Tea etiquette is vital in Japan: from the intricate details of the traditional tea ceremony to casually serving guests in your home. There are subtle rules, for the server and the guest, that have been passed down through generations and have become ingrained in Japanese tea culture.
One of Japan’s most enjoyable, but at first intimidating, traditions is that of the onsen (温泉). A literal public naked bath, often times outdoors, is hailed for its mystifying rejuvenating and cleansing properties.
The giving of gifts in Japan is an important cultural and traditional ritual with as much attention paid to how and when the gift is presented as to the actual gift itself. From holidays, to business meetings, returning from a trip, to visiting someone's house, the etiquette of gift giving in Japan is a symbol of your relationship and a way of showing respect and gratitude to the recipient.
Okinawa Prefecture is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. With a culture uniquely its own, these tropical islands have been strongly influenced through trade with China, Japan, Korea and other Southeast Asian countries.
Up in Iwate prefecture is a tiny town called Ninohe. Ninohe’s community center has boosted their efforts to increase youth involvement in hopes they will carry on local traditions. One such tradition is a dance with lots of colors and instruments.
Japan's Tōhoku Region (東北地方), known for its rustic countrysides, expansive landscapes and relaxing natural hot springs, consists of six prefectures located in the north of Japan's main island of Honshu. Renowned for its samurai history, the region is also famous for having Japan's highest quality agriculture including rice, sake, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, and horse sashimi.
As is the case with many things in traditional Japanese culture, simplicity seems to be key even in home cooking. Many of the dishes close to people’s hearts are the ones that embrace the wabi-sabi, the imperfections and sometimes the rough nature of home cooking. They are made just as much by the intent going into them as they are by their individual ingredients.
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