Japan Week: Day Four

Konichiwa everyone! Today's points of Japanese awesomeness celebrate the more traditional and natural side of the country.

7 - Visiting an onsen


Photo - Wikipedia

No visit to Japan would be complete without a trip to an onsen. For the unfamiliar, onsen are 'baths', traditionally fed from hot volcanic springs and are often found in sites of great natural beauty as a result. That said, their popularity has meant that more and more 'artificial onsen' have popped up in the larger cities.

The natural mineral rich water is believed to have healing properties and different sites are said to each have their own special restorative qualities. Whether you believe in the medicinal power of the water or not, I think that sitting in warm pool, gazing out at the Japanese countryside would be a wonderful way to truly get to know the country.

Photo - Tokyo Snow Club

8 - Urban safari


Photo - Wired 2 The World

We've all heard of the sacred cows of India - but have you heard of the sacred deer of Japan? Well, if you visit the city of Nara you will! 

Legend says that a mythological god rode into Nara on a white deer to protect and guard the region's capital and ever since the deer have been regarded as 'holy' and are revered by the locals. 

Visitors flock to the city to witness the deer roam around as they please - though sometimes a few forget that these are not domesticated creatures. Fortunately, in typical Japanese kawaii fashion, there are warning signs advising visitors to keep their distance! 

Photo - Billy Eaton