Elements of the famed Japanese omotenashi hospitality, traditional philosophy, authentic culture, and innovative spirit can be felt throughout all regions of Japan, imbued in everything from accommodations to cuisine. Here are 6 of the most sought after experiences within easy access that you can incorporate into your next program that will inspire new ideas to foster the ultimate team building outcome.
1 . Take in Japan’s Otherworldly Landscapes by Luxury Train
Known for high-speed bullet trains, Japan can also slow it down a notch with its fleet of luxury trains such as the Twilight Express and Seven Stars, which arguably provides the best experience the rails have to offer. With luxurious Japanese style interiors, complete with all the trimmings of Western amenities – even private bathtubs – comfortably ride and take in Japan’s scenic coasts and landscapes, stopping at key sightseeing spots and indulging in unsurpassed dining experiences.
2. Experience Omotenashi and stay in a Ryokan
The Ryokan is potentially the oldest form of hotel in the world, dating back to the 8th century. These accommodations are imbued with Japanese tradition, making staying at one a memorable and cultural experience. Take your Ryokan experience to the next level with a night to remember on the floating Guntu or Asaba Ryokan on the breathtaking Izu Peninsula.
3. Experience a Japanese Fish Market & Sushi Making
Japan is filled with fish markets, and from the famed bustling Tokyo Tsukiji Market to the charming local Takamatsu Market, situated on the idyllic island of Shikoku, options are endless. Let a guide take you through the premise and learn about its history, witness exhilarating auctions, and taste fresh sashimi and even dabble at making your own sushi with the best teachers and ingredients at the world famous Tsukiji market.
4. Aunthenic Geiko and Teahouse experience in Historic Kanazawa
Host an unforgettable evening at Kaikaro, a Michellin-starred teahouse in the heart of the historical Higashi Chaya-Gai district of the Kanazawa. A geiko will welcome you into their world as you embark on a night filled with traditional entertainment and party games. Immersing in Japanese traditions is the perfect catalyst for team building.
5. World Heritage Koyasan: introduction to Buddhist culture and rituals
Koyasan (Mount Koya) was founded 1200 years ago as a place for Buddhist meditation. Just over an hour drive from Kansai International Airport, here you can experience meditation and shakyo (handwriting Sutras), enjoy Shojin Ryori (Buddhist-developed vegetarian cuisine), and reach zen and revive your energy via “Forest therapy” surrounded by serene wilderness.
Visit the Japan National Tourism Organization’s website to learn more about the New Ideas Start Here Campaign, and for inspirational itineraries that can heighten your programs.