Japanese Traditional Cultural Experiences and Workshops
Over the past few years there has been a gradual increase in tourists coming to Japan from within and outside of Asia.
Among the visitors, there has been a significant proportion of ‘High Net Worth Individuals (HWNI’s), wanting to see and experience what the country has to offer by way of experiences, which includes our unique and fascinating blend of traditional culture, high-end services, technology and efficiency.
Understandably overseas companies serving this customer base may have problems meeting requests from their VIP customers, and an area in which Motenas Japan is ready and able to help.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to a selection of traditional Japanese cultural experiences that your HNWI’s will love, and that we tailor to their specific wishes.
Experience traditional culture & learn about the country through workshops
Understanding the Japanese Character
Why do people pay so much attention to the traditional culture of Japan?
It’s because they see Japan as being uniquely different and that its culture is key to understanding why and how it has shaped all aspects of life here. Traditional culture and history have been preserved and passed on from one generation to the next.
Experiencing traditional culture first hand leads to a deeper appreciation of the country and its people.
HNWIs in particular travel overseas regularly for business and pleasure, interacting with people from many different countries.
They place high value on gaining insight that will allow them to communicate more effectively, network, form relationships with their Japanese counterparts and friends, and enjoy themselves fully.
Our cultural experiences can directly contribute to their assimilation of all things Japanese.
Creating an Exceptional Experience
Do you want to give your valued guests a taste of traditional Japanese culture, but are unsure how to actually deliver it in a spectacular and memorable way?
Motenus Japan recommends presenting your guest with an event combining a variety of cultural elements to create an exceptional experience.
For example, consider combining “Karate” with “LIVE” traditional Japanese music.
If your guests want to try Karate, the first step is learning Kata (a routine consisting of a series of strikes and blocking techniques) from a real Karate teacher (Sensei).
That on its own may not be enough to make something unique.
Once they have learnt the basics of performing Kata, accompaniment with traditional Japanese musical instruments can be added in.
Imagine your guests moving and performing to the powerful beat of Taiko drums or cords plucked on the Shamisen, both of which evoke Japan’s feudal past.
Isn’t this more exhilarating than sitting and listening to a music performance, or watching a demonstration of Karate skills?
Instead, through this combined interactive experience, their bodies and senses are totally immersed in activity in an exciting and unforgettable way.
Getting behind the scenes, to appreciate all the elements of a LIVE Performance
When we watch a traditional performance, at first we are very curious, and focus on the performance, but as the performance we may get bored.
One reasons for this is we may not know the history, the content of the performance, or what goes on behind the scenes. It’s rather like watching a movie, and wanting to know the back story, the director, how scenes were staged, the effects, etc. This can be even more fascinating than the movie itself.
A behind-the-scenes look at a performance, allowing them to see how they are prepared (wardrobe, make-up, etc.) and to communicate directly with the performers, adds another dimension to the guest’s appreciation and enjoyment of the experience.
At Motenas Japan, we believe in engaging the guests throughout the workshop.
To find out more from Motenas on explaining traditional Japanese performing arts to guests click below:
Traditional Cultural Experience #1 “Tea Ceremony” & “Ozashiki” Play
Two Giants of Japanese hospitality
At first glance, the Tea Ceremony and Ozashiki (literally Tatami room) play seem like two very different worlds.
Actually, they are both part of Japan’s “Omotenashi” (hospitality) culture, which puts the gratification of guests first and foremost.
The word Omotenashi was made famous by Japan’s Olympic bid. It has a variety of forms and ways of expression, and goes deeper than one might first assume.
Feel the Silent Beauty of the Tea Ceremony
In Japan, the tea ceremony is often seen as a women’s activity. Even so, it is very popular with visitors regardless of gender.
There are many tea ceremony experiences for tourists where you can simply enjoy tea made by a “sensei”, but why not try preparing tea yourself?
You will be surprised at how much care and attention is put into the process.
You may be concerned that you won’t be able to perform the tea ceremony correctly in a Japanese style room unless you can squat or kneel on the floor. However, some tea ceremony styles can be performed sitting on a normal chair, for those who may have difficulty otherwise.
On the other hand if you prefer not to do the preparation as part of the tea ceremony, you can instead try dressing up in a traditional kimono and just participate in the drinking part.
We can also arrange to have photos of you taken drinking maccha in your kimono to commemorate the event.
Experience the Delicate Glamour of Ozashiki Play
This is another example of Japanese hospitality that is extremely popular with overseas visitors and guests:
Geisha and Maiko are an attraction due to their glamor and charm.
However, this charm is not limited to their appearance. Geisha are trained from an early age in traditional dance, song, and the playing of traditional musical instruments, such as the shamisen.
And even how to engage people in pleasant conversation. So, Geisha are professionals, masters of making parties and gatherings a success.
In particular, ozashiki games can be enjoyed by guests as the rules are relatively simple to explain and learnt.
Let your guests experience lively and festive Japanese hospitality as hosted by the true masters of the art, the Geisha.
Traditional Cultural Experience 2 # “Otera” Stay and “Shugyou”
“Otera” and “Jinja”
Japan’s “Otera” (Buddhist temples) and ”Jinja” (Shinto shrines) have become a major tourist attraction here, with overseas visitors being impressed by their age, stateliness, architectural design, and intricate craftsmanship.
Temples in particular have long been centers of learning and medical care, as well as places of refuge for the local population in times of strife.
They are therefore custodians of the history of Japanese learning and of life, including that of the general population.
It would be a shame to consider temples as just a tourist attraction, without finding out what else they have to offer.
Stay Overnight at an Otera (Vegetarian food only)
In ancient times, temples were places where travelers and people unable to return home for whatever reason, could stay or take refuge.
As a hold-over and reminder of those times there are still temples where you can stay overnight, as well as “Shukubo” (Buddhist monasteries) that have developed as accommodation facilities for outside guests.
More recently, some temples have also aligned themselves with inbound tourism, with beds and sofas added to accommodation for the comfort of overseas guests.
Some only allow one group to stay per day, whilst others are available for private hire, so you can have your own private space to meet the needs of your group size.
The most exclusive and spacious lodgings can cost up to one million Japanese Yen per night. Motenas will help you select the optimal accommodation and options to meet your specific experience requirements.
Shugyou (Spiritual training) Experience for Beginners
There are many aspects of Japanese culture that can be experienced by staying at a temple.
Here are just a few that are relatively easy for beginners and foreigners to try out:
- Vegetarian food preparation and cooking
- Sutra workshop
- Zen meditation
- Morning prayers
- Local temple rituals
- Making prayer beads
Although such experiences can be practiced in other settings, performing them at a temple, allows you to experience them in an authentic setting and context.
Don’t assume that because your guests may be considered wealthy, that they prefer luxury and elegance all the time. Many wish to escape their usual environment, and enjoy something pure and authentic.
Many enjoy yoga, meditation and sports where a high level of control and concentration are required, are health conscious, including being particular about their wellness, through care of their nutrition, exercise and stress management.
For such individuals, Japanese Zen meditation, sutra practice and vegetarian food are interesting content, opportunities for them to experience first class practices.
In recent years Japan had seen a steady increase in inbound tourist numbers.
Amongst this, experiences catering to HNWI’s are increasingly in demand.
At Motenus Japan, we offer events and experiences tailored to suit the specific tastes of your guests and numbers of attending, as described above.
Please contact us, to help you plan the optimal experience for your HNWI and VIP guests.