.
What to expect when visiting a Japanese home….
Kanazawa, a picturesque town on the east coast of Honshu island, is renowned for its immaculate public gardens, well-preserved Edo-era architecture, art galleries and castle; an ideal place to explore the boundless variety within Japanese culture.
The locals hold their traditions dear, including the custom of inviting new visitors into their homes to share stories and learn about the lifestyle of a modern Japanese household.
As soon as you arrive, you’ll be welcomed with a smile. Many of our hosts are retirees eager to discuss their way of life and practise speaking English. Presenting a small gift, perhaps something traditional from your own home town or country, is always a welcome gesture, especially if it comes with an interesting story to break the ice!
In the genkan, or entrance hall, you’ll swap your outdoor footwear for indoor slippers (make sure your socks don’t have holes in them!), before being taken into the main part of the house.
The layout and décor of each home will, naturally, vary depending on your hosts’ taste, but you’ll see some typical Japanese features including futon beds and tatami flooring. Look out for the interesting ways light and shadow are used in Japanese interior design.
Having completed the tour, you’ll be invited to take part in a tea ceremony: a social event where you’ll drink either matcha or leaf tea, eat a few delicacies and share a pause in an otherwise busy day. Once refreshed, it’s time to learn some traditional skills, which could be anything from the calligraphy of Japanese characters to how to wear a kimono, or even the arts of bonsai, origami or flower arranging. You’ll be guided through each activity, step-by-step, helping you master the basics.
Whatever you learn, you’ll end your experience with the warm wishes of your host fresh in your mind, and an invaluably enriched perspective on Japanese culture.
Location: Kanazawa, Japan
Duration: 1.5 - 2.5 hours
Accommodation: Your choice of Kanazawa accommodation.
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'Our hosts were so kind and really made us feel welcome. I loved being shown around their beautiful home and learning how to write some Japanese characters, even though my brushstrokes looked a bit wobbly!'