The Kansai Tourism Bureau released a fun video series on January 21, explaining the basics of Japanese culture to the ever-increasing number of tourists.
This Japanese Culture 101 final installment covers Lesson 9 and Lesson 10.
Lesson 9: Zen Meditation
With Japan’s fascinating and complicated history of religion, Buddhist temples are a major attraction for people coming to the country.
Some visitors might be interested in a bit more of a hands-on experience of the life of a Buddhist monk.
There are many ways to do this. For example, it is possible to stay overnight at some temples. But the easiest way to learn about the life of a Buddhist monk is to attend a zen meditation session.
What exactly does a zen meditation session entail? It’s part of Buddhist training, which requires sitting with proper posture, and focusing your concentration for about half an hour.
By focusing on your posture, your breathing, and being in silence, you might be surprised by how clear your mind is after the session.
One word of advice: when you are finished, be careful when you stand up. Your legs might well have gone numb, and you don’t want to topple over!
Lesson 10: Going Shopping
Famous worldwide for a very high standard of customer service, Japan is a place where shopping is often a real treat.
Some things might not communicate well because of language barrier, however, so it’s a good idea to keep in mind a few pointers to avoid any awkward interaction.
First and foremost, Japan is still a very cash-based society. You might not be able to pay with a bank card, especially in the small mom-and-pop shops. Make sure you carry cash with you, just in case.
Second, you might not be allowed to eat and drink in some shops. So although it might be tempting to eat and enjoy something you have just purchased, check the signs in the shop first to see if it is permitted.
Otherwise, just enjoy the sensory richness of Japan’s products, displays, and shopping culture!
Click here for more information and to reach links to the rest of the series.
Have you found the videos useful? Let us know!