Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto

The Philosopher’s walk, also known as Tetsugaku no Michi, is a pedestrian route located in the Northern Higashiyama district of Kyoto that stretches for around 2 kilometers along the Lake Biwa Canal among stunning natural scenery.

The path was named for Kyoto University professor and influential 20th-century Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro, who is said to have used the route for a daily meditative walk, and nowadays is well-known as a popular cherry blossom and autumn foliage viewing location.

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Shukubo: Temple lodgings in Japan

The Japanese word shukubo literally means “sleeping with the monks.” Shukubo is an accommodation experience in which the traveler lodges within a Buddhist temple. It often includes lessons in vegetarian or vegan cooking called shojin ryori, an opportunity to observe the daily life of Buddhist monks, and morning religious rituals.

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Tanabata 2020 Guide: the Summer ‘Star Festival’

Tanabata, also known as the ‘Star Festival’, is a Japanese celebration which takes place on the seventh day of the seventh month. According to Japanese folklore, this is the only day of the year when the two stars, Altair and Vega, can meet.

At this time of the year, it is tradition to write Tanabata wishes (known as tanzaku) on colorful strips of paper and hang them on Tanabata trees made from bamboo branches. People also decorate their houses and public spaces.

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Visit the best Japanese museums from home: Virtual tours

Although you may not be planning to travel around Japan with a JR Pass for a while, it’s now possible to explore some of Japan’s best museums digitally and get a good idea of what to expect when you do arrive.

It’s now entirely possible to visit a range of galleries and museums in Japan online via offer a virtual exhibition tour, simply by using the Google Arts & Culture Street View from the comfort of your sofa.

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