Staying in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese guest house

Would you like to relax and unwind during your international travels? Are you interested in a traditional Japanese experience? If you answered yes to either of those questions, a stay at a ryokan may be for you.

What is a ryokan? A ryokan is a traditional style Japanese inn or guest house. Typically small in size, these inns have often been run by the same family for generations. Ryokans are usually located near onsen, or hot springs used for therapeutic bathing, and their design, décor, and setting often focus on the simplistic beauty of nature.

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How to use the Onsen: Japanese hot springs etiquette

The Japanese word onsen refers to the hot springs that dot the islands of Japan, fed by warm, mineral-rich spring water. Japan hosts a volcanic geography, so the water is heated naturally by geothermal forces. It bubbles forth from the ground, filling pools with water that is somewhat hotter than a standard Jacuzzi or hot tub.

Onsens are a popular attraction for Japanese tourists, due to both their cultural significance and their relaxing, recreational nature. Onsens play a significant role in Japanese culture, and they are used extensively by Japanese residents. It is thought that onsen have healing and rejuvenating qualities, helping conditions such as skin ailments and cancer.

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Japanese Etiquette Tips: Do’s and Don’ts for International Travelers

When traveling to a new country for the first time, “culture shock” is expected. You may be especially intimidated if you have heard that there are a lot of “do’s and don’ts” for Japan. Consider these tips for traveling to Japan, and you will be sure to fit right in this warm and inviting country.

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Himeji Castle and city travel guide

Himeji Castle – also known as the White Heron Castle due to its unique coloration – may be the most widely esteemed castle in Japan. It has been named both a National Heritage Building and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Himeji Castle and the surrounding city is a popular day trip among tourists to this area of Japan.

The city can be easily accessed using your Japan Rail Pass, and a visit to Himeji Castle is like a trip back in time. Consider the following travel tips to make your visit to Himeji memorable.

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