THE GREAT INDOORS: FROM THE SOFA TO… JAPAN!
Kicking off our brand new series, The Great Indoors, is the Land of the Rising Sun!
Perhaps you’d been hoping to have yourself a picnic under the famous cherry blossoms in April, or maybe you’d been hoping to get lucky with some tickets to an olympic event this summer? For those of us that were looking forward to exploring the neon lights of Tokyo & eating our way around Osaka, COVID-19 definitely put a dent in our plans!
Well, FEAR NOT! We’ve pulled together the ultimate list for you to travel Japan from the comfort of your very own home. It may not be a temple, but you can sure turn it into one. Ditch the passport (for now), all you need is WiFi!
#ExploreMore with us in #TheGreatIndoors!
1. VISIT A MAGICAL LIGHT INSTALLATION, VIA YOUTUBE
This epic digital art museum is certainly one for the books. Next time you find yourself in Tokyo, be sure to check out the TeamLab Borderless Exhibit. Until then? The legends themselves have filmed an immersive experience you can access online, for the ultimate experience you should watch it on a big screen like your TV, turn the lights all the way down and be blown away. Adding a glass of sake won’t hurt either (we won’t tell if you don’t).
2. HAVE YOUR OWN HANAMI AT HOME
Hanami’s are traditional Japanese cherry blossom viewing parties, rustle up some Japanese treats (check out our okonomiyaki recipe here, grab someone you live with or host a Zoom call and have your own viewing party in your garden. Put these cherry blossom archives on your laptop next to you & you might as well be in Tokyo!
3. LEARN A BUDDHIST MEDITATION
The wonderful head priest over at the Taizo-in Zen Buddhist Temple is teaching Zazen online. They recommend grabbing some noise cancelling headphones and joining them to participate in some meditation at home. If you’ve been struggling with being locked down, this meditation practice could work wonders for you.
4. TAKE A DIP WITH THE FAMOUS SNOW MONKEYS!
While it may be heating up in the UK (who knew lockdown would look so good without pub gardens), it’s cooling down in Aus. Either way, fill up your tub, add some bubbles and have a soak while watching these ridiculously cute monkeys bathe in the hot springs in Nagano. This action cam captures them having a soak in the below freezing temperatures to warm up, it might just be our favourite animal video of 2020. We can’t blame them, after a day spent on the slopes in Japan there’s nothing we love more than an evening in the onsen!
5. LEARN THE JAPANESE SECRET TO A LONG AND HAPPY LIFE
Pick up a copy of Ikigai (you can find it on Kindle or Audible to save paper!) and find out why there’s a Japanese island called Okinawa that has the highest proportion of people aged over 100 in the world. Ikigai is a Japanese concept & this book reveals the secrets to longevity and happiness within our lives. Where do we sign up??
LEARN JAPANESE ON DUOLINGO
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in a country, than by learning the language. Japanese in particular can be pretty difficult to wrap your head around, but this free app will give you everything you need for your trip when the time comes. Need some tips on how to learn a language? Check out our recent blog post here!
7. EAT VICARIOUSLY… THROUGH NETFLIX
For the time being, our street food tours around the iconic Dotonbori district in Osaka are halted. However, as always our favourite streaming service is here for us. Head to Netflix to check out season 1, episode 2 of Street Food: Asia. If the takoyaki doesn’t get you booking your post-corona trip to Japan then trust us, the okonomiyaki will.
Pictured above are takoyaki, grilled dumplings filled with octopus – a famous street food delicacy throughout Japan.
8. CROSS THE WORLD’S BUSIEST PEDESTRIAN CROSSING (WITHOUT THE PEOPLE)
Sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? Well, we may have found a loophole with this one. This live stream shows the famous Shibuya Scramble. With social distancing, it’s less of a scramble and more of an amble, but never again will you experience it like this. Why not spend 15 minutes staring at the lights changing instead of scrolling on the ‘gram. Believe us, it’s much more satisfying than you’d think!
So there you have it! An immersive experience all from inside your own home. We don’t know about you, but we’re sure starting to enjoy The Great Indoors. We won’t be locked down at home forever, so get involved & feed that travel inspiration while you wait for borders to re-open.
If all this talk about Japan has fueled your wanderlust then head over here to check out the itinerary that rated us the number one tour WORLDWIDE in 2019!